Be Prepared to Die (For Jesus)
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Exerpt from the exciting new book 'White British Christians' by Jerry Finch
I remember a time when I sadly realised I was not ready to die for Jesus. It was shocking to me. I felt ashamed when I realised what a coward I was.
My wife and I were visiting some missionaries in Jakarta Indonesia. We had already been in China for some years, and were on a type of break there. The house of our friends backed on to the property of a Muslim Mosque. Since our colleagues had lived there many years they had established good relations with their entire neighbourhood. This time we stayed with them was about a year after the ‘Bali Bombings’ of 2002, an attack by militant Jihadists on foreigners at the popular resort of Bali, Indonesia.
So, it was Friday evening, Mosque time. The Muslim property and ours were separated by a wall. Somewhere around 7 pm the ‘celebrations’ or worship began. I didn’t pay much attention to it. It was a mixture of people praying or listening or being quiet to other types of what to me seemed like chanting. It went on and by going to bed, it was still very noisy. I remember I began to be quite fearful around 9 pm and the thought entered my mind (from the devil obviously); ‘Well these guys sound even more agitated and louder than before, and they don’t seem to be interested in stopping any time soon’. I thought; ‘Maybe they are aware we are mostly white foreigners here and are upset and going to do something to us!’
I tried to sleep, even much later the noises from over the wall came louder and louder it seemed. I went to sleep, I woke up. I don’t know what time it was. I just began envisioning these hordes of Muslims coming over the wall with Machetes swooping into our poorly defended property. Dying seemed like it was fixed on the menu for tonight, at least to me. I couldn’t remember ever being so terrified in my whole life! Why was I not able to trust the Lord?
I got up and went to see the pastor of the place where we were. Perhaps it was around midnight. I even had to wake up the poor man and explain my worries to him. He put my mind at ease. Reassuring me it was common for the Friday nights to go on like this! Ha! We prayed together. I went back to bed and finally sleep. Sure enough morning dawned, and we were all still in the land of the living!
What a complete idiot I felt. More than that however I felt ashamed. Ashamed of my weak faith and my unprepared heart and mind. I began to search my own mind and heart as to ‘why’? Why was I even afraid, when I knew Jesus? Why could I not go the final step and be martyred in joy and happiness if this was necessary?
For some time after this I searched my heart and prayed about this milestone experience. Since then I have studied about death (and eternal life) and a few Christian books on the subject as well as looking much closer in the Bible.
I trust now that if God should ever send me the real deal I hope and pray I will receive it with grace and love if that would be his plan for me.
Perhaps you feel all this is exaggerated. But perhaps you should pray about it too, because when you are ‘at ease in Zion’, you really can’t see much clearly and like many people have a false sense of security! Attacks on churches and Christians worldwide are at their highest nearly in all history. If certain people could get away with it here in the UK they would try to kill us all.
Things may seem peaceful to you today. Perhaps you are pottering about in your garden in England, like dear Mrs Silva from Edmonton in North London when a mentally ill man came in and beheaded her in her own garden.
Fusilier Lee Rigby was just walking fairly casually when he was destroyed in Woolwich on that fine sunny day in June 2013, and the list truly goes on and on and on. Some of it religious persecution, others just because you are white. His killers Adebolajo and Adebowale are British of Nigerian descent, were raised as Christians, and converted to Islam.
I have covered this whole concept of unexpected death in great detail in the chapter called: ‘The Wrong Day to Die’ in my book ‘Gold in the Fish, Diamonds in the Street.’
Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria. --Amos 6:1a