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Man-Praying
Picture this, you’re walking along, minding your own business, when all of a sudden, you are grabbed and held at gunpoint. The person you are being held hostage by, asks you if you believe in God, and if you don’t answer, they may kill you. What do you do? Do you tell the person that yes, you believe in God and get killed for it? Or, do you possibly live if you renounce your faith? It really makes you think hard about what you would do in that situation doesn’t it? You can’t really wrap your mind around that scenario unless you’ve actually lived through it yourself.
This is one of the worst-case scenarios, but it offers all of us a vivid picture and description of what Christians in other countries go through, day to day.  Unfortunately, these are real scenarios that people face, not only in the U.S. such as Columbine school shooting in 1999 (as is depicted in the book, She Said Yes by Missy Bernell). Christians being killed occurs in other countries such as Turkey and Iran, where women, men and even children are killed, prosecuted and imprisoned for their faith.
This life is full of many distractions. One of the biggest distractions is deciding how to resist the temptation of turning away from your faith. This world has been taking God out of the equation and out of our schools, out of our government, and out of many other aspects of our lives. There are even times when God isn’t really in the sermons at church. Sometimes the sermons don’t always involve God. No one wants to be offended by God or anything related to God, so the government and the schools and even the movies and TV personnel, think that they’re doing the right thing by taking God out of the equation in every way that they can.
This world is full of reasons to not believe in God. Look at how many horrible things have happened because of people’s faith. Christians all over the world are getting persecuted, imprisoned and even killed and burned at the stake as martyrs because of their own personal faith in God. Look at how many Christians have lost their lives, just for claiming to be a Christian in countries such as Turkey and Iran. It is never easy to be a Christian. This life isn’t easy period. It is even harder to be a Christian in this day and age with so many things distractions telling us not to believe in God. There are our friends, who may pressure you into not believe in God, even after you’ve been a Christian your whole life. There may be circumstances, such as, a loved one dying that could cause you to doubt your faith, and even watching the news, the chaos of this world can bring you to forget your faith.
Some may think “why worship a God that allows bad things to happen to people who believe in Him?” That’s both a very difficult question to answer, and a very simple question to answer. On the one hand, look at how much turmoil there is in life. With constant death and destruction, it can be very difficult to even believe that there is a God. But on the other hand, God is and always has been present in our lives, even when we don’t feel His presence.  He allows us to suffer these things in order to bring us closer to Him and to see whether or not we turn to Him or away from Him.
If we deny our faith in God, God will deny us the privilege to go to Heaven. He even says in the Bible if you deny me in front of your friends, I will deny you in front of my father. That’s a pretty serious statement. We should take heart and never turn away from God. Why would anyone want to turn away from Him after everything he has done for us anyhow?
Mathew 10:33: “But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
Mathew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
What people don’t realize is that if they denounce their faith or renounce their faith, then they are giving up the ultimate gift of eternal salvation. The world can make it hard to stay focused on God and on your faith. The pressures of this world can easily make it seem like it’s easier to do what everyone else in the world is doing.  It can be easy to fall into the peer pressure of “going with the crowd”, “trying to be popular”, or, “following the in crowd.”
The most amazing thing is, that we are free to worship God in the United States, yet Christians in other countries are being put to death for telling people they believe in God and spreading their faith, without fear. The even more amazing thing is, that people are being put to death for saying they’re Christians, but they will inherit eternal life. Yet if you renounce your faith and denounce the Lord, you will no longer have the free and ultimate gift of salvation. What would you rather have-salvation and being saved, even though someone kills you for it? Or eternal damnation in Hell because you don’t believe in God?
Apostacy is: the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief.” Some people choose not to believe in God, while others know they can’t live without Him.
Hopefully you will never have to face a life and death situation that forces you to die for your faith. But, may you never back down from what you believe in and stay true to your faith no matter what you may face.
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