“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.”
‭‭I Thessalonians‬ ‭1:2-8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


There are today those people who are the elect of God, followers of Jesus who received the message of the Gospel in the midst of great affliction. It is said that if time were to continue, the nation of Iran would become wholly Christian. Such is the work that the Lord is doing in far off lands where the name of Jesus is reviled.

There is something about the heat of persecution that brings out the best in those who call upon the name of the Lord. There is a clarifying, like that which occurs in butter, as the fat is separated from the water. Right now Afghanistan and Iran are the places where the Good News is reaching hearts. It has been reported that some are having dreams and visions of Jesus, calling them to salvation.

The Christians in those place walk in righteousness, because Jesus is all they have. For them the baptism can be more than a symbolic representation of death to life, for many have been baptized one day in the water, only to be baptized the next in their own blood.

There are as those in the great cloud of witnesses, of whom this world is not worthy.

“Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.”
Hebrews 11:35-38 NKJV

Reading about the Thessalonians this morning, I found myself rejoicing with Paul at the very mention of them. I rejoice at the thought of those Christians who even now are living and dying for Jesus in countries like China, Nigeria, and host of others where merely having a page of the Scriptures can result in jail time.

These are people of great repute.

The church at Thessalonica faced great persecution that included seizures of property, imprisonment, and much violence. Yet, through all of this they held true to the salvation of the Lord. The faith flourished and their reputation was known far and wide.

The circumstances that the church at Thessalonica faced a reality, that is about to come to the church in America. Because we are largely lukewarm, the devil has not looked upon us as threat. He has distracted us effectively, as we worry about political things, looking for natural solutions to supernatural problems.

But the Harlot is reaching her maturity, as she seeks to make herself ready for her proposed lover, the Beast. Eventually she will come after those who desire Jesus, who have made Him their one and only.

Life for the born again Christian in America will be like that of those in the far off lands, and we will know the sufferings of Christ.

Brothers and sisters, let us desire the reputation of the Thessalonians, being followers of Jesus who endure the suffering, yet press on in the faith. Let us embrace suffering and receive the word of God in affliction, being filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

We will need the Holy Spirit in the times to come, for we will be used by God to bring about the greatest harvest in the history of the faith. In light of all that we face, let us go and tell others of this great salvation, pressing against those that hate us with the love of Christ, that they see Him in the midst of it all.

Let us pray, my people, that we be ambassadors for Jesus, those sent to this sick and dying world as emissaries, made of flesh and blood, but filled with the Holy Spirit. We walk in this world as the ongoing work of Jesus, hearts being transformed. Let our lives reflect the power of the Gospel, not merely spoken in words, but demonstrated by renewed beings, previously sinners, and now made saints.

THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!





2 thoughts on “Repute

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