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Sermon Illustrations: Persecution

Do people treat you like dirt? God took a lump of dirt and transformed it into a man.

Nicholas Ridley (1500 - 1555) had been condemned to death for his faith. The night before, his brother offered to stay with him in prison. Ridley said that he planned to sleep as well as usual. The next day he encouraged another Christian who was being executed. "Be of good heart, brother, for God will either assuage the fury of the flame, or else strengthen us to abide it." They knelt and prayed next to the stake, talked briefly, then were burned.

A Christian came to Tertullian because of a decision he had to make. "What can I do?" he asked. "I must live!" "Must you?" replied Tertullian.1

1,000 are laying down their lives for the faith every day. Derek Prince quoting David Barrett author of the Christian Encyclopaedia

Su Kim's teacher promised her a special prize. "After your parents go to bed tonight, if you can find a black book at home, bring it to school tomorrow. But don't tell anyone." She was excited about the possibility of winning a prize, and looked diligently. Su Kim found a book - a Bible - and the next day took it to her teacher. But when she returned home from school her parents were gone. They'd been arrested by the North Korean police. Their crime was owning a Bible. After a frightening night home alone Su Kim became a state orphan.

1 Barclay, William Daily Study Bible: Vol 1 - Matt 1-10 p 111