When It's Time To Be Counted by Terry J. Hallock

When It's Time To Be Counted
Pastor T. J. Hallock
November 9, 2003 - International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Acts 5:41-42

The scene is first century Jerusalem where the Apostles Peter and John have been arrested by the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of Jerusalem, for a second time. Their first arrest had come as a result of healing a crippled man in Jesus' name. They had been placed in the public jail but during the night an angel of the Lord set them free. At day break Peter and John went straight back to the Temple steps and began to once again teach the people about Jesus. Seeing the Apostles free and preaching again, stunned Temple priests told the Sanhedrin who had them arrested once more. Again they were ordered to never preach in the name of Jesus. Then they were flogged and set free. The Word tells us: "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ."

We now move twenty centuries into the future to the nation of Pakistan where a Christian brother, Rhanja Masih, has been imprisoned since May of 1998. He was acussed of throwing a rock at an Islamic sign, a charge he denies. Nontheless he was convicted of blaspheming Mohammed. In jail Brother Rhanja receives letters from his Muslim accusers promising they will forgive him if he will only denounce Christ and accept Islam. Although his wife works as a maid earning a mere $36 a month to support their four children in their one-bedroom house, Brother Rhanja refuses the offer. He says, "I am ready to be crucified for Jesus. I will not deny him." Oh, how the words of Acts ring in our ears! "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name."

From that Pakistani jail we move to China where in July of 2002 officers from ...

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