Now, the same pattern has come to Syria: entire regions and towns where Christians lived for centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied, as extremists target Christians for kidnapping, plundering, and beheadings.
In October 2012 the last Christian in the city of Homs ( which had a Christian population of some 80,000) was murdered. One teenage Syrian girl said: “We left because they were trying to kill us… because we were Christians…. Those who were our neighbors turned against us. At the end, when we ran away, we went through balconies. We did not even dare go out on the street in front of our house.”
In Mali, after a 2012 Islamic coup, as many as 200,000 Christians fled. There have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, churches and other Christian property have been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives.” At least one pastor was beheaded.
"You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. " Matthew 10:22
"And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." Mark 13:13 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. Luke 12:17
"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me." Matthew 24:9
18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.20 John 15:18-20
There was a young, intelligent university student named Bill. Bill was what some people call a “free spirit” or “hippie.” He had wild long hair, always wore the same old and torn T-shirt, jeans and no shoes. Across the street from the university campus was a conservative church. The people there were rich, older and well-dressed. They wanted to help the university students nearby, but they did not know exactly how to do it.
Well, one day Bill decided to go visit this church by his university. As usual, he went wearing his only jeans, old, torn T-shirt and his dirty long hair. The church service had already started and was full, so Bill walked down the center aisle looking for a seat. People were getting more and more uncomfortable as they watched this unclean, wild-looking young man. Finally, Bill got to the front and saw there were no more empty seats, so he just sat down on the floor right in front of the preacher. No one had ever done that in this church before! By now, everyone was upset and distracted.
Then, a respected old church deacon got up and started toward the front. Everyone was thinking: “You can’t blame the deacon, he really should correct this disrespectful young man.” Everyone was watching. Even the preacher stopped his sermon when the old man finally got to the front. Then, they were all completely surprised to see the old deacon drop his walking stick and very slowly sit down on the floor next to this young hippie. He did not want this young man to sit alone and feel unaccepted. The people in the church were moved to tears. Finally, the preacher said: “What I am preaching about today you will probably never remember. But what you have just seen you will never forget!”
Friend, it does not matter how you look or how much money or education you have. It does not matter what wrongs you have done in your past. Jesus Christ forgives and loves you just the way you are. So won’t you ask Him to forgive you and finally take full charge of your life? He will fill your life with His real love, peace, and power you need to start changing and living His way every day. Just Think a Minute…
And with my Human eyes, and my Human mind, I could not see God. The universe is soooo big, molecules soooo small. Where could God possibly be? He doesn't exist, I decided. He is a fairy tale to comfort those who hurt. A lie to tell small children so they believe loved ones go to Heaven when they die. A bit of sugar to help swallow the bitter pill of death.
That is what I believed. And that is what I told myself. I am a science nerd, after all. But my heart longed for something more. How can evolution bring forth a being with a personality, with a soul? Why are we so much more than other animals? We have complex emotions that include compassion for others. That doesn't fit with the evolutionary model of "survival of the fittest." How does love, compassion and sympathy lead to a greater, more evolved being? I understand altruism, and the greater good of a species, but how does a DNA molecule know that? According to evolution the DNA molecule simply wants to reproduce. There is no need for love or compassion if that is all there is.
I think I am a very loving, compassionate person. So this idea of no God, only evolution is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It doesn't match. Evolution would never lead to a loving compassionate species such as ours. No, I think evolution would lead to a ruthless, dominating species like we see in so many alien movies.
So I began to read. I read books written by scientists who believe in God. I learned so much, and my eyes were open. It is the concept of a "Fine Tuned Universe" that finally convinced me God is real.
But like Einstein, just because there is a God and a Creator, that does not mean He is a personal God. Perhaps He made us and then went on to better things. That would certainly explain alot about the evil in the world today.
So that set well with me---until I learned about Jesus. Once I learned (through my personal studies) that Jesus was who He said He was (God as flesh) and that He died for us so that we may be with Him in Heaven, I realized that can only mean that God IS a personal God, who loves each of us. (see my series of posts from March 2013)
So IF God is who He says He is, and Jesus is who He says He is...............I am convinced, and I turn my studies to the Bible. If God created us, and loves us, and wants to be with us, then His word must be true and I want to learn all I can from it. (BIBLE--Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
Don't think I jumped in hook, line & sinker. I still had questions, anger issues even. Like regarding all the evil in this world. For example I was stunned learning of a little girl kidnapped from her own bed at night, raped and murdered and left in a shallow grave.............HOW CAN HE LET THAT HAPPEN????!!!!
So much anger in me for this, and so many other wrongs in this world. There is so much evil!
Then I read Proverbs 3:5
"Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding."
I can't tell you why, but that was like a bucket of cold water poured on my anger. I could hear God speaking to me, telling me that I cannot understand His ways, but I need to Trust Him----Trust Him.
And I did.
I let go of all that anger.
I still don't understand. But I trust Him. I trust that a greater good will prevail.
I trust that through tragedy God's goodness will prevail, even though I may never see it or understand it. Sometimes a great amount of time needs to pass to understand---sometimes I will never understand----but I trust Him. And it is okay if I don't understand. I no longer need to.
And I feel peace.
I am still on this Journey, still learning about God. I read books with a hunger I never knew I had. I am currently reading about string theory and the possibilities of alternate dimensions...............and I am believing that is being revealed to science by God to show that there are such difficult things to comprehend, such as alternate dimensions (which is where I believe Heaven to be) that again, God is right, we cannot understand His ways----For His ways are not our ways, they are so much higher..........