Testimonies encourage the persecuted -I Peter 1:12
May 5, 2023, 9:00 AM

“It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.”

Angels marvel at God's plan. Even the heavenly beings become observers and not participants in the great salvation that is ours. How God marvelously calls us, planned our salvation, prepared us, purchased us through the works of the Son, and purifies us through the works of the Holy Spirit. Angels long to look into the wondrous works of God that is the source of our rejoicing.

The apostle says the angels crowd around the windows of heaven and look down at us. They are amazed and filled with desire to understand as they see Christ dying for our sins, raised for our justification, and the Spirit of God wooing and convicting the human heart. They are looking down on us and they are filled with wonder and amazement at what they see. The Bible tells us that there is joy in the presence of the angels of God because of one sinner who repents. They look down and are overwhelmed by the grace they see flowing from the wounds of Christ, the salvation that pours from His heart, the blessedness of the cross and the winning of a soul. It is ours for the taking.

I heard stories of Russian persecution and killings of Christians as I talked with families in their homes. I was moved by their courage.

I was moved when I heard Joseph Ton tell his story after I returned to the USA. He was an active Baptist in Rumania. He ran away from his country to study theology. When he returned his friends told him he would not have much chance being a Christian pastor and preacher. God brought to his mind Matt. 10:16 “I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves” It seemed to say, "Tell me, what chance does sheep surrounded by wolves have of surviving? Five minutes, let alone converting the wolves? Joseph, that's how I send you; Totally defenseless and without a reasonable hope of success. If you are willing to go like that go! If you are not willing to be in that position, don't go."

He went. Harassment and arrest and persecutions came. One day during interrogation an officer threatened to kill him. Then Joseph Ton said, "Sir, your supreme weapon is killing. My supreme weapon is dying. Sir, you know my sermons are all over the country on tapes now. If you kill me, I will be sprinkling them with my blood. Whoever listens to them after that will say, "I'd better listen. This man sealed it with his blood." They will speak ten times louder than before. So go on and kill me. I win the supreme victory then."

The officer sent him home. "That gave me pause. For years I was a Christian who was cautious because I wanted to survive. I had accepted all the restriction the authorities put on me because I wanted to live. Now I wanted to die, and they wouldn't oblige. Now I could do whatever I wanted in Rumania. For years I wanted to save my life and I was losing it. Now that I wanted to lose it, I was winning it."

Peterwas trying to convince the followers of Jesus of that. Think of God - your life here is temporary. We are being changed and tested, but think of the joy of our reward.

Application: Think of the love of Christ, the strength of faith and be filled with the joy of being heaven bound.

Prayer: Lord, Many have gone on before me so I might know You.  Now  help me play my  part that others might know too.