“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” – Matthew 24:9-11
God has a master plan. One day, He will bring creation to a conclusion, when Christ will be manifested to all and creation restored to its original purpose.
Before the end can come, the Good News must be proclaimed as a testimony to all nations. This is not an easy task, and it prompts sacrifice, suffering, and even death for some.
The suffering of those who follow Christ is not meaningless. It has a purpose. When we observe and hear about the sufferings of Christ’s witnessing servants, we are observing and hearing about the work of God Himself, without which Christ could never come again.
Even today, we can already see transformation out of persecution. A woman named Pallavi is a great example of this. She used to worship gods and goddesses with her family, but they desperately lacked peace of mind. So she was intrigued when she overheard a Mission India Church Planter named Ronak sharing the Gospel in her neighborhood one day, explaining that peace is received through Jesus. After conversations with Ronak, she received Jesus as her Savior!
When she told her family this, they were angry—as was the rest of her village. People gathered near her house to curse her, and her parents called, warning her to denounce Christianity if she wished to continue speaking with them. She was cornered. However, the oppression Pallavi faced only drew her closer to Jesus. She believes that her entire family will eventually receive Christ, and her ceaseless prayers have worked; her two daughters have stopped idol worship and came to faith in Jesus, too!
We hurt for Pallavi as she is persecuted and cut off by her own family and neighbors, but we praise God for her unwavering faith and dedication to prayer for her family’s salvation. Because she clung to her faith while being persecuted, her daughters join her today in God’s Kingdom work and experience joy and freedom in worshipping Him.
Hundreds of millions of people in India still have never heard the Good News, experienced a church in their midst, or heard the name of Jesus. That’s what we are about at Mission India; doing whatever it takes to bring them the hope of Christ. Some will be persecuted, hated, and put to death, just as Jesus was persecuted, hated, and put to death. And just as Jesus was raised in victory, so his persecuted servants in India and around the world will be raised to victorious life!
Christians in India are following God’s call on their lives, even when it isn’t the popular thing to do. What is God calling you to that those around you may question or disagree with?
God, I come alongside Pallavi in praying for her family, and ask that her husband and parents would receive Jesus as their Savior. I pray that the Gospel would continue to spread throughout Pallavi’s local community, and throughout the many unreached people groups in India.
– Todd VanEk, President & CEO of Mission India