Last Thursday, April 16 we commemorated the memorial of the Holocaust. All over the world friends of Israel joined together and declared, “Never Again!” Over 60 years since the Holocaust, it remains real to all the survivors. Also, last Tuesday, April 14 we remembered 276 schoolgirls that were kidnapped by the terrorists group Boko Haram in Nigeria. Up to date close to 2000 people have been killed and churches burned by the Boko Haram group. Across the world, friends of hope prayed and declared the mercies of God.
My wife and I were at a conference recently, in which I shared about the urgency for us followers of Christ in the western world to arise and be acquainted with the state of our world in relation to the gospel. One of the strategies of the devil is ignorance. True knowledge and understanding always leads to freedom. John 8:32 attest to this very well, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
Each year, close to 100 million Christians are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ (Voice of the Martyrs, 2015). Earlier this month, the terrorist group Al-Shabaab killed 147 students on the campus of Garissa University in Kenya. Their crime was being a Christian. We have seen Egyptian Christians killed for their faith and just yesterday Ethiopian Christians in Libya were killed for their faith.
As followers of Christ, we cannot turn a deaf ear to these atrocities. We cannot think that these atrocities can only happen elsewhere and not in the western world. This type of thinking predisposes us to major in the minor rather than on the major. Someone asked the question at the conference, "Is it possible that being a follower of Christ could be a crime in the western world?" That is a question we are yet to answer as followers of Christ. Yet, we are seeing hand-writings on the wall that point to this in the western world. Our response as followers of Christ is a life marked and sold out with God’s love that conquers all (I Corinthians 13).
It took one man’s disobedience (Adam) to bring humanity to death through sin (Romans 5:12). It took one man’s obedience (Jesus Christ) to reconcile humanity back to God (2 Corinthians 5:19). It took one man to methodically plan the slaughter of the Jews. It took one man to arise and speak out against Hitler. That man was Martin Niemoller, a Protestant minister of the gospel who spent seven years in concentration camps. Brothers and sisters, I leave us with Niemoller heartfelt quotation to meditate, pray and seek God’s heart on:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
For The Cause of Christ,
Dr. Johnson Obamehinti