When Christ Turns Persecutors Into the Persecuted (For His Glory) from Crossway on Vimeo.

The Power of Christ

When I see the power of Christ to save men and women out of utter darkness and death and when I see the radical transformation that he makes in a life, I see that conversion is not just some cerebral, mental thing of agreeing to a certain creed or set of statements. It is an inside-out work of Christ that’s made to last. The only explanation for when I’ve seen persecutors becoming the persecuted—because they’re identifying the church and have become Christians—is because Jesus is alive and he’s saving people out of amazing situations. And when I see the suffering that Christians are experiencing, I ask Why would they go through so much trouble if something hadn’t changed in their lives?

I think of a man in Bangladesh named Jaruh. This brother is thirty years of age and became a Christian in his mid-twenties. When that happened, he was kicked out of the family and his family held his funeral because he was dead to them. He was kicked out of his village, and in that communal context, his prospects for a job and for getting married were all over. It hurt deeply to be so thoroughly rejected by his family, his friends, and everything he had known.

When It Doesn’t Make Earthly Sense

I asked him, “Why, humanly speaking, why would you go through this much trouble?” And his answer was clear. He said, “There was no one else who could take away the weight of my sin but Jesus.” And so he was willing. With heaviness and hurt, but still with joy in the suffering. Stand with Jesus, speak of Jesus. Jaruh is a living, breathing reminder that Jesus is alive, is at work, and he’s bringing men and women to himself. I see the power of Jesus’s rising in conversions and I see the power of his resurrection in the risk-taking that his people are assuming.

So I see the power of Jesus’s rising in conversions and I see the power of his resurrection in the risk-taking that his people are assuming as they are now going out into those settings and speaking of him. They’re willing to do that because it’s hard to really threaten a person who will now live forever. And so their risk-taking is rooted in Christ’s resurrection and theirs in him.

This is a guest article by Tim Keesee, author of A Company of Heroes: Potraits from the Gospel’s Global Advance. This post originally appeared on crossway.org; used with permission.

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