“..the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” Rev.17:6
In America, Church Leaders want their “local Churches” (institutions) to be strong and successful, and favorably known. They want praise and devotion for their Churches. The idolatrous mixture of Jesus AND “the local Church” is the heart’s desire. They will do almost anything to have a name and to have their local Churches praised and prominent in the hearts of believers and in the world. They want physical success. The well dressed pastors go to conferences and out to lunch. It’s pretty comfortable. But do they care about the spiritual success of the saints? In America, it is Jesus “plus” (the heart idol of Church). Jesus is not enough for them. There is no blood shed.
In Nigeria, the “local Churches” (institutions) are being attacked and people are being killed. That looks pretty weak, pretty unsuccessful. They get no praise; They are despised and hated. Yet the individual believers are strong spiritually as they withstand these attacks and either die or survive the violent attacks. They are strong spiritually as they press on, enduring to the end, with or without an institutional structure (their buildings now burned down, their pastors dead). They do not have physical success; they have spiritual success. They gather together under a tree, with bare feet on dirt. In Nigeria, there is singular devotion for Jesus. There is no “Jesus plus—(idols).” They have shed their heart idols. All they have is Jesus. Jesus is enough for them. Their blood is being shed.
In China, the official Government approved “local Churches” look very strong and successful. No blood is shed there. There it is safe and there is praise and social and political benefit for them there. The unofficial house churches are under government attack and slated for eradication once and for all! This makes them look very weak and unsuccessful. They get no praise, they are despised and hated. Their pastors are hauled off to jail. They gather secretly in the dark, in someone’s basement. But they are the strong ones, spiritually. They are strong spiritually as they withstand opposition and endure to the end, whether they die or survive the brutal attacks to flee to another area to continue to preach the gospel and make disciples of JESUS CHRIST. They do not have physical success; they have spiritual success. In China, there is singular devotion for Jesus. There is no “Jesus plus—(idols).” They have shed their heart idols. All they have is Jesus. Jesus is enough for them. Their blood is being shed.