The world is in turmoil. There are “wars and rumors of wars” and persecution against Christians continues to reach record-breaking highs world-wide. But the Scriptures say “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me“. Note: “because of me”, as in Jesus, not just because we’re a pain. We are clearly not meant to encourage persecution of ourselves, by living at peace with others as much as possible. But how should re respond when persecuted? We are certainly not to use “the sword” as this can defend only earthly kingdoms.
Really, the Romans 8 passage that I just linked tells us how to respond.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. “
Basically there are two reasons why somebody does not fight, if they are aware of an act of aggression. The first is that they have surrendered: they have already lost. This is certainly how a lot of the world sees the Christian loss of life across the world: as weak. However, they forget the other reason. God has already won. Someone standing in victory does not need to fight! This is why Jesus’ kingdom needs no earthly warriors, no crusaders and no guns. I am not commenting on a christian in a legitimate army- I am saying that it is not right to fight on behalf of Jesus. He does not need it: he has legions of angels to call on (see link from “the sword”).
So we can/should/will rejoice that we are worthy of suffering for the name, and we can/should/will look on our persecutors with pity. Ultimately they are not on the losing side: they have already lost. It is just that they have not realised yet, and in His mercy, God gives them a chance to switch sides before it is too late! I use can/should etc here as I do not consider myself as having endured any real persecution as yet. God willing, I will stand the test. And so will those others facing it right now.