Many in the USA celebrated Independence day yesterday. Lots of people remembered the freedom that was won from Great Britain and this is commonly celebrated on the 4th of July. As America celebrated those freedoms, I thought of our brothers and sisters in Christ who don't share in anything resembling this type of freedom in their countries.
For Christians in countries like Nigeria, China, Iran, Sudan, Egypt, and North Korea, basic human rights aren't even allowed. Because these people have decided to follow Christ and live for the Kingdom of heaven, they suffer deprivation, torture, and death.
However, many of those same people have more freedom than people in Western countries. How? They are living for Christ now, counting the costs, and knowing that they may even have to die for their faith.
The Bible says, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Jesus brings freedom even if a government doesn't allow you to worship publicly or you can't wear you Christian t-shirt in public. True freedom is in the heart, not what one can do in an earthly country.
In the June issue of VOM's newsletter, I read about a man who shows this type of freedom. Abdulmasi was raised as a Muslim in Nigeria. He killed Christians and even acted like he was a Christian so he could infiltrate churches. One day, the Lord got a hold of him and he repented of his sins and stepped into the freedom that can only come from Christ.
He has since been persecuted by Muslims and he has even lost his own son to the brutality of Islamic extremists. He has had a mob of 2,000 Muslims surround his home seeking to kill him and his family. Through all of this, he still chooses to shine his light for Jesus and tell about the freedom that comes through Him.
So, when you think of freedom, don't only think of political freedom that last for a short while. Think of the true lasting freedom that Christ brings when a person repents and turns to Him.
Christ has come to set the captive free!