What is our role as Christians in Syria?
Perhaps as western law-abiding Christians we have a tendency to first wait for the ‘doors to open’ before entering into a nation to preach the Gospel message. After all, are we not to respect the laws of the land? So if the law of a nation forbids Christianity, shouldn’t we as Christians first pray and wait for the Lord to supernaturally transform the hearts of the leaders and then go forth in an open and honest way?
Maybe. Maybe not.
The Great Commission of Jesus has rarely been legal. Jesus was crucified because it was against the laws of the pharisees for someone to blaspheme God by claiming to be Him. From Italy to Egypt, to India – all of the disciples were beaten, imprisoned, or killed because their message was rejected and made illegal by the authorities in virtually every nation that they went.
The first century church suffered unimaginable brutal deaths because sharing their faith was illegal. The 20th century has not been much different. Our world has not evolved to be a more accepting place. More Christians have died for their faith than any other time in history.
The people of Syria are living in bondage. They are slaves to darkness and the slave owner is not going to allow those that peddle the message of freedom to do so without maximum resistance. How long should we wait to proclaim the name of the Lord in the darkest areas?
What if God has already transformed hearts and is only waiting for us to go, but are too afraid? What if fear is keeping us from going into the nation of Syria?
In the book of Acts, Jesus spoke to His disciple Ananias and told him to go and pray for a known terrorist that was notorious for killing Christians. Ananias was timid and reluctant to go because of Saul’s reputation, but Ananias finally went.
How many of us are reluctant to go to Syria because, like Ananias, we are afraid because of the reputation that Syria has? How many of us are like Ananias and desire safety over duty?
History is full of simple men and women of God who followed the example of Jesus and His disciples and sacrificed everything to ensure that the Good News was given to us. How can we not feel obligated to step into the footsteps of Jesus and do the same for those in Syria?
Not everyone will or should go to dark nations like Syria, but everyone should be involved in going or sending.
Pray that the Lord raise up an army of believers that will march forth in Syria and do not fear death. Pray that the Ananias for Syria will answer the call of God and go regardless of the costs.
But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”