[Before I make some profound comments about being wounded and suffering for Christ, the following remarks by A.W. Tozer will set the tone for an issue many Christians fail to understand, and may not want to be made aware of.]
"It is amazing to me! There are people within the ranks of Christianity who have been taught and who believe that Christ will shield His followers from wounds of every kind.
If the truth were known, the saints of God in every age were only effective after they had been wounded. They experienced the humbling wounds that brought contrition, compassion and a yearning for the knowledge of God. I could only wish that more among the followers of Christ knew what some of the early saints meant when they spoke of being wounded by the Holy Spirit....
In every generation, the people who have found God have been those who have come to the end of themselves. Recognizing their hopelessness, they have been ready to throw themselves on the mercy and grace of a forgiving God." [Men Who Met God, pp.59, 62, by A.W. Tozer]
Literature Ministries International. Not only do I subscribe and read them daily, but I have read (and have been deeply moved and inspired by) many of Tozer’s books, especially The Pursuit of God. No devoted Christian can become more motivated nor know more about God (next to His word alone) than this amazing book. [Click above link to download a free copy]
Tozer’s message above is crucial to develop a greater understanding of the mission God has given to His disciples. A deep and truthful understanding of what it means to be wounded for Christ is probably the most important topic (and most misunderstood) to be studied by disciples who have moved past the initial salvation message. Most certainly, new babes in Christ need to be fed the milk issues of the Gospel; however, those who have picked up their cross and who want to follow Jesus as never before, must never forget that suffering is a part of being a Christian.
Throughout the earlier part of my Christian journey, I cherished the sermons that spoke about salvation, mercy, grace and God’s loving kindness. After anchoring my faith in verses that alluded to these topics, I began to learn more about numerous aspects of the Christian walk, including such issues as the importance of prayer and putting into practice all of the admonitions the Apostle Paul speaks of concerning marriage, ethics, conduct and how to treat our fellow man. Even though I read much about the subject of persecution (of which my second book, Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation entails in great detail), the subject of suffering did not begin to have the profound effect on me it has these last ten years or so, due to the burgeoning physical afflictions one experiences later on in life.
But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”19 So, then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good, (1 Peter 4:12-10).
The End Times Passover.
One of the questions he asked was “How do Christians prepare for the tribulations we see in the immediate horizon?” My response was that we obviously need to get closer to God through prayer and service, and that God’s preachers should teach more about this impending crisis to prepare them for this reality. However, I also added a subject matter that the majority of Christendom seldom broaches nor even discusses in private, which is that too many Christians are held in slavery by the fear of death! (see Hebrews 2:14-15).
Most certainly while God has told us that we are not destined for wrath, the Bible states most definitely that we are to suffer tribulation. I’m constantly criticized for pointing out these scripture verses, claiming that I am stating that our fellow servants should not believe in the "blessed hope" spoken of in Titus 2:13. The blessed hope in that verse is not speaking about escaping wounds and tribulation but rather about the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ!
1 John 4:16-18; and it is primarily because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. Those who fear pain (and especially death) do not have the confidence they will need on the Day of Judgment. Verse 7 in Chapter 4 of 1 John clearly tells us that we must love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. Therefore, those who claim to be Christian, and do not demonstrate the love of God in all that they do, fail to recognize that to claim that God could not (or would not) leave us on earth during times of great tribulation have to re-examine their relationship with Him! Plain and simple!
Revelation 7:14 that the phrase The Great Tribulation that modern day (ersatz) prophets use in the Rapture to Heaven mythology is not consistent with the actual Greek manuscript: And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
First of all, one can readily see that the article (The) is not included before the adjective great in the verse they use to supposedly identify a seven year period of wrath. But, yet they have convinced millions of Christians that a seven year period of mayhem exists in these writings that the disciples of Jesus Christ will not have to endure.
As stated before, there is a difference between tribulation (Greek word thlipsis=persecution) and wrath, the anger of God; and we have to make that notable distinction to recognize that while God’s wrath will not touch us (see
Psalm 91:3-8, we are destined for great tribulation.
2 Timothy 4:3-5. Many of these prophets may love Jesus Christ and may mean well in their efforts to minister to the disciples of Jesus Christ. However, they cannot ignore the more than 40 Bible verses concerning suffering for Christ that most clearly and in no uncertain terms advise us ahead of time that Christians have not only been assigned (by God) their respective tribulations (persecutions), they have to be willing to accept them for the glory and the Kingdom of God.
But, if for no other reason, study these verses for this one purpose alone, as we repeat that Psalm we opened with at the beginning of this message, which states, Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word....It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes, (Psalm 119:67,71)