We are going to talk about what it means to be a Christian. Christians believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour; Christians have accepted the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for their sins; Christians have been born again by the Spirit; Christians believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins and rose from the dead 3 days later. Christians go to church and worship God; Christians pray at home to the Lord; some Christians go out and tell other people about the Message of the Lord; but what does Jesus say about Christians and what else do they have to do to keep their salvation?
This is what Jesus said in the Bible:
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” – Matthew 10:28-33
“Ha ka baqina kuwa jidhka dila, laakiin aan karin inay nafta dilaan, waxaadse ka baqdaan kan jahannamada ku hallayn kara nafta iyo jidhkaba. Laba shimbirrood miyaan beesad lagu iibin? Middoodna dhulka ku dhici mayso amarka Aabbihiin la’aantiis. Timaha madaxiinna oo dhan waa tirsan yihiin. Sidaa darteed ha baqina, waad ka qiima badan tihiin shimbirro badan. Sidaa darteed mid walba oo igu qirta dadka hortiisa, anna waan ku qiran doonaa Aabbahayga jannada ku jira hortiisa. Laakiin ku alla kii igu diida dadka hortiisa, anna waan ku diidi doonaa Aabbahayga jannada ku jira hortiisa.” – Matayos 10:28-33
What does it mean to deny something? To deny something means you do not want to say that something is true even if it is; to deny something means that you lie about something that you know is true; to deny something means to say something it is not happening when it is. We Somalis know that our country of Somalia is at war because Somalis are killing Somalis; the Somali people are responsible for all the bloodshed of the last 20 years in our beautiful God given country. And yet some Somalis will say that we Somalis are not to blame for all the trouble in our country: this means that they are denying the truth. The truth is that the violence is Somalia has been caused by violent Somalis; to say that someone else is to blame is to deny the truth.
Jesus said that we as Christians should not deny Him before others. Jesus said that if you are a Christian and someone asks you if you are a Christian then you should yes – even if that means you will be persecuted. If someone asks you if you believe in Jesus Christ you should say yes even if it means you will get into some kind of trouble. Is someone says that they will kill you if you do not deny the Lord Jesus Christ then you should not deny the Lord Jesus Christ even if the people who are asking you will torture you or kill you. This is a very hard teaching for us as Christians; we are not allowed to fight back against those people who want to kill us for being Christians. We have to trust in God and not deny that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour.
Let us listen to what Jesus says in the Bible:
“Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their forehead or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” – Revelation 20:4
“Oo markaasaan arkay carshiyo, oo waxaa kuwa ku fadhiyey la siiyey amar ay ku xukumaan; oo haddana waxaan arkay nafihii kuwii madaxa looga jaray markhaatigii ay Ciise u fureen aawadiis, iyo eraygii Ilaah aawadiis, iyo kuwii aan caabudin bahalkii iyo sanamkiisa toona, oo aan aqbalin in sumaddii lagaga dhigo wejigooda iyo gacantooda; way soo noolaadeen oo kun sannadood ayay Masiix wax la xukumeen.” – Muujintii 20:4
What we see happening in our country of Somalia and in other parts of the world is what Jesus Christ said would happen to some Christians. The violent and ungodly people of this world will cut off the heads of some of those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Jesus also says in the Bible:
“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.” – John 16:1-2
“Waxaan waxyaalahaas idiinkula hadlay inaydnaan ka xumaanin. Waxay idinka saari doonaan sunagogyada, weliba saacaddaa imanaysa in mid walboo idin dilaa uu u malaynayo inuu Ilaah u adeegayo.” – Yooxanaa 16:1-2
There is a cost to pay for following Jesus; you have to give something up from this world in order to follow Jesus; you cannot follow Jesus without paying a price. There was a man in Pakistan who was a Muslim but was interested in what the Bible said about Jesus. So this man started to read the Bible and learned many wonderful things about who Jesus was and what Jesus did. This man enjoyed reading the Bible and started to ask many questions. The man from Pakistan started to believe in Jesus as his Lord and Saviour and became a Christian.
The man’s family was very upset and did not allow him to live with them anymore. But of course God provided for him and took care of all his needs. The man has lost his earthly family because he has become a leader in the Christian church; the man is happy that he has a new family of all the Christian brothers and sisters who care about him and help him with everything needs. The man from Pakistan is now married with children and serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ I know what it is like to see Christians persecuted in Somalia; I understand what it means to see people keep their faith in Jesus Christ even when they are persecuted and killed for their faith; but we must continue to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and never give up proclaiming and believing in the message of the Lord.
This is what Jesus said before He died on the cross:
“I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against. ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’” – Luke 12:49-53
“Waxaan u imid inaan dab dhulka ku tuuro, oo maxaan doonayaa hadduu durba shidan yahay? Anigu waxaan leeyahay baabtiis in laygu baabtiisayo oo sidee lay cidhiidhiyey ilaa uu dhammaado! Miyaad u malaynaysaan inaan u imid inaan nabad dhulka siiyo? Waxaan idinku leeyahay, Maya, laakiinse kalasoocid. Waayo, intii haddeer ka dambaysa waxaa guri ku jiri doona shan kala soocan, saddex laba ka gees ah iyo laba saddex ka gees ah. Waa kala soocmayaan, aabbe wiil ka gees ah iyo wiil aabbe ka gees ah, hooyo gabadh ka gees ah iyo gabadh hooyadeed ka gees ah, soddoh afadii wiilkeeda ka gees ah iyo afadii wiilkii soddohdeed ka gees ah.” – Luukos 12:49-53
My dear Somali brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t think that there is something wrong if you are persecuted for your Christian faith; don’t think you are committing a sin if you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and then get persecuted for it; do not believe those who are trying to rob you and take away the salvation you have through Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour. Jesus Christ came to save sinners – and we have all sinned and we are all in need of forgiveness and salvation.
God will strengthen you in times of testing; when you don’t know what to say to those who are persecuting you and ready to kill you the Holy Spirit will give you the right words to say. Keep trusting in the Lord and do not deny the truth about the message of the Lord – Jesus Christ is the Lord and Saviour of the world. Amen…let us pray.