Spotlight 10/2018: Religious status unchanged
Persevere in your faith, not only today and tomorrow, but throughout your whole life. This is an appeal by District Apostle Rüdiger Krause (Germany).
In the New Year’s service 2018, the Chief Apostle explained that faithfulness to Christ shows itself in that we follow His example, preserve our love, serve Him, and keep our promises. This may sometimes be a challenge. In the end, however, such a clear stance in matters of faith will lead us to our goal.
Faith is a virtue that is associated with our will. It is demonstrated in that we keep our promises and meet the obligations we have promised to take on. Faith therefore also involves patience. So let us firmly hold on to that which the Lord has entrusted to us.
I read about Marie Durand (1711–1776), a French Protestant (a Huguenot), who was arrested by the authorities at the age of nineteen in an attempt to convert her. Several times, she was given the opportunity to recant her faith, but she refused every time. Year after year, the following was noted beside her name on the prisoner list: “Religious status: unchanged!” Once the persecution of Huguenots ended, she was released. She had been incarcerated in a tower for thirty-eight years. She died only a few years later, in 1776.
“Religious status: unchanged!” This touched me. This example shows that faith also has something to do with steadfastness. She remained steadfast, true to her faith, even though the greater part of her life was extremely difficult. She was not prepared to recant her faith in order to regain her freedom.
In view of such an example, we need to ask ourselves, is our religious status unchanged? May our belief in the following remain unchanged in our hearts:
- belief in the incarnation of the Son of God.
- belief in the fact that He proclaimed the glad tidings.
- belief that through His sacrifice He has taken the power, strength, and definitive character of sin into death with Him.
- belief in His resurrection and ascension to heaven, from where He will return.
May our “religious status” remain unchanged in this respect. Our eternal God knows how to take care of us. Also in the new period, His Son, Jesus Christ, will allow the power of His sacrifice to act upon us through the forgiveness of our sins, and He will return.
Photo: Oliver Rütten