(Jesus said) "Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for My Name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." Matthew 10:21-22
Aeran Brent runs a respectable bridal and formal shop. She is tired of having people stop outside her store, gawking, taking snapshots, and then muttering some choice comments.
Phillip Shin is CEO of a New Jersey company which makes wigs and hair pieces. Today people examine his products and then set them back down without buying. Mr. Shin says he has spent 20 years building the company's name, but now he has "lost all the benefit of the brand image."
Oh, there's one other thing you should know about these two companies. Ms. Brent's company is known as "Isis Bridal and Formal Shop." Mr. Shin's company is "Isis Collections." These two companies, along with more than 270 others have had the bad luck of sharing their name with that of the murderous Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The shared name is reason enough for people to avoid buying their products.
It is not the first time a name has caused problems for a company. Some of the Daily Devotion readers may remember a chocolate diet candy called AYDS. When the disease AIDS swept through society, the AYDS slogan "Ayds helps you lose weight. Why take diet pills when you can enjoy Ayds?" was disastrous for sales and caused the company to fold.
Around the world today there is another name that is causing problems.
That name is Christian.
* To be counted as a Christian in various Islamic countries can mean your life is forfeit. In other nations there is a social and economic penalty for all who acknowledge the Christ.
* In some Communist countries being a Christian means you are limited in education and the job position you can hold.
* In our own nation many college students have found being a practicing Christian means you are mocked, maligned, excluded and downgraded.
Of course, nobody should be surprised that such hatred and persecution of the Savior's followers has come to pass. When Jesus was among us, He warned us the world would do all it could to erase His memory from the minds and hearts of believers. Although Jesus' prophecy has been fulfilled in every generation, our time is seeing persecution being multiplied and coming from places that had once remained silent.
This explains why we, who know the wonders of God's grace and have been blessed with the Savior's forgiveness, need to stand firm. We need to educate our children so they may be able to endure until the end.
We need to join with Luther and proudly proclaim, "Here we stand, we cannot do otherwise. God help us. Amen."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Satan has managed to mastermind some mighty powerful persecutions. Grant us, and those who come after us, the courage to stand up for the Christ who sacrificed Himself to win our forgiveness and salvation. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries