These stories must be shared. I have long thought that America would face persecution only when American Christians begin to say that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. The persecution will not be physical but emotional and relational. This book reminded me of my longing to love Jesus, live with Jesus and tell others about Him. It seems to me the Church in America has forgotten this and replaced this goal of life with a gentler and more comfortable pursuit of community with other Christians. There is nothing wrong with this pursuit of community, it is actually wonderful but the community we long for comes from a shared mission of facing fears, overcoming comforts and throwing caution to the wind. I want everyone in my church to read this book- young and old, new Christian and older Christian alike.
Suffering is one of God’s ordained means for the growth of his church. He brought salvation to the world through Christ, our suffering Savior, and he now spreads salvation in the world through Christians as suffering saints. In the words of Paul, “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3: 12). Clearly, there is a sense in which the danger of our lives increases in proportion to the depth of our relationship with Christ (loc. 182 Kindle).
Serving God is not a matter of location, but a matter of obedience (p. 75).
If Jesus is not the answer to the human condition, there is no answer (p. 141).
“Don’t ever give up in freedom what we would never have given up in persecution! That is our witness to the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!” (p. 196).
“Do you know what prison is for us? It is how we get our theological education. Prison in China is for us like seminary is for training church leaders in your country” (p. 231).
Before we can grasp the full meaning of the Resurrection, we first have to witness or experience crucifixion. If we spend our lives so afraid of suffering, so averse to sacrifice, that we avoid even the risk of persecution or crucifixion, then we might never discover the true wonder, joy and power of a resurrection faith. Ironically, avoiding suffering could be the very thing that prevents us from partnering deeply with the Risen Jesus (pp. 308-309).