The prophet Jeremiah prophesized to his own people, so persecution was there, but not in the way we have it today. Today, the persecution of Christians makes us see that there is a greater risk in preaching the Gospel around the world. In America, we donít usually put Christians to death for trying to spread our faith around the country; though dying for Christ does still happen (Columbine, for example). There are many Christians who believe that the costs of peopleís unrepentant souls are worth the risk of bringing Jesus to them. Their lives mean nothing to them if they are not spent making every effort to save souls that would have perished had they not proclaimed the Gospel to them before they died.
How many of us, including me, would not want souls saved for eternity? But, would we risk our lives to bring this about? We have to ask ourselves: Are we a Jeremiah, or are we a Jonah? Will we allow ourselves to be used of God, no matter where He sends us or what He wants us to do, to help to save the people He loves? Will we take the risks even if it means an early demise? If in our heart of hearts we would, then God will send us at His right timing. And then, maybe for the first time in our lives, we will have to one-hundred-percent rely on God to see us through and to see us successful. I want to go to Heaven so badly that I beg God at least once every day to take me home now, because this earth is a disease and God is my cure. But, like the Apostle Paul, I want to stay here until my time is through and spend every minute stealing back from Satan what rightfully belongs to God, and that is the soul of every sin-diseased man, woman, and child who lives with me on this planet.
I want to be a Jeremiah, not a Jonah. I want to help save souls and take the risks. I donít ever want to run away as Jonah did and be forced to proclaim the gospel to people. I want to do it with a servantís heart and with a shepherdís staff. I donít really need to (honestly!!!), but I want to hear those words from Christís lips, ďWell done, good and faithful servant.Ē