“And ye shall be hated of all men for my (Jesus Christ) name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
One of my very first posts from over four years ago, Christian Persecution, was specifically written to make sure we were all well aware of one of the most prolific prophesies in the Bible, which is that those proclaiming the Words of Jesus in the Last Days would be persecuted for their beliefs. Recent events have proven to me not only the validity of those prophesies but the imminence of their occurrence. Yes, we have seen persecutions of Christians for thousands of years but it has now reached a high point in the United States, a country founded on two core principals. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Both are being viciously attacked today!
A number of years ago I bought and read a book called Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World which was written in 1583 A.D. by John Foxe. At the time it was written it was the second most widely read book in the world, second only to the Holy Bible. I mention this book, which I must warn you is not for the faint of heart, because it clearly describes the many horrible ways Christian Believers over centuries were imprisoned, tortured and put to death for their belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This is not a pamphlet! It is an almost 600 page book listing hundreds of people BY NAME AND DATE and the suffering they endured for their beliefs from the time of Jesus until the writing of the book. Did I mention It’s not pretty! In fact, did you know on October 6, 1536 William Tyndale was burned alive at the stake for the simple crime of translating the Bible into English? Where would the world be today If we did not have an English translation? He did as he was led by God to do and he paid the earthly price for it, although his just reward is waiting for him in Heaven. He and countless millions of others have been killed for doing nothing more than following and proclaiming the Word of God.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, OR PERSECUTION (capitals mine), or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
Time and time again it has been shown persecution actually has the opposite intended effect. When Rome fell, it was not overthrown by a foreign government. Rather the persecution and murder of Christian believers led many others to faith causing the Roman Empire’s ultimate demise. Just look at what is happening today in China, Iran, North Korea and other countries where Christians are being persecuted. There is an enormous increase in the number of Christians in those countries! My purpose in writing this post at this time is that as Christians, especially for those of us living in the United States, as prophesied we are now seeing unprecedented attacks on us as Christians for no other reason than the fact we believe in Jesus Christ and we try to follow His Words in the Bible AND to tell others of His Gift for all of us. While those attacks may not yet have reached the pinnacle of murder and torture seen in previous centuries (but they will!), the precursors are here today and are thriving. Think about this for a moment. The entire “cancel culture” movement has but one purpose, i.e., to silence anyone who disagrees with their view of a globalist, socialist, non-Christian society. Because we disagree with their laws and non-Biblical beliefs, they must change or eliminate our viewpoints because we are detrimental to their progressive “woke” agenda which they feel will ultimately eliminate all the wrongs currently in this world. Of course, take God out of this world and the void will only be filled with Satan and his evil lies and deceptions, which unfortunately, many will believe making the world even worse.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
2 Timothy 3:12-13
So, we are living at a time when churches are closed but strip clubs and shopping malls are left wide open. Why is that? During recent riots in many cities in the U.S., churches were spray painted with terrible graffiti; crosses were confiscated; monuments in Washington DC were painted over wherever God and prayer were mentioned; children who were still able to go to school during the COVID-19 lockdown had Lenten ashes scrubbed off their foreheads; prayer and singing were forbidden in public spaces; “In God we Trust” and “So help me God” have been minimized or attempted to be eliminated; and, look at the many murders committed in various churches and synagogues this last year (West Freeway Church of Christ, New York and New Jersey churches and synagogues, just to name a few). Many Christians, also referred to as Conservatives, have been banned from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. for their views and proclamations. Why is that? And, are you aware and comfortable with the fact, it will get much worse as the deceivers (liars) and evil people gain strength and power in this world? It will because Jesus Himself prophesied what the world would be like in the Last Days!
“And they (the Sanhedrin) called them (the apostles), and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them (the Sanhedrin), Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
Many in this world will try to silence us, even with the future sentence of death by being beheaded for not following the anti-christ’s edict of only following him and his sinful ways. But as Peter and John said when told to NOT preach about Jesus, they replied, and I paraphrase, “it’s up to you to judge me if I follow God and not you but we will continue to speak of that which God has told us to say.” THAT is what we have and are being told to do! Many will attempt to silence us and get us to follow their evil ways but we must remain loyal and committed to God. Even in very tough times where our deaths may be imminent because of our Christian beliefs, Jesus Himself gives us the assurance we are following Him and we should take the exact same stance He took:
“So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgement of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:”
2 Thessalonians 1:4-5
What would you do if a mob of evil, non-Christian people showed up at your front door and asked you, “Are you a Believer in Jesus Christ?” Knowing full well answering in the affirmative could mean an immediate assassination by being beheaded, what would you say? Would you deny Jesus or believe what He said below:
“And he (Jesus) said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glorify in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, IN PERSECUTION (capitals mine), in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
None of us are looking to sign our own death warrant but while denying Jesus may keep us alive today it assures us of eternal death in the future. Remember, Jesus is with us and we will become stronger, not weaker for our public proclamation of our faith and beliefs in Him. Even if we are killed for those beliefs, the Book of Revelation below clearly tells us what will happen to those who were beheaded for their faith in Him.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast (the anti-christ), neither his image, neither had received his mark (Mark of the Beast) upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Like most believing Christians, I sincerely pray for the soon coming Rapture of His Believers before these events take place. Of course many of those who come to know Jesus Christ DURING the Tribulation (after the Rapture) WILL experience death at the hands of the unbelieving followers of the anti-christ. Until then however, you should expect trials and persecution, the same as you should expect “…wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places.” But we are truly Blessed to know God has a Plan and as Believers, we are part of that Plan, which is to make sure we do not deny Him but rather “…comfort one another with these words.” God NEVER lies and He is not lying to us today. He wants all to know of His Promise so that they will not be lost, but will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior AND will tell others of their salvation through Grace.
May God Bless you and Comfort you as we go through these tumultuous times, knowing MUCH better times are coming soon for those who Believe in Him!