Someone sent me an email asking for my opinion. In the email it was reminding us of coming persecution, and wondering why the church is either unaware, or refusing to acknowledge it. This is a reality we must become mentally and spiritually prepared for. The persecution will indeed become intense and persistent. As the email states:
I would love to hope for the best, but in reality I am getting mentally and spiritually prepared for the worst…Time is truly short and remember this “At the moment of decision, will our Spiritual Man or our Physical Man, be the stronger”? In a moment of urgency, fear and decision, when instinct kicks in….It is the “Stronger Man” within us that will come out and prevail. (If Peter who walked with the Lord denied Him three times, where does that leave us?)
We are seconds away from Midnight, do we continually keep Oil in our Lamps as we eagerly await the Groom, let’s not panic at the stroke of midnight and be found Spiritually empty.
In The Lords Service,
Also linked was an excellent article entitled, “ISIS, Jade Helm, Guillotines and the Ultimate Fate of Many Christians.”
Now, it is no secret that I hold to a “Pre-trib Rapture,” but I fully recognize that the Church will indeed experience persecution. Fortunately, our Salvation is not based on our view of the rapture, nor whether we speak in tongues or whether we drink beer (which I have no problem with, although I do not drink it, myself). The rapture, whenever it occurs (or even whether it will occur) will not change that. But, throughout history, horrendous persecution of the faithful has taken place. We have been spoiled in our nation (the United States), or at least given a reprieve.
The reality is that the persecution of Christians began with Jesus, himself, and through the first century of the Christian era, and it continues to our modern time. The first Christians were persecuted for their faith by both Jews (which serves as the roots of our faith), and the Roman Empire which controlled most of the land the early Christians journeyed. Until finally, in the fourth century, Christianity was legalized by the “Edict of Milan, and it eventually became the State church of the Roman Empire.
Christian missionaries, as well as the people that they converted to Christianity, have been persecuted anywhere they went, many times to the point of being martyred for their faith! So there is nothing new about it. Solomon was correct is saying, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
There is also a long history of individual Christian denominations suffering persecution from other Christians under the charge of heresy, particularly during the 16th century Protestant Reformation as well as throughout the Middle Ages when various Christian groups were deemed heretical and subsequently persecuted by the Papacy.
In the United States, where we have historically celebrated the freedom of religion, experience persecution during the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries! Supposed Christians, have persecuted other supposed Christian groups, charging then with heresy and false doctrines! On top of that, atheistic states like the USSR, North Korea South Vietnam and China have sought out and killed Christians. Even during the Second World War members of many Christian churches were persecuted in Germany for resisting the Nazi ideology! Hitler wanted to destroy the influence of Christian churches within the Third Reich, because in his mind it was absurdity and nonsense founded on Jewish lies. Many do not know this, but documents were uncovered explaining his plans to do this after the war, because, “they suited his immediate political purposes.”
Do some of your own research on the: Persecution of Christians in the New Testament, Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, Great Fire of Rome, One of the first documented Roman Empire-wide persecution took place under Maximinus Thrax, Investigate the Zoroastrian persecution. Shapur II ordered the massacre of all Christians in the Persian Sassanid Empire. Oh, and then the persecutions of Christians under the Islamic Caliphates.
Even I did not know this, but in AD 516, in Yemen, some big shot named, Joseph Dhu Nuwas or “Yousef Asa’ar”, who was a Jewish warlord and murdered Christians who refused to renounce Christianity. In 2009, there was a documentary that aired on the BBC, that defended the claim that the villagers had been offered the choice between conversion to Judaism or death and that 20,000 Christians were massacred! The production team showed the great pride Asa’ar expressed after killing more than 22,000 Christians who reported in excruciating detail the massacres he had inflicted on all Christians who refused to convert to Judaism.
In more recent times, the Christian missionary organization Open Doors estimates that 100 million Christians face persecution! Particularly in Muslim-dominated countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. According to the International Society for Human Rights, up to 80% of acts of persecution are directed at people of the Christian faith.
My point in sharing all this is that The Church is not new to persecution. It is in our DNA, the reality of who we are. Jesus promised that we would face hatred and persecution!
Here is news that may shock some of you: we are entering a time of severe persecution. Possibly greater than the Church has ever know! It will continue to grow and the hatred of the Truth, will increase. If nothing else, it will purge the ranks to those whose faith is sincere from those who hang around for convenience or curiosity’s sake.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)