Are you ready for soon-coming real persecution?
The righteous will suffer persecution. That was prophesied over and over. Though we have a great Father, He does not spare all of us having to go through very rough times.
2 Timothy 3:12-13 promises that those who live godly IN Christ WILL suffer persecution – and it’s going to get worse and worse. Christ said to rejoice when we’re persecuted for righteousness’ sake, placing us among those who were persecuted and martyred before us. Paul said he went through much persecution – but in the end “the Lord delivered me”. But even Paul ended up being beheaded.
A great start for a blog, eh? Well, take heart. This life is not what it’s all about. Paul knew that. He looked to the prize of the high calling he was offered. And please remind ME of all of that when I am the one being persecuted. But in the end, we win when our Leader Jesus Christ – Yeshua the Messiah – returns to take over control of the world.
With recent events or terrorism in Paris, I thought this was appropriate to talk about. First let’s discuss it generally: those who are not Muslim are going to be attacked over and over again – and those Muslims will in turn reap revenge strikes from the Western “Christian” world. So you and I are in the bigger target zone simply because we are not Muslim. God can deliver you from those attacks if you stay close to Him.
But are you ready for more specific persecution that is already happening in Syria and Iraq and many other countries like Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, parts of Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa?
Here’s what I mean, but even here, it’s still aimed at the broader group of believers:
** We’re seeing our own countries setting up laws that require true believers in God’s word to do things against their beliefs – or suffer severe penalties including jail time. Here are but a few of many examples:
--- Catholic groups are being forced to offer contraceptives against their beliefs
---College students are insisting on speech that only fits into the far left liberal framework. Someone who speaks up FOR Israel is called anti-Palestinian and a bigot. Jews and Christians are being spit on and mocked, or given bad grades by liberal professors.
---Already, the Bible is not allowed to be seen or shown in several college campuses. Thanks to the Freedom from Religion Foundation. This is also happening more and more in the various branches of our military.
---Bakers are being forced to bake cakes with wording on the frosting that goes against their beliefs. If you speak your beliefs about one man/one woman marriage, you are accused of “hate speech” against the ever more vocal gay community.
Ironically, the far left can say and do what they please against conservative Christians – and get away with it. Somehow hateful speech against those who believe in the Bible is not “hate speech” -- but just saying you are for traditional marriage does get you labeled and marked as a hateful person! Go figure!
At some point, every nation’s government will come under the coming world-ruling “Beast” system, spoken of by the books of Revelation and Daniel in particular. The Bill of Rights of the United States’ constitution will be a thing of the past under the Beast system. You will not be able to express your true beliefs without being severely persecuted, jailed, beheaded or killed. That’s the word of scripture as I’ll quote shortly. Everyone will be required to worship, to work, to speak in accordance to the wishes of the Beast system – or pay a severe penalty including death. That is coming. The foundation of that system was laid down long ago and we’re seeing the “superstructure” of this system now rising.
There’s a lot of discussion as to what the “Beast” is, what the “Mark of the Best” is, or what the number 666 means. Whatever it is, someday it will be clear. Some want to dogmatically preach their beliefs on these things – and that’s up to them. We’ll have to see what it pans out to be.
But there is very clear warning to us from scripture:
The whole world will accept that mark of the best and will worship the image of the Beast power of the end time…whatever all that means. When it becomes clear, you and I cannot, must not, be part of that. Those in the Creator’s Book of Life include those who will NOT take on the mark or worship the image of the Beast. If, out of fear, you accept and surrender to the Beast system, you will incur the Creator’s wrath and not be in the book of Life.
At baptism, you and I professed that we would carry our cross, follow our Savior, and drink of his cup – and whatever He has in store for us. Some of you are putting too much stock and faith into a “place of safety”. I pray and hope there is such a place where we can be assured of divine protection. But don’t forget, scripture is CLEAR that many believers are going to be beheaded and die in the coming martyrdom and persecution. Christ warned not to seek to save our life as our first priority – or we would lose it (“He who seeks to save his life shall lose it…” -- Luke 17:33)
If the very son of God was allowed such a painful death, if John the Baptist was beheaded, if James was killed with the sword, and Paul was beheaded, and many apostles were crucified or executed – what makes anyone think they won’t have to be tested as well? I know, I know about the scriptures to the Philadelphians of Revelation 3, and being spared from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world. What seems clear to me is that those who focus on establishing a strong, obedient and holy relationship with God have the better shot at being spared some or most of the coming trials. But we must be willing to carry our cross and be crucified with Christ as well – and to be faithful to him to the very end.
NOW is the time to be affirming your faith in the living God. NOW is the time to be making your relationship with your Heavenly Father be ROCK solid. NOW is the time to be spending more time in fasting, prayer, seeking after Him than ever before. HE is not lost, that we must seek him – but WE have gone astray and must return to him and seek him. Those who seek him diligently shall find him. He is pleased when we diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6),
For the promised scriptures about the coming persecution, the Beast system, the coming martyrdom and what we must do, click on “Continue reading” to the right.