"So let us not sleep as others do, but be alert and sober." 1 Thessanolians 5:6
May 2, 2010
Acts of the Apostles 14:21-23
After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
"He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
"From six troubles He will deliver you,
Even in seven evil will not touch you.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The 5th Seal
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents--which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
Persecution of Christians at Roman Colosseum
"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. "Remember the word that I said to you, `A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. "But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. "He who hates Me hates My Father also. "If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. "But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, `THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.'
Our latest edition of 'Be Alert!' continues with the staggering increase in the persecution of Christians worldwide. What is especially noteworthy is that this persecution against Biblical Christianity is now coming from nearly all social or people groups.
There has always been persecution against believers, yet since the time of the dramatic political upheavals that occurred and transformed nations during the Protestant Reformation, it has only been the most hostile anti-Christian political regimes and Communist dictatorships that practiced open persecution. However, now with the growth of Islam and "political correctness" this anti-Christian hostility is spreading into nearly every country on earth, infiltrating every type of religion (including apostate Christianity), and being directed from the very Judicial foundations that were once erected by believers.
Increasing concurrently is an often-deadly trap we call "The Serpent and the Dragon". This is a situation where demonic deception and demonic persecution combine in the guise of the opposing forces of "good and evil" when in reality it is strategic warfare, a "cat and mouse" game Satan uses to try attack the church.
As you can surmise, this is a very ugly situation and it is increasing manifold as believers in Christ are persecuted, they turn to false teachers for help, or vice versa. The major media also play a role in this as they rarely cover Christian persecution fairly and are quick to paint believers as "kooks". Certain incidents have merit such as the article below "Godly discipline turned deadly" where Christians have gone too far. This is a perfect example of where overzealous believers and false teaching results in criminal acts, but ultimately may result in persecution for all Christians as any godly parent who chooses to discipline their child correctly may end up being included in the broad brush strokes of political correctness.
This is especially true in The United States as more and more Christians believe politics and a social gospel are the answer to the ills of society. Jesus told us to go out and make disciples of Him, not of a certain type of political belief. The reason this country was able to begin the way it did was that the majority of people were already believers (as far as we can tell), now most of the American church is can best be described as Laodicea and the remainder of the country are pagans who need to hear the true gospel of the Kingdom preached and lived out.
The answer is spreading the gospel and making disciples. This will change a nation. What is taking place now will result in more false teaching and more persecution. There are a number of articles below that suggest that the trend is the true church may face having to go underground in the near future in Western countries such as the US and Britain.
Jacob Prasch has been teaching for quite some time that the signs in the heavens speaking of the Sun not showing it's light and a blood red moon indeed have a literal interpretation, but the spiritual interpretation or midrash is that the light of Christ will grow dark from false teaching and the church which reflects it will become terribly persecuted before the great Day of the LORD.
We are indeed seeing this come to pass and my great concern is that there is still much more to come before Jesus returns.
The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
- Revelation 22:17
May the Lord bless you and keep you,