The End Time Sign of Persecution... And It’s Increasing

08/16/2014 15:31

The sickening drama taking place in the Middle East with ISIS purging Christianity from the land easily demonstrates end time persecution.

Western Christianity has no idea, no concept, and absolutely no grid for comprehending this. But Christian persecution has history, and lots of history.

 

The Bible clearly shows that persecution is a big part of successful Christian life.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. John 15:18

 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, Matthew 5:44

But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,  1 Peter 3:14

Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake.  Luke 6:22

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Mathew 5:10

There’s a reserved blessing for those who suffer persecution. It sustains the persecuted Christian through the process.

 

In 1527, Michael Sattler was not only persecuted, but tortured to death by being burned alive at the stake. Fellow Christians asked him to lift a finger if God’s grace were sufficient. Through the flames they saw not one, but two fingers—His grace was more than enough.

 

Paul, who himself was well acquainted with persecution, first as a persecutor, then as the persecuted, nails a powerful message here:

 

 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So then death is working in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:8-12

Get this part, “always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” Paul found the mystery of revealing Christ.

And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. Acts 5:40-42

These persecuted ones saw, but had deeply implanted in their hearts, that on the other side of their obedience people would believe their testimony; either by words or demonstration of God’s power or grace, whatever He chose. All they had to do was be obedient.

 

That’s powerful Christianity. That’s laying your life down for obedience. That is bearing about the body of Jesus Christ.

 

When we do it for Jesus, His glory comes to sustain us.

 

 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 1 Peter 4:14

 

Persecution in America and other western countries? It’s coming.


The best thing that can happen to the church in America is for it to lose its IRS tax-free status. Maybe then pastors will speak up and boldly identify and declare righteousness. Maybe churches should consider voluntarily yielding that up. As it is now, haters of Christianity are using this “privilege” to restrain the church’s voice. Never more than now, has freedom of speech been needed to prophesy righteousness.

 

Persecution of Christians will increase as a sign of the end times.

 

PD

 

Related:

Image Credit: http://mrg.bz/RYpfv7

 

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