Are You Ready To Be Persecuted?

As we study ancient history we learn that every nation had many pagan gods. There was a god for most everything. The Greeks had 22 gods. For example, there was the god of love and beauty, god of music, god of war, god protector of women and others.

God chose Abraham and the nation of Israel to tell the world that there was only one God. Psalm 83:18 “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, are the most high over all the earth.” (KJV) There are many religions today that still have different gods than the Judeo/Christian God.

History tells us pagan religions had temple prostitutes and rules and regulations that allowed individuals to live most anyway they would like under the control of the governing body. The Judeo/Christian God was man’s creator and had authority over man and woman. As man’s authority He set standards and laws for man to live by. We have a number of people who reject God’s authority and want the government to have authority over man. This would allow man to live without guilt and opposition. There would be no problem with abortions, same sex marriages and anything they wanted to do the judicial system would approve it.

They do not want to hear what the Bible teaches because it restricts their carnal nature, lusts and desires. In order for government to take control they have to do away with the Bible and God’s authority. The early church’s accepting the gospel understood that Jewish and Roman leader’s belief that they, the ruling government, had ultimate control over everyone was wrong. Christ taught that God gave to each person individual rights and freedom. In an ancient world with one-third of the population slaves, Christian teaching and moral restrictions did not go over well. Christians were persecuted to the point of death because of their belief.

For those who wish to make the government control everyone and everything, they must do away with Jews and Christians who stand in their way. This group wants a one-world government with them in control. So how do they eliminate the Christians and Jewish opposition? They do as they did in the early church, they persecute them. Matthew 13:21 – “But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.” It won’t take much persecution for many Christians to fall away. Remember what the apostle Paul did before He met Christ. He was going from house to house putting Christians in jail and some were being killed.

You have a group of world leaders who are just as zealous as Paul when it comes to rejecting the authority of God and His Word. Read chapter 16 of Revelation. In the end times, God created all kinds of natural disasters. It states that the people cursed God because of the disasters and refused to repent and honor God. We will have leaders with hearts as hard as the Egyptian Pharaoh when he was dealing with Moses and the Israelites. Evil will control the world with little opposition.

The Bible tells us there have always been times when Christians are persecuted. My question is: will you be one who will easily fall away or are you mature enough to accept any consequence even if it means death? It probably depends on your faith, your trust in God and His promises. Don’t wait too long to prepare!

We all know being tempted is not a sin. It is only if we yield to the temptation. We must realize that Satan’s forces are aggressive and he has a huge army whose goal is to destroy the church. Satan is continually trying to defeat us. We can only assume victory if we are knowledgeable of God’s word and His promises. Without faith and the Holy Spirit our flesh is weak and is capable of giving in. Without the supernatural power we receive from the Spirit within us it is easy to become defeated. Paul tells us in Matthew 16:18 – “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” If we have the faith none of Satan’s powers are capable of overcoming our beliefs and conquering our will to stand with Christ.

Our church, Central Christian, on the weekend of 9/11 & 12 had over 30,800 in attendance. I wonder what the attendance will be when the beginning of persecution of Christians starts. I hope everyone will be prepared and none lost.

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