Around the world, Christians are being persecuted for their faith. My grandparents went to China as missionaries. The Communists went to every house in their village and killed all foreigners, except their house. My grandfather was arrested by Mao Tse Tung, put on trial, with a gun held to his head. He was ordered to renounce his faith. Instead, he preached the gospel to thousands of Communist Chinese. They threw him into a dungeon. Meanwhile, my grandmother fled with the three children into the wilderness. My father, a very cerebral Pathologist said, bandits would ride up, slit your clothes and kill you. Out of nowhere, there was a sound of a bugle and it scared them off.
My grandfather prayed to the Lord, to take him home, or, set him free. That day "someone" came and opened the door. He thought he was going to be executed. Instead, he led him to the Hong Kong Harbor. He found his family and went to Singapore.
WE ARE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS, PERSECUTION IS GOING TO ARISE. When the church was being persecuted by Saul, Jesus said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? And he said, Who art Thou, Lord? And the Lord said, "I AM Jesus, whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks...Arise and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." Acts 9:4-6.
Jesus said, "BLESSED ARE YE, WHEN MEN SHALL REVILE YOU, AND PERSECUTE YOU, AND SHALL SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY FOR MY SAKE." Matt 5:11.
Jesus said, "BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, BLESS THEM THAT CURSE YOU, DO GOOD TO THEM THAT HATE YOU, AND PRAY FOR THEM THAT DESPITEFULLY USE YOU, AND PERSECUTE YOU." Matt 5:44.
There are Christians all over the world, that have experienced persecution. Radical Islam and radical Hindus are persecuting Christians in their own countries. But we hear them say, "Persecution only makes us stronger." Can we say that? Muslims in Iran are having dreams and visions of Jesus and are coming to Him. I just heard a testimony by a former Muslim who wrote a book, and he said millions of Muslims are coming to Christ. In Israel, there are over 180 Messianic congregations - those who claim Jesus as the Messiah. God is pouring out His Spirit in China so much, that, they do not have enough pastors. Thousands of Christians disappear every year in North Korea. God is pouring out His Spirit in Northern Europe, and in Cuba, and in South America. WE ARE APPROACHING THE END OF ALL THINGS.
Jesus said, "But he that received the seed in stony places, the same is he that heareth the Word, and anon with joy he receiveth it. Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile: FOR WHEN TRIBULATION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH BECAUSE OF THE WORD, BY AND BY HE IS OFFENDED." Matt 13:21.
The Apostle Paul said, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN AM I STRONG."2 Cor 12:10.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ, shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. FOR I AM PERSUADED THAT NEITHER DEATH NOR LIFE, NOR ANGELS, NOR PRINCIPALITIES, NOR POWERS, NOR THINGS PRESENT, NOR THINGS TO COME, NOR HEIGHT NOR DEPTH, NOR ANY OTHER CREATURE, SHALL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD, WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD." Rom 8:35-39.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Tim 3:12.
"AND I SAW UNDER THE ALTAR THE SOULS OF THEM THAT WERE MARTYRED FOR THE WORD OF GOD, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge, and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" Rev 6:9,10.
Are we ready to be persecuted for our Lord Jesus Christ?
| 2009/9/7 20:31||Profile|
| Re: PERSECUTION|
Most of us have little experience with being
persecuted because we glorify GOD'S Name,
because we hunger for the truth, because we
love righteousness more than life !!
GOD give us an understanding of the sufferings
of HIS Son!!
Martin G. Smith
| 2009/9/8 10:27||Profile|
| Re: |
IT IS COMING TO ALL CHRISTIANS.
| 2009/9/8 12:24||Profile|
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[b]Why are American Christians (in general) not experiencing persecution?[/b]
Thank you for this post, sscr01. It brings forward an important aspect of Christian life that we all should think about. Speaking for American Christians, sojourner7 states, "Most of us have little experience with being persecuted because we glorify GOD'S Name, because we hunger for the truth, because we love righteousness more than life !!". This is generally true for America, and we must ask ourselves why - Why are we not persecuted for our faith?
In response, many would stand up and praise God that here in America we are free to worship him, we are free to own as many Bibles as we need, and we are free to express and practice our faith.
Is this true? Is the absence of Christian persecution in the US due to our freedoms? Or is it really something else?
[b]Persecution is for ALL believers.[/b]
Jn 15:20-21 [color=CC3300]"Remember the words I spoke to you: No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me."[/color]
If we, as believers, consider Jesus Christ our Lord and Master, then we are not exempt. Time and circumstance cannot negate the Word. If we believe, we must suffer the same persecution, disrespect, and disobedience that our master suffered.
[b]Who persecuted Christ? And why was he persecuted?[/b]
Jesus Christ was born a Jew in a Jewish family within a Jewish nation whose social mores, traditions, and practices were defined by the predominant Jewish religion. As a youth, he was raised in the Jewish faith, and he even taught from scripture in the synagogue.
But when he had come of age, and filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus spoke boldly against the hypocrisy of the religious establishment. He preached against empty human traditions that stood in place of true obedience to God. He questioned religious authority and corrected them without fear. He was persecuted and killed by that very religion he tried to correct. He died because he was faithful to God in a depraved and unfaithful nation.
Jn 6:38 [color=CC3300]"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me."[/color]
Jn 1:11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Mt 23:27-28 [color=CC3300]Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead mens bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."[/color]
Mk 3:6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Jesus gave his life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. But his life and his death was meant also as a model for us to follow.
Lk 6:40 [color=CC3300]"A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher."[/color]
[b]Persecution comes to all who are faithful to God.[/b]
Christ was persecuted because he was faithful to God. He could not abide the hypocrisy of his own religion; He could not be silent when his Father's "house" was turned into a marketplace; He could not be still as his own people, the chosen people of God, were being led into hell by a corrupt religious leadership.
Persecution abounds wherever there are believers who would stand up and denounce those that oppose the will of our Father in heaven. We hear many tales of faithful Christians in South America, in Central Asia, in the Middle East, in Africa, in China, and in many other nations. People are suffering and dying even today for their faith in God, and for their love of God and their fellow men.
[b]The American situation[/b]
In the USA, we have basically the same situation as that of Christ in his day:
We have churches that no longer exist to glorify God, but to glorify themselves. They focus on buildings, budgets, choirs, church facilities, social events, child care services, gardens, decor and everything else for their own comfort and convenience, but pay only lip service to the gospel of Christ.
We have church leaders who are revered, not for their obedience to the Spirit of God, but by their titles, their diplomas, and their certificates, who are conceited and proud, boastful of their abilities to decipher Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew, but inwardly unmindful of God's teachings.
We have many "believers" who are active in various ministries, endeavors, and enterprises that claim God as their inspiration, but seeking only to acquire wealth and fame for themselves.
We have denominations that oppose each other, vigorously defending their own precious doctrines, proudly proclaiming their superiority, while largely ignoring the unity of the Spirit and the lordship of Christ.
Hypocrisy runs rampant in US churches, but who has stood up to denounce it? Sadly, very few have. And most who do have taken a less antagonistic stand than Christ did. Today, under the cloak of "Christian meekness and love", many are willing to speak for obedience to Christ, without rebuking the disobedient; many teach repentance from sin without accusing anyone of sin; many preach the importance of rebirth, and then embrace an easier, more accessible modern definition of it that is no longer from scripture; many offer salvation, grace, forgiveness of sin, and promised blessings without mentioning the need to take up the cross of Christ daily.
We seek comfort for all, we strive to avoid conflict and hurt feelings, we endeavor to be kind and diplomatic, and in the process, we emasculate and dilute the very gospel of God. In our loving concern for many things, we have lost our concern for God.
The words of the Lord Jesus in Jn 15:20-21 are clear and unambiguous.
[b]PERSECUTION IS FOR ALL WHO HAVE FAITH IN CHRIST.[/b]
The absence of persecution in the US is not because of our freedoms. It is because of our failures. Christ has set the example and we have not followed him.
[b]WE ARE NOT PERSECUTED BECAUSE WE ARE NOT FAITHFUL.[/b]
In Christ's Love,
| 2009/9/8 17:14||Profile|
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The absence of persecution in the US is not because of our freedoms. It is because of our failures. Christ has set the example and we have not followed him. WE ARE NOT PERSECUTED BECAUSE WE ARE NOT FAITHFUL. In Christ's Love, Leo
Hmmm! Perhaps you are right. In thinking about this, I wonder how we define persecution. In America we have laws and a civil justice system that prevent, to one degree or another, the levels of physical persecution such as beatings, murders, etc. Using that definition maybe we are protected from persecution because of living in America. But persecution is not only being harmed physically. In my own experience I have been pulled aside and thoroughly bawled out by people who name the name of Christ simply because I stood as an example in an area of my life that convicted them. Funny, I never preached to them, but the simple act of living it in front of them brought forth anger toward my wife and I.
I do agree that there is a Baskin Robbins mentality toward the things of God that pervades the modern American church world. People want to pick the flavor of Christianity that most suits their taste. As a result there is no real consecration and commitment to Christ among a large percentage of those who name Christ. We look like the world, act like the world, follow hard after the things of the world, and as a result suffer little or no persecution.
I guess it boils down to the fact that those who live Godly in Christ Jesus WILL suffer persecution. Smith Wigglesworth once said something to the effect that if a man is not worth Satan tempting then that man is probably not doing anything worthwhile for the Lord. Perhaps we could say something similar about persecution. If you are never persecuted, what does that say about you?
| 2009/9/8 18:09||Profile|
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Rev 13:11 refers to the Last Beast Kingdom:
1. "...out of the earth," in contrast to the first Beast, which arose out of a populated place. Rev 17:15.
2. "...two horns" - religious and civil liberty.
3. "...two horns like a Lamb" - a young Christian nation.
4. "...he spake as a Dragon" - "The Greatest Superpower the world has ever known."- USA. Just as Ronald Reagan worked with the Pope, to bring down communism in eastern Europe, it will happen again.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "Now this I say, that everyone of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas (Peter); and I of Christ.
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" 1 Cor 12,13.
God calls the denominational system, "The Mother of harlots" in Rev 17. Why? Because she has traded much of the Word of God for her traditions. When we side with tradition, we are siding with Satan, who said, "Yea, hath God said...?" Gen 3:1. The church is in apostasy.
"And I heard another Voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins ("the transgression of the law"- 1 John 3:4) and that ye receive not of HER PLAGUES. (Interesting)
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities." (lawlessness) Rev 18:4,5.
How do we "Come out?" By imitating the Bereans: "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11. Our allegiance should be to God's Word, alone.
When what is taught in my church doesn't line up with Scripture, I speak up...some like it, others prefer their traditions.
"But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers, only, deceiving yourselves." Ja 1:22.
| 2009/9/8 18:58||Profile|
| Re: PERSECUTION|
I have a question for you: You said "God is pouring out His Spirit in Northern Europe". Mind sharing some details about this? This is the opposite of my impression of northern Europe.
| 2009/9/8 19:29||Profile|
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Well, Islam is taking over in Great Britain...but, God is pouring out His Spirit in Northern Europe in Iceland and in Ireland and in Wales...I heard it on CBN.
| 2009/9/8 19:47||Profile|