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 Does the church in America need persecution to have the unity of the Spirit?

Dear saints:

Does the church in America need persecution to have the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace?

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3).

Maybe this is too general of a question, but I hope this will be a start to an edifying discussion as to what the Lord requires of His people in America. Is persecution the answer? Has it produced fruit in the past and present state of the church?

Also, I realized that the church is described mainly in a local expression in the letters of the New Testament, but whether the church is found in a city of California or New York her testimony should be the same: she is to be found abiding in her Master and the Christ in her.

"For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth" (1 Cor. 3: 3-6).


 2013/10/31 15:06

Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132

 Re: Does the church in America need persecution to have the unity of the Spirit?

Everyone's probably going to say yes to your question...but I hope before anyone answers this question that they take a good look at the conditions of the church and the landscape of society they were in when this admonition was written. It would appear that even during persecution Paul had to encourage them to "make every effort"...unity will always take personal effort. No matter what the social conditions or times are.


 2013/10/31 15:29Profile

Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 530
America's Heartand


Dear saints:

Does the church in America need persecution to have the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace?

No. The churches in Revelation and most of the New Testament writings were under severe persecution at times and yet they were dealing with strife, divisions, discords, and turmoil.

Persecution is not stronger than the blood of Christ. Persecution can not accomplish something that the blood of Jesus Christ does not.

What persecution WILL do is remove those from believers fellowships that are not genuinely born again children of God. It will cause many to reevaluate their values, beliefs, and true heart. Those who are not true followers of Christ will not stay for the persecution faith in Him brings. In that sense it might produce a "unity" by removing those who do not truly believe. However, it will not produce among real believers a unity that Christ's blood and sacrifice did not.

 2013/10/31 15:37Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 Re: Does the church in America need persecution to have the unity of the Spirit?

Does the church in America need persecution to have the unity of the Spirit?

It would no doubt help in seperating the Sheep from the goats. It would also help to force the fence riders to take sides, It would help us to abandon what ever confidence we might still have in the flesh.

But it is not something that I seek, though when it comes we have a Comforter to walk us through.

having young children : I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

 2013/10/31 16:08Profile


Thank you for your replies saints.

I first heard about the persecuted underground church in China from Denny's sermons and articles in the Remnant magazine back in 2003 and from reading books like the Heavenly Man. I was so taken over and driven by the Holy Spirit in regard to His work in China that I tried to find away to go to China. I came in contact with some of the saints (i.e., Paul Hattaway, etc.) who are apart of the Holy Spirit's working in China. It is hard to express all of what the Holy Spirit did to me during this time with Him regarding Christ's bride in China. I suffered a lot from those times and some thought I was crazy for my passion for my beloved brothers and sisters in China.

Today I am alone and gather with a few saints locally. I am seeking the Lord to do a work in me right where I am. To work in my heart, my Jerusalem, my home, city and town. I am waiting on Him and He is faithful even when I am faithless.

I too have thought and mediated on the churches in Revelation, the early church and the Anabaptist and their response to persecution. All of these things are above my understanding.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He desires all men to repent and be saved. He also is conforming His children into His image daily.

May we encourage one another to look to Him alone.

"But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3).

"Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies" (1 Cor. 8:1).

"And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing" (1 Cor. 13:3).

"But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13).

 2013/10/31 17:53


No! If the love of God shed abroad in our hearts and the Holy Spirit can't accomplish it then persecution certainly won't.

 2013/10/31 20:54

Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1714

 Re: Does the church in America need persecution to have the unity of the Spirit?

I seriously believe Persecution and Godliness does not have any relation. Scripture says anyone who wants to lead a Godly life will suffer persecution. But the converse is not true. Sadly I do not find believers to have this wisdom. Like another poster has put here, in revelation Jesus talks about a Church Pergamum that was in persecution but was not pleasing to him. There was someone leading the believers to committing sexual sin in the Church. That is why I do not believe it is wise to write principals based on a Church just because it is undergoing persecution. We can always spread the news about persecution faced by other Churches, so that believers will pray for them (like the ministry of Voice of Martyrs).

Also regarding US, I always believed US has a different kind of persecution. A persecution of having things in abundance. An average earning family in US lives a way better life style than a similar family in countries like India. So because of this Americans have gone to a stage where they do not need God, since they have everything in plenty. Persecution is anything that forces you to turn away from God, either the abundance of wealth or lack of it.


 2013/11/1 0:24Profile

 Re: Does the church in America need persecution to have the unity of the Spirit?

To my shame I have not fully realized this statement:

""You, pray for us? We pray for you … because South Korean and American churches believe challenges in the Christian faith are solved by money, freedom, and politics. It’s only when all you have is God do you realize God is all you need" (North Korean Christians Pray for 'Free' Christians to 'Realize God is All You Need,' by Angela Lu, WORLD News Service).

This is one of the reasons that I have often wondered if persecution would bring me more into a steadfast desperate state of knowing that without Jesus I can do nothing. Not solely intellectually, but written on my heart by God the Father.

Even though Paul was persecuted he still preached discipline: "But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." He also said when: "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

I remember Paul's testimony when he said:

"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:11-13).

Leonard Ravenhill said: "The hindrance in America is... God's problem in America is an unsanctified church, it is carnal, worldly, fleshly and it is not severed. Paul said that the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."

Is this my/your testimony? Is your life known and read by men that: "the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world?"

 2013/11/6 13:43

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