| Re: Praying for persecution|
I personally don't think persecution will raise the level of the church in America, but will send the fake back to the world. Be careful for the Christians you are casting down in America. I believe the ones that would last through persecution when it comes are the ones who are doing everything they can now with the freedom they have.
The fact is we need revival. The masses need to be saved. The countries were falling apart when God used men like John Wesley, Jonathon Edwards and others to bring revival. I believe God is still leading and guiding. I see hope, not fear.
| 2014/5/5 22:17||Profile|
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Praying to be persecuted is a thought nowhere found in Scripture.
| 2014/5/6 10:56||Profile|
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Meanwhile, there's 1 Tim 2:1-4:
"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
| 2014/5/6 11:26||Profile|
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It sure is a shame that God does not get what he desires.
| 2014/5/6 11:34||Profile|
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You asked us to keep you accountable. So I am.
"It sure is a shame that God does not get what he desires."
We both know what you mean by that.
| 2014/5/6 11:51||Profile|
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I want to sort of lay out a foundation for what I am going to say and then present some alternative ideas to what is floating around in this thread.
I posted the scripture early that said that all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. That's what the Bible says and it doesn't put any ifs, ands, or buts on the end of that. It is what it is. Jesus also said that we should expect to be persecuted, "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
Also, if you look at acts, you can clearly see that Peter and John rejoiced because they were counted worthy to suffer for His name.
So I want to employ a little logic here: Jesus said that we are blessed if we suffer persecution for His name. He also said that we are blessed if the other things in Matthew 5 were true about us.
Should I pray that the Lord would make me more poor in spirit? What about meekness? Should I pray for that? What about being a peacemaker or mourning? What about hungering and thirsting for righteousness or all the rest? Should I say, "Nowhere in the Bible does it say to pray for those things." A part of praying in Jesus' name is saying to the Father, "Jesus Himself said and desires this." By our sufferings we are made more like Him. Go read 1 Peter 1:3-9 and see that.
We ought to pray that everything, including persecution, that Jesus said should happen to us would be fulfilled in our lives! The tragedy is when we pray for something, yet do nothing that would warrant such a change. If you pray that God makes you a peacemaker, but you make war with other people, do you think that God will have a successful time in transforming you, especially if you won't let your mind be renewed? If I pray that God would teach me to hunger and thirst for righteousness more, yet fill up my life with wordliness, do you expect that He would do anything. Sorry brothers, but faith without works is dead.
Persecution is promised to us, and I do not believe praying for it is wrong, just as praying that God would make us hunger and thirst for righteousness more is not wrong. HOWEVER: If you do not do anything that warrants suffering for His name's sake, don't expect God to answer your prayers.
The so-called church in America is not in danger of persecution, it is endanger of becoming sucked into worldliness. If you want to see the church grow into the Head of the Church as Ephesians says and for us to be counted worthy to suffer for His name, go and do that which is worthy to warrant such honor to the Lord--preach the Gospel.
The truth is that if Jesus is our goal--to know Him--then those things which the word says would happen to us, will happen to us. When I pray for the above things, it is a confession that I am not doing as I ought--abiding in Christ. Just look at what Paul said, "that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His SUFFERING, being conformed to His death..." THAT is not some mamby-pamby, "Jesus please bless my finances" goal. It is what we were made for, to be like Him in everything, including suffering.
| 2014/5/6 14:16||Profile|
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Jesus did not ask us to pray that our brothers and sisters around the world get murdered. If so, you should be bold and pray the power of specific prayers. Ask in faith. Name names. Anybody willing to volunteer? Maybe it can be part of the next prayer conference.
Maybe while we wait for Greg to volunteer his wife to be the first person we pray to die, we should pray that God turn up the heat on our Chinese or North Korean brethren? Not enough have died lately. China has been soft on them. There's been too much tolerance and they are starting to resemble the West.
See how absurd this sounds?
In Revelation we are told that those who have actually died the death of a martyr aren't asking the Lord to allow us to be further murdered. They are actually troubled over our deaths, and pray the Lord avenge our blood.
Sermon Index is a ministry that is starting to sound spiritually dangerous and cultish. Greg, I would plead with you, get out from behind the keyboard. Stop uploading sermons. If you aren't currently working a full time job 9-5 somewhere, for your own sanity brother, go find one. Maybe even pull the plug on this site for a while. Seriously, stop praying for people to die if you are actually doing so. I cannot even begin to tell you how egregious I think this is.
| 2014/5/6 15:28||Profile|
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This isn't about death or about self-mortification.
This is about purification and the glory of God.
I do not hope that more people die or suffer, but I understand that the suffering and death are the will of the Father and that His name is glorified because of it.
Do I agree with everything on this forum about what is said in regards to persecution. No.
Is it wrong (sinful) to pray that the Lord would allow me to suffer for His sake? No. I do pray that sometimes, especially when I read in the scriptures regarding it. ESPECIALLY when I realize that the bible says that all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will endure persecution.
Do I revel in it and think more highly of myself than I ought to when it does happen? I have, but the Lord is changing my attitude from day to day. I am no special breed of Christian when persecution comes. I am just a Christian. It happens to all of us, as the Scriptures say. God forbid that I should glory in anything, except the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ...
So, I seek Jesus and, persecution or peace, I strive to know Him. I also know that what He said will happen to us, will happen to us. I am no fool. It is coming.
| 2014/5/6 15:44||Profile|
| Re: Praying for persecution|
I agree, greater persecution is coming, to what degree I do not know but it is coming. I believe the things Greg is sharing here is in an attempt to share what the LORD is showing him. We are called to live our lives daily unto the LORD. We are called to live righteous and holy lives unto the LORD so why is there so much compromise in those who profess to be HIS in this country? The Bible does tell us that those who are HIS will face persecution, that is a fact that many already live with daily because they want to live a life solely unto JESUS. If I am living my life in HIM, walking with HIM daily then the truth is someone, somewhere is going to hate me for it and may even attempt to persecute me for it. The Bible says it is so, does that mean that it will be the same kind of persecution for everyone everywhere, I don't know but I do know I want to live my life ready in HIM no matter what.
I believe the opening post is speaking to the heart and the attitudes of many who profess the name JESUS. The question that comes to my mind is, am I truly living for HIM so fully that I would willingly lay down my life for JESUS and others or am I holding on to treasures and cares of this world? Will those who profess HIS name truly hold fast until the end as other martyred saints have done? Following JESUS will cost you, if we are truly standing firm in HIM it will cost us everything...its all about the heart.
| 2014/5/6 16:07||Profile|
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I find it interesting the way the apostles and early believers prayed in the book of Acts when they were persecuted.
After Peter and John had their persecution for the incident of healing the lame man at The Beautiful Gate the believers prayed -
now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:29-31 ESV
You must often confront persecution with the supernatural power of God to verify the message you carry. Recall Elijah on Carmel .... See the prayer of the Apostles above .... if heavy persecution comes then we better be praying for the supernatural to flow and be in a place in our lives that we can demonstrate, "signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
This supernatural working of God through His followers to "confirm His word with signs following" combined with boldly declaring an uncompromised Gospel defeats persecution of the enemy .... not hiding in a rabbit holes.
Persecution does not purify the church. It causes those who merely "play church" to flee from it. It may APPEAR to purify because those who were not truly born again flee from the heat. However, persecution can not obtain purity. It is the blood of Christ that purifies and cleanses from sin ... not persecution. The power of the blood of Christ far exceeds the power of persecution.
Witness boldly, pray for and demonstrate supernatural signs, wonders, and healings by God's Hand. That is exactly how we see the apostles confronting and winning their world in the face of severe persecution.
| 2014/5/6 17:25||Profile|