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 The Coming Great Persecution by brother Greg

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other" (Matthew 24:9-10)

Our Lord spoke these sobering words to us in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 24 . Something in us does not want to accept the idea that in the end times all nations will hate and persecute Christians. This seems like a non-reality to us and something that could never happen because we live in such religiously tolerant countries such as Canada, United Kingdom and America. We would like to edit our Lord's words and abbreviate them with a softer less harsh reality. But this will not change the truth our Lord said would happen. We live in cultures that shun away from pain of any kind, there are pills and remedies for even the slightest discomfort in our bodies. In such an environment persecution and suffering in our bodies for the faith of Jesus Christ seems even more absurd. There is not only a confusion over these things but there is a danger of complacency and comfort that will have us unprepared for the time that will come upon us.

I recently watched a short documentary on the sad events of the 2004 boxing day Tsunami that hit Indonesia that caused almost a quarter of a million deaths. The video showed the Tsunami spreading to different regions and hitting the shores of heavily populated areas. What struck me with the complacency of the people in the different areas, even the amusement of it all. At one beach they see a white crescent on the distant horizon spreading across the entire large bay. People watch memorized as this white crescent comes nearer and nearer. When the save swallows up 2 ships in the bay some of the watchers realize the magnitude of the event that is about to strike but for most it is too late. In another shoreline people smile and laugh in amusement as the entire bay is emptied of water and ships are beached. It begins a spectacle that is full of fun and amusement as people take pictures and as the water comes back in their consider it something fun to watch. Yet when the wave came into that shoreline so many were caught unawares and their running was in vain, multitudes are screaming as they are swallowed in the waves and dragged back out to sea never to return.

I was watched the video a sobriety came over me not just over the deaths of so many people but of what is about to come upon the world of Christians and some of us not being aware of the times are living in. Many of us do not believe this could be the end of times we are living in. Just as the Tsunami came without warning and even came with a delusion or spectacle, so the coming of the end times persecution will come upon many Christians unawares. I am not arguing for any type of position of the rapture of the church if it either pre or post in this short article. Yet I believe firmly that we will all feel like we are in the great tribulation when this end time persecution wave hits the church. The birth pains will become worse and worse and many of those that have believed in a pre-tribulational rapture that would have them escape from all suffering will be 100% unprepared for what is going to come upon them.

Persecution of Christians has not diminished but world wide has been increasing yearly. More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined. Most of the apostles (Philip, Matthew, Mark, Peter, Paul ...) were martyred. Many were martyred in the Middle Ages (Huss, Jerome, Joan of Arc ...). Between 1540 and 1570 some one million Protestants were publicly put to death in various countries in Europe. Overall, some 50 million were martyred by the Roman Catholic Inquisition for 'heresy' between 606 AD and the middle of the 19th century. Protestant reformers (More, Tyndale, Latimer, Cranmer ...) were martyred. Some 20 million were martyred during the 70 years of Russian atheism and communism. And some theologian just over 100 years ago in a land were persecution does not exist promoted a theology that the end times church will not suffer and be taken away before all these things happen. This is not only a sad mistake in dispensational theology it is resulting in many Christians in our day to not be aware of the coming persecution.

The Apostle John said to the church in his day that they should not be surpassed if the world hated them (1 John 3:13). Our Lord Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke that all men will hate us not just nations (Luke 21:17). But also gives us the comfort in these words: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." (John 15:18). May we prepare in our minds to suffer for the Name of Christ in our bodies (1 Peter 4:1). May we be aware of the times and seasons that are coming upon us.

I offer a few practical suggestions: One to start with is to read the lives of martyrs in the Christian faith from such as the great book "Foxes Book of Matyrs." Develop a theology of suffering from the Scriptures and don't allow small inconveniences and pains to disturb you. Study the Scriptures towards the theme of martyrdom especially in the book of revelation. May we also be bold to stand for the Name of Jesus Christ and therefore not be ashamed before Him before others (2 Timothy 3:12).







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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/4/29 0:44Profile
ET101
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Joined: 2010/10/26
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 Re: The Coming Great Persecution by Greg Gordon

Fox's Book of Martyrs in multiple ebook formats at Project Gutenberg:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22400

 2012/4/29 3:56Profile
hmmhmm
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 Re: The Coming Great Persecution by Greg Gordon

very good reminder brother Greg, and in these times the enemy try take our focus of the main things and we have so much that occupy our time and minds and so much impressions from the world and media we need to be sober and watchful.

For those that would like to further study martyrdom and the theology of suffering that is largely neglected and forgotten in our days "selfhelp improvement" christianity there is a tremendous testimony of 1700 years of martyrdom found here online for free http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/download.htm

the book is called the martyrs mirror and you will not be the same if you manage to go through it. Its quite enormous!

and to think that the last 100 years more people has been martyred then all those in the book combined and those not recorded other places then in Gods book... its quite staggering.

the things that are already here and what is coming will shake us, let us be prepared!


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CHRISTIAN

 2012/4/29 4:07Profile
brothagary
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Joined: 2011/10/23
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 Re:

exelent word greg,,,may we be spared sever torcher ,if be it we may die ,,,may gods grace mutiply in our regernarte hearts ,,,,,,,revive your chruch befor the end lord ,,,,,more of your spirit lord

 2012/4/29 4:27Profile









 Re: The message to us.

I would commend the book Martyrs Mirror. It is a tough read but edifying. The book covers the persecution of believers from the first century up until the time the book was written. Probably around the 16th century.

This book focusses upon the history of those Anabapist who held to faith in Christ and their belief in believers baptism. Often times sisters who believed in such would be bound together and thrown into the river as a sign of mockery to their belief.

A historical fact must be pointed out. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church was persecuting the Anabaptist. But also the Reformed church at this time, those who were Protestant in their beliefs, also persecuted the Anabatist. Many Anabatist were pit to death at the hands of the Calvinistic Reformers of their day.

I know some of you are going to howl over this. But these accounts are documented. The Anabatist had very few friends among the Protestants. So to the Anabaptist, the Catholics and the Protestants were their enemies.

The implication to us in this day is sobering. Seeing that persecution is coming to America one is mindful of the words of Jesus. The Savior tells us that a man's enemies will be the members of his own household. In this case the spiritual household. I fully expect that persecution of the American remnant will be at the hands of American evangelicals.

Posted by Bearmaster.

 2012/4/29 8:35









 Re:

Greg the advice you give here is right on and should not be overlooked

Quote "I offer a few practical suggestions: One to start with is to read the lives of martyrs in the Christian faith from such as the great book "Foxes Book of Matyrs." Develop a theology of suffering from the Scriptures and don't allow small inconveniences and pains to disturb you. Study the Scriptures towards the theme of martyrdom especially in the book of revelation. May we also be bold to stand for the Name of Jesus Christ and therefore not be ashamed before Him before others (2 Timothy 3:12)." Close quote.

Also Bearmaster I have read Martrys Mirror and I agree every christian should read it as well as other persecution literature.

 2012/4/29 8:50
rbanks
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Joined: 2008/6/19
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 Re:

Quote
I offer a few practical suggestions: One to start with is to read the lives of martyrs in the Christian faith from such as the great book "Foxes Book of Matyrs." Develop a theology of suffering from the Scriptures and don't allow small inconveniences and pains to disturb you. Study the Scriptures towards the theme of martyrdom especially in the book of revelation. May we also be bold to stand for the Name of Jesus Christ and therefore not be ashamed before Him before others (2 Timothy 3:12).
-quote


Thanks for your message brother Greg!

We do need to be more prepare and something else to add to this would be to seek God with all your heart and be filled with the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand without the Holy Spirit Jesus gave to the church. I have read "Foxes Book of Matyrs" a while back and I remember one being burned on a stake and as the flames were reaching him and the pain was increasing he began to cry out to God to help him endure and God baptized him with the Holy Ghost. It was such an awesome feeling of love and power that he began to clap his hands rejoicing while his fingers were falling off. Oh how good God is to his people who truly depend on Him totally.

Blessings…from brother rbanks

 2012/4/29 8:59Profile









 Re:

Even on SI are some good messages that real with martyrdom. Art Katz message on Invisible Cloud of Witnesses is one. Moderator HmmHmm put together a thread of messages that touches upon this subject. Good to listen to.

Bearmaster.

 2012/4/29 9:14









 Re: The Coming Great Persecution by Greg Gordon


Bless GOD that we do have the time to count the cost. We don't know how much time, but other countries have gotten surprise attacks without warning.
We have this time to pray and be ready and willing with a deeply planted resolve to never recant and Trust Him to get us through - faithful unto the end. The great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.

Thank you all!

 2012/4/29 9:30
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 Re:


Thank you for your comments, additions and encouragements. May God see fit to make us a people willing to suffer and as my suggestions and advice that we should daily take opportunities to suffer in preparation for much great suffering. But in the end it is soley the love of Jesus Christ in our hearts and His grace that will enable us to overcome under such intense suffering. The grace will be given as a gift. Also even our words will be given by His grace in the time of our testing as we rely on the Holy Spirit:

“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (Luke 12:11-12).


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/4/29 12:39Profile





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