By Elizabeth Prata
My good friend Pastor Phil Andrukaitis wrote this on Facebook this morning, with the accompanying photo-
The days are fast approaching when Christians in this country will be confronted face-to-face because of their faith in Jesus. Some saints will fearfully remain silent while other saints may fearfully proclaim the gospel in love. Either way, stand strong in the Lord. Scripture states that God will never leave or forsake those who trust in the Lord. He is our Rock and salvation.
Many faithful pastors have been reminding and warning for years that Christians everywhere, including America, will face persecution. Scripture says,
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33).
strengthening the souls of the disciples and encouraging them to continue in the faith. “We must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. (Acts 14:22).
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation. (1 Peter 4:12-13).
I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you have, that the unsaved world is blind to the glories of Christ.
They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch. (Matthew 15:14).
He does not understand the glories of Christ.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14).
But there’s not understanding and not understanding. There’s blind and there’s blind. Let me explain.
Some in the Gospels who heard the Good News went away sad, as the Rich Young Ruler did. (Matthew 19:22). Others, even disciples, simply could not accept the hard truths Jesus was teaching, and simply drifted away. (John 6:60, 66).
However, others who were confronted with the truth had a much more drastic reaction. The Bible tells us that some will react harshly. We are actually warned against approaching these kind of people with holy words or deeds-
Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:6).
The NASB says “tear you to pieces” which is apt for today’s discussion.
For example, anyone who rebuts, protests against, or refuses to bend to the homosexual agenda on the basis fo Christ is torn to pieces. Their business is ruined. Their character is assassinated. Their person or family is threatened. Their straits become dire because of the lawsuits they must defend or the job they lost, and so on.
Many Christians who who speak in the political arenas for conservative issues, or in any way positively about the current (or any Republican) President has been on the receiving end of all of the above as well.
Anti-abortion on the basis of what the Bible says? You’re torn to pieces.
Many people in these days who make a strong stand for Christ in the workplace or out, are also attacked viciously and bitterly. These kind of attacks are becoming more common in America. Social media makes it very easy to assassinate a person’s character in a moment’s time, with flash mobs inciting others getting whipped up so quickly. This is a fascinating article about that, and the subject who was fired was not even Christian:
The Scruton tapes: an anatomy of a modern hit job
How a character assassination unfolded on Twitter
By David Murray
We here in the States are not experiencing the hard persecution that our brethren do in places elsewhere. But we will. Jesus promised that we will have trouble, persecution, and anger against us. Should we escape the perils that Paul underwent? Should we be less hated even though our Savior was more hated? No.
The Hatred of the World
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin,[a] but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ (John 15:18-25).
They will hate you. They will hate me. We can be the kindest, most compassionate and personable people in the world, but holy words and holy deeds will incite them to violence. It’s only word violence now, though sadly with real and devastating consequences. But soon enough, as Pastor Phil noted above, we will suffer. It won’t be just character assassination any more, but bodily assassination.
Did you know that 16 of the 26 worshipers killed at Zion Church in Sri Lanka on Easter morning were children?
“How many of you are willing to die for Christ?” asked the teacher on Easter morning. Every one of the children dutifully raised their hands. [A few minutes later} Half the children died on the spot.
More of the story here. Had those children done anything to warrant assassination? Had they even thrown anything holy tothe dogs? No. As a matter of fact,t he suicide bomberwho detonated the bomb at Zion Church was in fact looking for the nearby Catholic church in Batticaloa but discovered on Easter morning that they had no Easter service and the church was empty. He wandered to the next available target instead, which happened to be Zion.
They were killed, just because.
I know you noticed that the politicos commenting on the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka refused even to mention those who were killed as Christians. That’s a soft persecution and one that shows their hatred even to the point of refusing to speak of the Name.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11).
They refuse to bow. They refuse to name the name. But they will bow. Every tongue will confess to God. (Romans 14:11).
But between now and then, be prepared for hatred,persecution, anger, and trouble.
“The days are fast approaching when Christians in this country will be confronted face-to-face because of their faith in Jesus. Some saints will fearfully remain silent while other saints may fearfully proclaim the gospel in love. Either way, stand strong in the Lord. Scripture states that God will never leave or forsake those who trust in the Lord. He is our Rock and salvation.”