Ominous clouds are rolling in and the sky is growing dark. The poisonous fog of sin and evil is filling up the earth, searching to choke out the light. The air is electrically charged causing the hair on our necks to stand up as the entire earth anticipates something “big” about to happen.
It is no secret that our culture is becoming increasingly hostile towards true Christianity.
True Christianity being the group of believers who refuse to join themselves to the world; believers who stand strong in the Word of God; believers who won’t compromise their beliefs and who won’t back down.
Read the news and look at the laws being passed. True Christianity is a threat to the world system and the world wants to stamp it out.
A storm is coming – a storm of persecution.
Persecution is nothing new to the church. The church was born of persecution and it spread like wildfire during a time when it’s members were being burned alive and impaled on stakes. Persecution is for the most part however, new to America. Since our nations birth we have enjoyed the luxury of a freedom of religion – the right to believe and worship however we please. That is changing before our eyes. It won’t be long before uttering the name of Jesus Christ will be classified as a hate crime (Dare I say punishable by death?)
Historically the church has seen it’s largest growth under persecution. Conversely, during times of peace the church has grown stale and lazy. It’s clear that the American church has grown fat in it’s gluttony and become drunk on the lies of a false peace. I’m afraid that most of the American church will be caught off guard when real persecution sets in. I want to give you three reasons why you should not fear the coming hardships, but embrace it.
- Persecution builds unity
Shared experiences bring people together. Persecution is a shared experience that solidifies our faith. When the church is persecuted we develop and strengthen close bonds. Instead of seeing each other as friends and neighbors, we begin to view each other as brothers and sisters. This translates into greater love for one another as the church members look out for and take care of each other. We are a family – Christ brought us together to be one body. Three strands of rope are stronger than one. During persecution times will certainly be tough but it forces us to rely on each other for support and encouragement. United we are stronger than we ever could be alone.
- Persecution grows deep roots in Christ
If you see a tree in the desert you know that it has deep roots. Likewise when a Christian is in the midst of great persecution, they are planted in hostile and barren soil. The only way to survive is by growing deep roots into the living water of Christ. Without anchoring your roots in the water of Christ, you will either be ripped out of the ground or whither and die. The world may even chop you down, but if your roots are in Christ, He will raise you up again.
- Persecution draws our focus to the Eternal
The world persecutes us because it hates the truth, but the truth will prevail! The world may be able to smother us for a time but eventually the truth will burst forth and overtake the world. We can endure persecution because we know that it will only last for a short time. Our King is coming and He will make all things right. Every over-comer will spend eternity with God in glory and that reward far outweighs any current temporary sufferings.
Don’t be afraid of what is to come, but be certain persecution is coming!
“Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”
When it hits, where will you stand? Will you stand strong on the Word of God or silent in fear?
Go, my brothers and sisters, and be light in a dark world. Time is short, be witnesses to the truth even if it gets you beaten, thrown in prison or killed. Be strong in His word knowing that one day the truth will prevail and all things will be made right.