GREAT PERSECUTION will come to the church in the latter days. It’s a promise from the faithful Word of God to His people. We will have intense persecution and affliction, but do not be afraid for in Him we overcome. Does this mean we will escape it? By no means!
I have heard people say, “there’s no Christian persecution in America!” Really? Ask those brave men and women who have been bold enough to stand against sexual immorality, abortion, lukewarmness, and the list goes on. Just because they weren’t thrown in jail and beheaded, does not mean they’ve not been persecuted. Maybe you don’t know what that word means? In its definition, it includes being afflicted with words (political correctness) not just actions. “The persecution of Christians in parts of the world is at near “genocide” levels, according to a report ordered by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.The review, led by the Bishop of Truro the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, estimated that one in three people suffer from religious persecution.
Christians were the most persecuted religious group, it found.Mr Hunt said he felt that “political correctness” had played a part in the issue not being confronted.”I had someone tell me a few years ago that American Christians are not suffering persecution. To which I responded, “YOU are not suffering because you look like and live in the world”. Do what the world does and you will be accepted by the world. If you live out God’s Word and truly follow and obey Jesus, you will be an outcast. I’m not sure how that’s escaped people’s attention?
I have recently said that American Christians are not prepared to be persecuted and afflicted because they’ve been fed a false love gospel. Their definition of God is “He would never do that! He wants me to be happy and just love.” They don’t know Him, only a sewn together Humanism-Frankenstein version. So when any affliction or persecution arises for the Word’s sake; they fall away. They cannot endure the storm because the are not rooted in the truth. They will get angry with God and with you, turning on the righteous ones and devouring them. (This is happening in droves) Persecution does not change the church’s responsibility to God. I heard a preacher say, “the church has a mission and a mandate”.
We don’t stop gathering because we are being persecuted. We don’t stop preaching the Word because we are afflicted. We don’t stop laying hands on the sick, serving, giving, meeting, and much more because of persecution and affliction. There are no outside circumstances that change our mission or our mandate. None. These days will take courage, discipline and endurance. Strengthen your arms in the Lord and do not fear what man can do to you. If the NT saints were greatly persecuted, why do you think you get a pass? If they didn’t escape death, why do you think you will?
Keep silent and follow the world and you may save your life, but you will lose your soul. Scripture records that the world was not worthy of the men and women who suffered for His sake, “Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.” Hebrews 11:35-38 HCSB
Everyone wants to be a Philadelphia church, but rarely a Smyrna church. It’s the afflicted but yet faithful church. Makes sense when you realize “Smyrna” means “myrrh”. Myrrh is a fragrant and expensive perfume that’s only created after the bark of the myrrh tree is crushed. It is rare, valuable and highly costly. God sees our crushing as a rare and highly valuable fragrance. His crushing produced our freedom.
How can we escape what He did not? If they hated Him, they will hate you. “”Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna: “The First and the Last, the One who was dead and came to life, says: I know your affliction and poverty, yet you are rich. I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will have affliction for 10 days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor will never be harmed by the second death.”Revelation 2:8-11 HCSBJesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever. March on saints of God the world is not worthy of you, for your Captain is a mighty fortress!#runyourrace
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