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The Coming Persecution

Something is in the air so to speak when people are allowed to breathe the word ‘Christian’ with all things that are wrong with this world.  This is what is happening today.  The Charlottesville, Virginia event is the latest where this has occurred.  Media interviews with experts  sympathetic to Muslims and other minority peoples in the USA put the name of  ‘Christian’ and ‘White Supremacist’ together in their analysis of this tragic event.  The name of ‘Christian’ is being linked with KKK actions and fascist and Neo-Nazi ideologies associated with the rally that took place in Charlottesville.

Why aren’t our Christian leaders speaking out and complaining about this more publicly?  Christians are not being defended in these matters.  Our leaders are very quiet (hoping for the best maybe).  I’m glad that the Apostle Paul didn’t stay silent when Christians were being persecuted.   He was doing a lot to encourage believers and fight the forces who were being oppressive and tyrannical toward them.  He was writing letters and having them sent from church to church to be read.  He was travelling about visiting the churches, praying for them, and informing and helping Christians to stand in those difficult times.  He was debating with those who opposed Christianity.  He was often in the thick of the fight getting beaten up, whipped, and battered about by authorities.  He was slandered and ridiculed by wicked people inside and outside of churches.

Our leaders in North America are apparently doing nothing about the persecution Christians may be facing today.  This is something to consider and take seriously.  Why aren’t they doing something, anything and why not?  Persecution will increase and it does not go away when it is not confronted appropriately and quickly.   We need leaders to speak up for us.  If our current leaders are too afraid or they see nothing wrong with whats happening then we need to look elsewhere for proper Christian leadership.   We need to leave these churches.   They have become something other than the churches of God.  This is more and more evident as time goes by and current events take place.

 


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Righteousness vs Wickedness

In scripture the apostle Paul says that we are in a fight and that we are to win this fight as followers of Jesus.  This fight is between righteousness and wickedness. Internally within ourselves, and externally in our world.  We have to be ready to give it our all in this fight. Paul says don’t beat the air ineffectually, but understand what you are doing and how to do it.  Follow the leading of the Spirit of God in your life.

This fight is the fight of faith.  Staying faithful to God, listening to him, and obeying him.

This fight might be costly.  The Bible says we are to count the cost, put our hands to the plow, and don’t look back.  We are either for righteousness or against it. These are the two positions in our world at the present time.

The Bible says that if we fight for righteousness God will be at our right hand.  He will  teach our hands to war and our fingers to fight.  He will be our shield all around.  If we stand he will be our helper to deliver us from our enemies.

Scripture is clear.  Believers have enemies.  Those who want to destroy righteousness, kill God, and live in the lusts of their flesh.  King David says that God’s enemies are his enemies and that he hates them with a pure hatred.

What we are seeing in the USA today is dizzying  The divide that has occurred between  people who want to throw off all restraint of righteousness and people who are trying to maintain some kind of righteousness in the land.  This is not a political divide. It is not a racial divide.  It is righteousness and wickedness fighting each other within both groups of people.

As Believers we need to declare ourselves on God’s side.  Take this stance in our lives and come what may stand in it.  God will help us and show himself faithful to us.  We have this well known quote from Joshua, ‘Choose you this day who you will serve.. but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.’

 

 


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Keep What We Have and Add To It

I think what we need to do as believers today is appreciate what we have in the Lord and add to it.  Something is happening in the world in our day and I think that most people can attest to this.  Many times we do not understand what is happening.  We have ideas, or thoughts about what the problems are.  We think we have some solutions, but they may not be as effective as we think they will be if  in fact these ideas were implemented in our culture and our nations.  There is a  point where people will not do as God asks them to do.  In reading the book of Jeremiah I read where God’s people were totally rejected and forsaken and were led away to Babylon by their captors.  It was one generation (70 years) before the people began to return.  It was the children and grandchildren of those who were exiled who made the journey back to Judah and Jerusalem.  It was when they went into captivity that the people who were exiled made the decision that they were going to serve God only.  Before that time they were into all kinds of things that God had asked them not to do through his prophets and his word.

What about us?  We need to treasure what we have in God.  We can be free from sin and we need to take advantage of this grace given to us by Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  We have our needs met and we need to thank God everyday for his goodness and mercy.  We can talk to God directly and petition him.  We need to recognize what a privilege this is.  We have the ability to do what God has asked us to do through the Holy Spirit.  We need to seek the Holy Spirit in our lives and accept his conditions for us.  We’re not running our lives, He is.  If you are running yours then I think you may be in danger of going into captivity.  You may never be able to return to God.  The Bible says ‘the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom’.  Many Christians have not reached this point.  God is a teddy bear, a sugar daddy, for their wishes and excesses.  This is destruction for their soul.   God hasn’t changed his mind about sin.  The blood of Jesus does not excuse sin or cover for it forever.  We have to work at living the way God wants us to.  He provides the ability.  Any Christian who says that they do not have the power to refuse sin is in danger of being overcome by that sin.  They may  find themselves in a place they had never imagined they would be.  Just like the exiles in Jeremiah’s time.

We have teachers today who scratch our itchy ears, and tell us what we want to hear.as North American Christians.  We need to wake up and save ourselves in the midst of this ungodly generation.  ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling’, is the Bible’s admonition.

 


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I Corinthians 15:1+2

The first and second verses say, “Now I would remind you brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word that I preached to you– unless you have believed in vain”.

1. ‘by which you are being saved’
2. ‘if you hold fast to the word that I preached to you’
3. ‘unless you have believed in vain’

This scripture and many others are examples given to us in the NT and the OT confirming this idea that we are in the process of being saved, even though we have been placed into the Body of Christ. There are conditions. We must hold fast to the word. The Bible says that the Jews in the time of Jesus and Paul were in error about what they believed. They believed that as long as they confessed that they were Abraham’s children they were fine. Jesus clarified to them that their father was the devil. Their deeds were disclosing their real situation and condition.

The Bible tells the parable of the wheat and the tares being together in the kingdom of God. Growing together until the harvest. The admonition in scripture that there are wolves among the sheep, that there are wicked men who feast on the people of God. In the OT we have the picture or type of God’s people not entering into the promised land. They were rebellious, disobedient, complaining, double minded people, people who looked back and wished they could return to slavery after they had been freed at great cost. They died in the desert. It was their children who entered the promised land.

How is it that religious leaders say that we only have to confess Christ and then our salvation is secure. Our sin doesn’t matter, our behaviors don’t matter.


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Culture Assault on Christian Tradition

The West is being swept up in a cultural revolution that will change the face of Europe and North America.  Some say we will barely recognize these continents in 10 to 15 years.  Changes are occurring very fast.  Christianity is being assaulted and efforts are being made to remove this religion from peoples’ memories.  Demographics are changing in Europe to Islam followers rather than Christian.  Populations of adherents to Islam are taking over democracies in Europe because of their numbers.  Democracy favors the majority.  Our Christian leaders are not defending the faith in this culture war.  It is not being talked about in churches.  Many Christians are oblivious to what is happening right now to our nation and our religion.

Muslims are becoming more radical in their demands toward others.  Sharia law is their law of choice.  Women and minorities do not have rights under this law.  Christians and other religious peoples will be asked to convert to Islam or pay a severe penalty.  We already see this happening in Egypt and in other Muslim nations.

Freedom of speech is fast disappearing.  Protections that Christians have had in the past in the West have been removed through recent amendments and changes made to human rights laws.  We are led to believe by our officials that our rights and protections have not changed, but this is untrue.  Dramatic changes in every area of life and in our government have been taking place.  We are facing extreme uncertainty whether our nations can even continue or if we will be overcome by a sweeping movement to global governance and life as we know it today in the West will cease to exist anymore.

 

 


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The Struggle for Righteousness

The wicked will not prosper.   Righteousness reaps great rewards.  This is what the Bible says. The NT teaches that righteousness includes our behavior.   I Corinthians 6:10, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?”  If we go to the OT we see teachings about washings, cleansings, and required duties of sacrifice.  We see teachings about keeping oneself separate.  In the OT this applied to the nation of Israel. They were not to partake with or get involved with the idolatrous worship of their neighbors. They were to abide in God’s commandments as set out in the Mosaic Law.  In the NT we see teachings about keeping ourselves from being spotted by the world.  We see teachings about doing what is right and good.  We see teachings about not loving the world or the things of the world.  Teachings about turning from sin, setting aside the deeds of the old man and his nature, and taking on the new nature of Christ for ourselves.

How is it that we are being taught by Christian teachers today that these things are not necessary?  The Bible is clear that we will reap what we sow.  Proverbs is full of admonitions about the wicked and the just.  The whole theme of the Bible is wickedness and sin versus righteousness and goodness.  God is holy.  “Be ye holy”, “present your bodies as a living sacrifice”, “produce good fruit”, ” you will know the ungodly by their fruit”.  This is the advantage of pulling back from the world’s ways and making time for reading God’s word.   A clearer vision.   A better understanding of God’s ways, and an ability to know what he wants from us.

There’s a struggle on today for righteousness.   The Christian is being bombarded from every quarter saying that righteousness is not necessary, that God does not require upright behavior from us.  The Bible teachings are clear.  If you are in Christ you will do what is right.  God gives you the ability to do this through the power of the Holy Spirit.  He requires it of you.  You will not be excused for bad behavior.


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The Sufferings of Christ

The Bible declares that the believer will partake of the sufferings of Christ.  That this is in their best interests. That the believer will partake of the glory when they have also suffered like their predecessor Jesus.  Jesus has gone before us, we are to follow him.  Job declares that he knew of God, he had heard of him previously, but when Job suffered he stated he then saw God, gained understanding, and abhorred himself for his complaint against God.

Job suffered when he stood alone in his faith.  His friends contradicted him, his wife encouraged him to curse God.  Job experienced the loss of his family, his children, his friends, his possessions, his standing and respect in the community.  He stayed faithful to God, and afterward was richly rewarded by God in this life, and I am confident, in the life to come.  In the kingdom of God.  How could Job be happy with what God gave him after he had experienced such devastating losses?  God makes it possible.  Our further understanding makes it possible.  God’s work in us makes it possible.  The Bible says that with God nothing is impossible.

The New Testament says that we need to arm ourselves with this knowledge of the believer suffering.  It is happening in the world today and believers in the western nations don’t understand it.  Arm yourselves with this mind, the Bible says.  Christ suffered, and so you can expect that you will suffer as well.  Are you greater than your teacher, the Bible says?

Do we suffer in a vacuum away from God?  No, God is with us.  He makes it possible.  He provides.  It is not easy, but the suffering will end.  Paul states that if it is God’s will that you suffer for a period of time endure it like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  These are teachings that are lost to the western church doctrines in our day.  It should open our eyes as to who is a true leader of God’s people in our day and times.