In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Timothy 3 v12

Persecution and the believer

The later epistles and the Revelation seem to be given to prepare the Church for persecution.   Revelation does not appear to confirm the popular prophecies of major revival coming to our nations and making them godly and decent.  

One hears Christians quote the Bible (Prov 16:7) to say "When a man's ways please The LORD, he makes even the man's enemies be at peace with him." Such denial of persecution is deeply insulting to those around the world who are suffering now - beyond the point of shedding blood. For many brothers and sisters, the Tribulation is already under way.

Consider what our brothers and sisters are suffering for their faith at the hands of ISIS.

The author believes that the revival that we need is in our own lives and our churches in order to be able to stand and shine under the persecution we will experience in an increasingly godless world.   There is no reason to believe we can or should pray away the events that are to be.   Revelation 13 v10 says,

"If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. "

The Messianic Jews in Israel are undergoing persecution somewhat like the first Jewish believers did, as recounted in Acts.

 

Persecution of Christians today

Many Christians around the world are dying for their faith now!

Figures from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) researchers estimated that around one million Christians were martyred in the first 10 years of the 21st Century, leading to an average of around 100,000 a year. www.worldwatchmonitor.org

Some die in countries driven by humanistic authoritarian rulers - like North Korea, but most are dying under the sword of Islam , ISIS and the creed of Jihad.

asgraphic.org/videos carried a video showing the execution of Syrian soldiers. This video made no concessions to our sensibilities and was very disturbing. It is no longer available.

Try this - http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=93a_1387677740

The site is in Spanish . The text translated as

Killed, although this term is totally inadequate to describe what is in fact genocide.  And the dramatic and tragic fate of the Syrian soldiers who were guarding the Kindi hospital in Aleppo. 

An islamist suicide bomber blew himself up in the hospital; after that, some of the soldiers who were identified as being Christian, were taken prisoner by the so called ‘Free Syria Army’ and some fanatics belonging to Al-Nusra came forward and killed them by putting a pistol to their heads.

The video is shared from http://liveleak.com with this text

FSA/Al nusra terrorists executing syrian soldier.

these Syrian soldiers were guarding al kindi hospital in Aleppo,....A suicide bomber blew himself up in the hospital....some of the soldiers were taken captives by the free syrian army and alnusra front... the soldiers are being executed as you see in this video.

This video is not being uploaded to glorify the crime, it is being uploaded to document the crimes committed by the terrorist organisations in Syria. Video is posted on al nusra facebook page and FSA youtube channel ...It was posted on 15 march 2014.....

video of the suicide bombing that took place in al kindi hospital in Aleppo in dec 2013
http://liveleak.com/view?i=93a_1387677740

 

 

The people who kill Jews do not do so because of disputes about territory but because Islam tells them to!

They kill Christians for the same reason!

"First we kill the Saturday people - then we kill the Sunday people!" Popular Muslim chant.

They are not waiting until they have killed all the Jews - Killing Christians is well under way.

See Barnabas Fund for ways of helping the persecuted.

Or Persecution International or Open Doors or Open Doors page showing where it occurs and gives explanations of persecution with video testimonies.

World map showing where persecution occurs - mostly in the 10;40 window of Islam.

But God is still in control and Jesus wins at the end of the story!

If you study Revelation, you will notice that the actions of the participants are under God’s control so that His purposes may be fulfilled. "The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled." (Revelation 17 v16-17) These things are ordained, "until the words of God are fulfilled.

So what should the believer be doing; preparing his bunker? No, Paul told the Roman church how they should live in obedience and subjection to the authorities; including paying their taxes. (Romans 13 v1-7)

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience." This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."
This seems difficult in the context of persecution, but Jesus had the answer to these questions about obedience to an ungodly ruler,
"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and render to God the things that are God’s."
Or, as Paul wrote to Titus,
"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. " (Ch3 v1)

Wildolive believers should have a burden to continue to stand with Israel and the Jews; that will clearly bring persecution.

We must also persevere in the watchman role as defined by Ezekiel.   The watchman’s responsibility is to look out and warn. It is not his responsibility whether people listen or not.   The chances are that people will reject the watchman’s warnings and turn on him, but we must hold on. As Jesus said in John 9 v4,

"As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work."
And if that work brings us into conflict with our rulers, we need to emulate the early church in their prayerful reaction,
"Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." (Acts 4 v29-30)

Jesus said to the church in Philadelphia,
"Since you have kept my command to endure patiently,  I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.    I am coming soon.    Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. (Revelation 3 v10-12)

In our twenty first century western "Christian" culture we are not heavily "into"  persecution and tribulation, but it is said that a Christian somewhere dies for his faith every three minutes.   Surely, we should not be supposing that we will continue to be so safe and comfortable, not if we are really engaged in the Master's work.  1 Peter 4v12-13 says,  
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.    But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."
Perhaps it is not our great faith that is keeping persecution away, but our lack of faith, in that we are posing no threat to our adversary.

The Heavenly Man   by Brother YunReading the story of Brother Yun, one is struck by the miraculous works of God in the Chinese House Church movement.  The Holy Spirit moves like He did in the early church in a way we tend to believe does not happen today.

This moving of the Holy Spirit is in the context of real spiritual battle and the enemy is fighting back.  It seems logical that spiritual outpourings and persecution cannot be far apart.   Perhaps we should be prepared for this as we seek Revival.

 

Updated 10/04/16

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