We've all seen the stories and have been angry. You know, every Christmas and Easter time, the stories of banned nativities, Christ bashing "edgy" so called art shows, TV shows set out to disprove Christ. We see these same things year after year and get upset and angry, complain then get back to our everyday lives.
We've seen the stories about employees told to leave their Bibles and/or crosses at home, students told any Biblical based project is unacceptable. The list goes on and on and we get angry and talk about persecution and our rights being denied.
While it's unfortunate and even frustrating that our freedoms of worshiping in Christ's Name anywhere we choose is subject to fines and court trials- I have news. This is not persecution.
While most Christians in the West are having to be wary of threats of lawsuits, and called names for our beliefs- this is not even close to what Christians around the world are suffering.
My friend and brother in Christ David Jeffers wrote another excellent devotional this week which touched on this subject, and again, while I wasn't planning on writing anything about it myself, I have thought about what people think when they hear or use the word persecution.
While I haven't posted there regularly, I have another blog- Persecution Pages, which in detail shows the kinds of horrific, brutal ways in which Christians are truly persecuted world wide for their belief in Christ. What we experience in the West is sad, but laughable if one was to call it persecution.
Jesus warned His believers that persecution would come to His own. Some reason we in America have either forgotten this, or not thought it could be possible to happen in a Christian country. I do have news for you- America is not a Christian country anymore, and hasn't been for decades. While more people still claim Christianity as their religion, true Biblical Christianity has long been in decline. Even so, I don't recall reading anywhere in the Bible that those who follow Christ will be persecuted except for those in America.
Be warned- persecution will come here. The question is, what will you do when it does come?
Do you have any idea what true persecution is yet? People are being beaten, burned out of their homes, mutilated, thrown in prison or labor camps, re education camps, women and children are raped, tortured in unimaginable ways and then almost blessedly being put to death- all because they trust and love Christ Jesus.
We whine because we're called names. I've done it. We complain because we can't pray out loud at a public place. What in the world will we do when real persecution comes?
As for me, I've been praying for a while that Jesus will give me what I need to endure anything, because suffering for Him will be a blessing. To be counted among some of those who have suffered much- I can't really grasp it, but I pray that I will show as much courage, boldness and witness as those who suffer every day around this globe do. I believe the Bible- and I take it literally. That means the not so pleasant parts are just as real and True as the happy parts. Persecution will come. How much, I don't know- because things also are pointing to the Lord's return soon as well.
I know this isn't one of my better articles, and there could be more said here. I am still not quite over my flu or whatever it is- but this is an important thing we all need to think about, and I thank David for bringing it to my thoughts this week. I have not really had the energy though to put it into better form.
One last thought- those who may want to have a relationship with Jesus, but don't want any of this persecution stuff. Please consider, this life is temporary, and soon to end. We never know when it's our time to go. To give your heart and life to Jesus now while you can may mean a time of pain and suffering in this life- but in eternity, where life really begins, so many blessings will be waiting for those who pick up their crosses and follow Him! Please- Read His Word, and put your trust in the Living Word, Jesus. He loves you more than you can ever know.