Jesus’ call is radical: cross-bearing, self-denying, love of others. Sadly, I do not see too many Christians, certainly in the public sphere, carrying out this cross bearing, self denying, love of others. Moreover, God’s Word tells us that in the last days before His return that those that do love Jesus and are obedient to His call invariably suffer for it. Paul, his disciples and the early church invariably did. Often their suffering was perpetrated by the religious people of the day.
Biblical prophecy reveals that in the last seven years (Daniel’s 70th week) before the Rapture of the Saints and the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements, there will be tribulation even great tribulation ahead for Jesus followers, and much of that will come from the False Prophet and his church, the religious people of the day. Knowing, believing, and acting upon the following Scriptures empowered by the Holy Spirit is essential to be overcomers.
“If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it. For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life? What can a man give in exchange for his life? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-38
“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead, He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross.” Philippians 2:3-8
“And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:16-19
Biblical prophecy reveals that there will be many false prophets in the “last days”
“Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name. Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Matthew 24:9-11
Prophets exhort Jesus followers to be faithful, to be obedient to His call on their lives. We hear many who consider themselves to be prophets declaring to the world it must uphold laws and commandments that have been compromised by the world. They say we are loving and inclusive, gay marriage, homosexual and transgender pastors are embraced. These are false prophets, true prophets speak Biblical truth to God’s people. Jesus tells us that when these things take place we are in the last days and His return is not too far off.
“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28