Many Christians worldwide are being persecuted, and the persecution is growing! In this Studio Elective, Michael Weis, who has ministered to the persecuted Church, gives biblical principles about the reality, expectation, and preparation for “Persevering Through the Coming Persecution.”
Hopefully, it will help prepare you for the coming persecution prophesied in the last days before Jesus returns. Persecution of Christians is certainly growing around the world. Christians are increasingly being accused of hate speech and being intolerant. Why, because of holding God’s values on abortion, marriage, sex and gender.
At least 5 Christians have been killed for their faith in India during a surge of violence over the past two months. Voice of the Martyrs radio host Todd Nettleton has the latest on the tragic deaths — and their inspirational stand for Jesus in the midst of violent persecution. Just further evidence that we are in the prophesied last days before Jesus returns
A young woman in the Khunti district of Jharkhand has become the fifth victim in a string of Christians killed in India because of their faith.
The woman, 25-year-old Suman Munda, was found dead on July 19 in a deserted place near her home, according to Vatican News. Just one month earlier, on June 24, another Christian, 27-year-old Ramji Munda, was killed outside a village in the Khunti district. Speaking out about Munda’s murder, Bishop Binay Kandulna said, “It is a matter of serious concern because the state witnessed a Christian man killed only last month in the same district.”
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14
A genocide expert and former Congressman Frank Wolf have warned that violence being committed against Christians in Nigeria and the U.S. government’s “failed” response to it could lead to another genocide like the ones that occurred in Rwanda and Darfur.
“When the world and the U.S. ignored genocide in Rwanda, hundreds of thousands of people died. History, I believe, is repeating itself,” Wolf contended. “Almost daily reports show increasing violence and death in Nigeria. An implosion of Nigeria will destabilise the surrounding countries and send millions of refugees into Europe and beyond.”
The conversation comes as estimates show that thousands have been killed and millions displaced since 2015 due to attacks carried out by predominantly Muslim Fulani militias against mainly Christian farming communities in the Middle Belt of Nigeria as well as Islamic extremist attacks carried out by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province in northeast Nigeria.
“Boko Haram has committed genocide in Nigeria. They have killed over 27,000 Nigerians, more than ISIS killed in Iraq and Syria combined,” Wolf stressed during his opening remarks. “The Fulani militants are also committing genocidal massacres against Nigerian Christians.”
“Our own embassy is still denying that this is genocide, that the Fulani militias are committing genocide,” he said. “So have human rights groups. Human Rights Watch, for instance, thinks of it that way. The International Crisis Group thinks of it that way. These are very distinguished organizations and I have great respect for them. But they are dominated by what I would call conflict-prevention narrative.”
“In essential terms, the U.S. embassy’s policies on this violence have been what I call conflict resolution policies. They try to get the groups together and they try to have sort of ‘Kumbaya’ moments in which people talk to each other and everybody is hunky-dory and they get along.
Stanton argued that the problem with those types of policies is that they “do not reach the terrorist groups.” “They also don’t reach the army and the police and others who need to be really conscious of this huge problem in their country,” he said.
Just further evidence that fits “last days” Biblical prophecies which should be a wake up call to the church to get on with Jesus command to reach out to their communities with the good news of Jesus and His soon coming return. His Kingdom will come. Jesus and the saints will rule the nations with a rod of iron.
“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.“Revelation 19:15-16
“The one (saints) who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.”Revelation 2:27
“She (Mary) gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne…” Revelation 12:5
[Matthew 5:11, 44] “Blessed are you, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. … But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;“
[Matthew 10:23] “But when they persecute you in this city, flee into another: for verily I say unto you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.“
[Luke 21:12] “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute [you], delivering [you] up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.“
[John 15:20] ” Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.“
[Romans 12:14] “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.“
[Luke 17:33] “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.“
[Mark 4:17] “And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.“
[2 Thessalonians 1:4] “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:“
The following incident clearly demonstrates that if you share God’s truth with others in your workplace you risk losing your job. John Piper does an excellent job of unpacking “Corona virus and Christ”. You might want to consider getting his book.
Well known and respected Reformed theologian John Piper clarified his stance on whether the coronavirus is God’s judgement of sin and what the Bible says about homosexuality after a legal group called for an Army chaplain to be court- martialed just for sharing Piper’s new book, Coronavirus and Christ with 35 other chaplains.
John Piper responded to claims made by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and its founder, Mikey Weinstein, in a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Defence Mark Esper last month.
Weinstein claimed rightly that Piper’s new book “pushes the belief that the coronavirus is God’s judgement” and could even be judgement for homosexuality.
MRFF called for Senior Chaplain Col. Moon H. Kim, the command chaplain of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea, to be court-martialed for sharing a PDF copy of Piper’s new book with 35 other chaplains via email.
Piper’s book does rightly declare that Romans 5:16 states that all death is the result of God’s judgement on the human race because sin entered the world. Piper further notes that God is “sovereign over the coronavirus, and sends it and ends it when He wills.” Piper added that “homosexual intercourse is a sin” and “that the coronavirus is a call for repentance to all of us to bring our lives into alignment with the infinite worth of Jesus.”
In an interview with Christian Post, Piper was asked if he thought Weinstein and MRFF’s criticism of his new book is fair.
“Well, some of it is. I think it would be fair to say that some of my views about what the Bible teaches, even rightly understood, the author of that letter hates. He hates what I think,” Piper said.
“‘They are,’ he says, ‘incendiary,’ ‘bigoted,’ ‘vulgar’ — not just because he misunderstands, but, in part, because he does understand, and that’s how he thinks and feels about some of what the Bible teaches.”
Piper said there are three areas where Weinstein seems to misrepresent his stance in either the letter to Esper or an earlier interview with The Christian Post.
“For example, when I say that ‘some people will be infected with the coronavirus as a specific judgment from God because of their sinful attitudes and actions,’ he assumes that I know who those people are, or at least what kind of people they are,” Piper said.
“But here’s what I write on page 72. … The coronavirus is … never a clear and simple punishment on any person. The most loving, spirit-filled Christian, whose sins are forgiven through Christ, may die of the coronavirus disease. But it is fitting that every one of us search our own heart to discern if our suffering is God’s judgement on the way we live.”
Piper explained that God “does judge people with sickness.”
“That’s very clear from 1 Corinthians 11:32, and there it’s even talking about Christians,” Piper said. “But John Piper or you or anybody else can’t determine from outside who is experiencing the coronavirus as a judgement in a punitive sense, and who’s experiencing it, say, as purification or who’s experiencing it for other reasons that God may have.”
Piper said his point is that God does many things for many reasons and people should “do sober-minded self-assessment to discern” what “God’s purposes are in all that happens to us.”
Piper also underlined that he is not saying “every person who engages in homosexual acts and who gets the coronavirus is being punished by God for those acts.”
“In Romans 1:27 the Bible says that living in homosexual behavior is sometimes punished by God with a ‘due penalty,’ which could be a disease, but not always,” Piper said. “And sometimes disease comes not as punishment, but as a merciful wake-up call that results in repentance and reconciliation and hope. God’s ways are simply more complex than the letter acknowledges.”
“I suspect though, that this clarification won’t even come close to satisfying the author of this letter since he considers it drivel and vulgar to even suggest that God controls this disease and would judge anyone with it,” Piper added.
Weinstein told CP that MRFF and the 22 Christian clients it’s representing in the chaplain case do not have a misunderstanding of Piper’s book. Weinstein doubled down on his disdain for Piper’s Christian views.
“Piper’s despicable assertion of ‘misunderstanding’ is a wretched insult to those 22 Christian armed forces chaplains who desperately came to MRFF for civil rights advocacy help to engage this superior military officer,” Weinstein added in an emailed response to Christian Post.
“As for ‘not liking’ Piper’s declaration that the coronavirus is God’s judgment on sinners, and particularly for the ‘sin’ of ‘homosexual intercourse,’ [darn] right MRFF doesn’t like it! Nor should ANY thinking, compassionate and caring human being ‘like’ such blatant and brazen prejudice, bigotry and bullying!”
In the interview, Piper also responded to Weinstein’s claim in the letter that there is no “pastoral care and comfort” in Piper’s beliefs about the coronavirus.
“My response is Sir, no. You are profoundly wrong. We have the best news in the world for the hardest moments in the world — the best care, the best comfort,” Piper said. “The very heart of Christianity is that, through Christ, God rescues guilty sinners. That’s me and you and all of us. Through Christ, God rescues guilty sinners from his own wrath.”
Piper then cited Romans 5:9: “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by [Christ’s] blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”
“That’s what God sent Christ to do: rescue us from his own righteous punishment,” Piper added.
You will need to decide what you value most before the prophesied “end times” tribulation begins in the last seven years before Jesus returns. First, He will rapture His church, prior to His wrath being poured out on the unrepentant with the trumpet and bowl judgements described in Revelation 8. After the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with His saints in heaven (Rev.19:7), then Jesus returns with the saints to deliver Israel (Rev. 19:11-16)
Is your church preparing for the coming tribulation and fulfilling Jesus command?
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24: 9-14
Jesus gives this warning for the Jews about the time of His second coming.
“Even so will it be in the daywhen the Son of Man is revealed. In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.~ Luke 17:33
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
We are not in the final seven years as yet, but I believe the “end times” birth pangs that Jesus referred to have begun. Apostasy in the church, as it conforms with the world and discards God’s Word is one sure sign. Other major signs are gay marriage, transgender and abortion are now accepted by governments as lawful. Any in disagreement will be penalised and persecuted.
Check out Dr Nelson Walters You Tube videos – Gospel in the End Times.
Chinese President Xi Jinping believes in the absolute power of the Party and wants his government to exert control over every aspect of Chinese life. Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has severely cracked down on human rights, religious freedom and freedom of expression. Christians in China are experiencing some of the worst persecution in decades.
The recent arrest of a prominent church pastor underscores the level of persecution against Christians. Authorities in the city of Chengdu, in China’s southwest, recently arrested pastor Wang Yi, along with his wife and 100 members of his Church. Authorities shut down the church and charged pastor Wang with “inciting subversion of state power.”
Wang’s church, like scores of other congregations, is outside government control as part of China’s burgeoning so-called underground or house church movement. Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs, says this movement has touched every corner of China. “All across China, there are house churches, or what they call ‘family churches’ and the reason the Communist government is so worried is because there are far more Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party,” Nettleton said.
In recent months, Beijing has waged a brutal and widespread crackdown to stop the growth of these unregistered churches. “This crackdown is a direct response to the fear of the Communist Party leaders who see the church growing faster than the party is,” Nettleton said. Fenggang Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, says what started several years ago as a small campaign against unregistered churches has turned into all-out war. “The campaign started first in Zhejiang province from 2014 to 2016,” Yang said. “Now, it is a nationwide campaign.” Now authorities routinely target houses of worship, destroy crosses, burn Bibles and arrest pastors.
Foreseeing his arrest, pastor Wang wrote a letter with instructions that it should be published if he went missing for more than 48 hours. In it, Wang vowed to use non-violent methods to stand against Chinese laws he believed were against the Bible and God.
“My saviour Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws,” Wang wrote.
Wang continued “I am filled with anger at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at their wickedness in depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience. As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely. The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that are contrary to God’s word. Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family, the authorities are capable of doing all of these things,” Wang warned. “However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life.”
The church needs to prepare for the coming tribulation which we know will escalate as we approach and move into the last seven years before Jesus returns to rule and reign in the Millennium. Jesus refers to great tribulation in the last half of 70th week of Daniel and prior to the Rapture of the church at the trumpet blast at the seventh seal and before God’s wrath is poured out with the trumpet and bowl judgements. Time is wonderfully short before Jesus return, but we need to be bold and courageous and open to the Holy Spirits lead to pray for and evangelise the lost.
A Christian bus driver in Toronto has been charged with a “hate crime” for distributing pamphlets saying homosexuality can lead to diseases and that Jesus can save gay people if they repent.
Bill Whatcott “distributed anti-gay material which promoted hatred toward the gay community,” Toronto Police Service said in a statement, adding that he was arrested in Calgary and later returned to Toronto.
The 51-year-old Christian man was charged with “willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, namely the gay community.”
The pamphlets he allegedly distributed said homosexuality is associated with sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV of the rectum, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says is true, according to The Federalist.
The pamphlets, which reportedly included negative remarks against the Liberal Party and left-wing politicians, also said that supporting homosexual acts without repentance could lead to “eternal peril,” and repentance to “the free gift of eternal life.” However, reports say that the pamphlets neither encouraged hate against homosexuals, nor advocated violence.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacts as he and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau (L) walk in the Vancouver Pride Parade in Vancouver, British Columbia, July 31, 2016.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a Roman Catholic, became the world’s first national leader to march in a gay pride parade when he took part in Toronto’s event.
Whatcott, who has been fired from his job, said he wasn’t given food for 24 hours while in jail, according to The Daily Wire.
“It might have been on purpose, because it didn’t happen, like — some inmates did go half a day without food — but they actually made me go a full 24 hours,” he was quoted as saying.
He said he was also denied medical attention for a leg injury. “I had a leg infection, and it was bad enough that I was brought to the hospital, but they simply refused to fill the prescriptions. So for four days I had no medications. The infection was actually going up my leg. I was a little concerned it was gonna go systemic.”
Hopefully, Bill was able to maintain an eternal perspective and be encouraged by these Scriptures:
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” Matthew 5:11
“If you are insulted and reviled for the name of Christ , blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you . On their part He is blasphemed , but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:14
Trudeau has also supported Canada’s embrace of same-sex marriage, which stands against the Catholic Church’s definition of marriage between one man and one woman.
Months later that year, a poll showed that the majority of Canadians supported the expansion of the country’s non-discrimination laws to include gender identity. The Angus Reid Institute survey was conducted four months after Trudeau’s Liberal Party introduced a bill that would punish transgender discrimination with up to two years in prison for violators. Earlier this year, Ontario Province started allowing individuals born there to remove “male” or “female” on their birth certificates or opt for a “nonbinary” designation.
Response by Dr Michael Brown, host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program to media on Attorney General, Jeff Sessions quoting Scripture.
“No sooner will we quote a passage from the Bible to a non-believer (or, to a believer of a different persuasion), then they will respond, “You can make the Bible mean whatever you want it to. Remember what Jeff Sessions said?”
In case you somehow missed the massive, swirling controversy surrounding Sessions’ use of Romans 13, the headlines are everywhere.
In The Washington Post: “Jeff Sessions defended family separation with the Bible. John Oliver countered with Dr. Seuss.”
On CNN: “What does the Bible verse Jeff Sessions quoted really mean?”
In USA Today: “Why is Jeff Sessions quoting Romans 13 and why is the Bible verse so often invoked?”
In the Star Tribune: “Jeff Sessions, immigration and the Bible: The problems with citing a passage to support an opinion.”
On and on it goes, almost endlessly. Just search for “Jeff Sessions Bible,” and you’ll be flooded with relevant links.
In short, Sessions quoted Romans 13, which calls Christians to submit to the governing authorities, to explain to “church friends” why we must uphold our “zero-tolerance” immigration laws. His exact words were, “I would cite you to the apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”
If Sessions was simply saying that we are a nation of laws, and the Bible reminds us of the importance of obeying our laws, he was saying nothing extraordinary or outlandish.
Context will not matter. Sound interpretive methods will not matter. Logic and reason will not matter.
Instead, no matter what we say and no matter how accurately we say it, the rebuttal will be instant: “The Nazis quoted the Bible too.” Or, “You’re twisting the Bible, just like Jeff Sessions did.” Or, even, “Yeah, you sound just like Trump!” (Let’s be realistic. This will ultimately be tied back to Trump. So, if you’re a conservative evangelical— especially if you’re white—and you quote Scripture, you’re guilty of whatever sins Trump committed in his lifetime. I’m hardly exaggerating.)
I’ve watched over the years as anti-Bible lies become popular memes, which then become enshrined as established truth. An example would be, “You can’t trust the Bible. It’s a translation of a translation of a translation.”
Another would be, “Constantine changed the Bible in A.D. 325. We don’t have the original Bible today.”
Today, millions of people take these falsehoods to be gospel truths, while millions more misquote Jesus’ admonition not to judge. (For what He really meant, see here and here.)
And despite the apparent reverence for Scripture reflected in the liberal response to Sessions’ use of Romans 13 (as if the liberal media were grieved that the Bible was misused), what we’re really witnessing is an outright hostility to Scripture. That’s why Tom Gilson wrote a perceptive article titled, “The Washington Post Hates the Bible. If You’re Christian, It Hates You Too.”
You can expect to see that hatred manifest in the instant dismissal of our appeal to Scripture in the days ahead.
When we quote the Word, we’ll be compared to people who want to separate children from their parents (as is happening with the immigration crisis). We’ll be likened to brainless Trump supporters (regardless of the topic under discussion). And we’ll be reminded that the Bible really has no intentional message. “It means whatever you want it to mean.”
The following is taken from an article in The Australian by Michael Sexton May 29, 2018, it reveals the nation has largely rejected God, HIS Word and His values and persecution of believers who hold to the inerrancy of God’s Word is not too far off.
The Ruddock inquiry into religious freedom, instituted by the Australian Federal Government in the wake of the legislation authorising same-sex marriage, has completed its work but its findings have not been made public yet. In many ways the real issue is one of freedom of speech and is not a problem confined to religious bodies.
It has been said that the complaints of some of the Rugby Australia sponsors about Folau’s statements raise an issue of freedom of speech. But it is a fact — sad or otherwise — of modern Australian life that a highly paid sportsman or sportswoman cannot continue to make public statements, especially unfashionable ones on moral questions, that alienate sponsors and expect to survive, given the views that dominate almost all public institutions in this country and the boards of most large corporations.
But, the real issue of freedom of speech in this area is whether churches will be able to continue their traditional teachings in pulpits and schools in the light of state and territorial legislation that makes it illegal to engage in conduct that offends or otherwise injures the feelings of individuals on the basis of, for example, their participation in same-sex marriage.