GOD CREATED INDIVIDUALS NOT SOCIETIES

Prior to the advent of Christianity individuals belonged to the city, body and soul. If an individual had any value at all it was only by reference to some organised collective. Christianity changed all of that, the proclamation by the apostles that God had become man obliterated this view that individuals had no value that had predominated in the ancient world.

If Jesus is a person as the apostolic and patristic fathers of the early church proclaimed and He died and was raised as a representative of the entire human race then we are infinitely more valuable than society and the state makes of us. Suddenly, our identity is in view, we were created by our Heavenly Father in His image.. Our separation from Him was of our own making i.e. our rejection of His lordship over our lives.

How liberating is the following verse.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28

This concept of the value of the individual is being attacked as society increasingly rejects God and His followers. People are increasingly identifying themselves and others in terms of the groups they belong to. The God group is of course being increasingly marginalised. It is from the group they obtain their solidity and source of meaning. Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter are good examples of this onslaught. The unique person made in God’s image that is underneath these labels, the person Jesus died on The Cross to redeem is lost. Jesus said that in the last days lawlessness will abound and that Christians will be persecuted. Sadly, many will fall away but the one who endures will be saved.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another… And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.Matthew 24:9-10, 12-13

Start living your lives now with an eternal perspective. Trust God and His promises and He will use you for His purposes in these last days. The Holy Spirit will direct your steps and you will move in power with the gifts of the Spirit evident. You will truly be a light in a dark place. Many will be saved through your witness and acts of kindness.

Prophesied end times signs

CANCEL CULTURE HAS CHRISTIANITY IN ITS SIGHTS

Actor Kevin Sorbo said this week he plans to “look into” how his Facebook page got deleted from the platform, calling the website’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, “a big ole wuss.” In mid-February, the Christian entertainer’s Facebook account was scrubbed from the social media site, according to CBN News.

As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by their parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.

Cancellation, unlike criticism, seeks to silence the opponent.  It specifically seeks to take away the forum for articulating the disputed opinion. Cancelers often define the mere act of disagreeing with them as a threat to their safety or even an act of violence.

Cancellers create a climate of fear by promoting guilt by association, threatening the same punitive action against the target’s employer, professional organizations, and anyone who comes to his or her defense.

Cancellers are willing to assert inaccuracies, distortions, and falsehoods.  And they will stick with them even after they are demonstrated to be untrue.

Cancellers seeks to punish.  If cancellation is successful, you lose your job.  The person who is cancelled must be made to suffer. In Australia, one of our best rugby players, Israel Folau is a good example where he cannot now play any form of rugby because he quoted a Scripture verse on Facebook which states God will send homosexuals to hell, i.e. along with all others guilty of sexual immorality as defined by God. Mind you, Israel also told people of how they can avoid God’s judgement by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The reality is, cancel culture is just another ploy Satan is using to destroy belief in God and His Word.

The following Scripture is just one of many that reveals intense persecution of Christians is prophesied for the days prior to Jesus second coming to earth.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty (persecution). For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.2 Timothy 3:1-5

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:12-13

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION OF WOMEN

Persecution of Christian women worldwide has risen dramatically in the last year as a new study released by Open Doors International (ODI) found that forced marriages have increased by 16%, and physical violence against women has increased 31%.

Gender Specific Religious Persecution (GSRP) has risen to the highest level recorded in the three years since the report was first issued in 2018, as women face a higher potential risk of religious persecution than men. The report’s data comes from the top 50 countries on the group’s annual World Watch List between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sep. 30, 2020.

Helene Fisher, a global gender persecution specialist for Open Doors International and one of the authors of the report, told The Christian Post that the increased threat to women is often because women have fewer rights in most of the top 50 countries for religious persecution. “Because [women] have fewer rights and fewer protections, they’re just an easier target,” Fisher said. “They can also be targeted with impunity, which means that if there is a population that doesn’t want the Christians to thrive, they can go after the women and girls and there aren’t consequences for those aggressors. So, it is a question of the women and girls having fewer rights for legal protections. [Women] are more vulnerable in the society, and they are just the easiest way to disable the Christian population.”

People pray as they gather for a ceremony on Christmas eve at Central Brooks Memorial Church in Karachi, Pakistan, December 24, 2016.

The five most common “pressure points” among women in the top 50 countries on the World Watch List for religious persecution are forced marriage, sexual violence, physical violence, psychological violence and forced divorce. Each category increased since last year’s study.

Ninety percent of the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted report forced marriage as a pressure point, and 86% of countries report sexual violence.

Targeting women, the child bearers, and forcing them to convert is a tactic used to destabilize the future generation of the Church, the development of families and the raising of Christian children.

Trafficking women as a form of religious persecution is on the rise, particularly in Asia and Africa, the report finds. Christian refugees or internally displaced peoples are especially vulnerable to this.

“Trafficking as a form of religious persecution continues to pose a threat in all regions on the World Watch List and it is rising, particularly in Africa and Asia. Globally, 17 countries (up from 10 the previous year) reported incidents of trafficked women and girls,” the report adds. “Countries engaged in conflict were most likely to report instances of sexual violence and trafficking.”

Research from the World Watch List shows more than 340 million Christians globally endure high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith, which amounts to one in eight Christians around the world.

Jesus told us that persecution of Christians will increase in the last days before His return. It is just one of the end times signs He has given us. Israel, apostasy in the church, Covid and increased lawlessness are other very significant signs.

THE BLACK LIVES MATTER STORY

This is a must see video to really understand what is happening in the USA. Juan Riesco grew Nini’s Deli from its humble origins to #1 in Chicago on Yelp before the Black Lives Matter movement cancelled it in early June 2020. His parents, immigrants from Cuba and Mexico, started the small business. Juan took the reigns during a transitional period in his life, in which he converted to Christianity, after living as a homosexual in San Francisco. After the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement promoted posting a black square on social media to show solidarity with the cause. When Juan failed to take this step, hundreds of people went online to accuse him of racism. Juan gently responded to each individual by explaining that he was a Christian and could not endorse the anti-Christian beliefs of the Black Lives Matter organization, but that he did believe black people, as well as all people, mattered to God. The next day hundreds of protestors showed up to protest Nini’s Deli. Juan preached the gospel to them. The next day thousands of people showed up. Juan received thousands of death threats and had to flee the city in the middle of the night to escape. Juan lost his corporate contracts and Nini’s Deli closed. Even as he lost his business and experienced betrayal by friends, Juan’s faith in Christ and resolve grew. Juan considers the story of Nini’s to be a victory story as many have come to Christ and been inspired by his courage.

PERSECUTION WILL INTENSIFY

Pro-Abortion Doctor Accuses Lila Rose of ‘Domestic Terrorism’ for Posting Pro-Life Tweet

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Late last week, Rose, founder of the pro-life group Live Action, tweeted: “Abortion is violence.” In response, Torres condemned Rose, accusing her of “domestic terrorism.”

Torres said Rose’s three-word tweet “is objectively false and meant to incite others to commit crimes against clinics, patients, and health care providers.”

Dr. Leah Torres — the OB-GYN who had her medical license suspended in 2020 following a controversy over a since-deleted tweet in which she seemingly bragged about cutting unborn babies’ vocal cords — is now accusing pro-life leader Lila Rose of publishing “violent rhetoric.”

Rose’s tweet is, of course, not intended to “incite” violence. Rather, she was simply posting a tweet with a message foundational to those who oppose abortion, which is that, scientifically, life begins at conception. As such, Rose and other pro-lifers have argued, abortion is violent because it has the intention of ending of viable human life.

Torres’ claims against Rose’s tweet comes on the heels of Twitter’s decision to permanently ban outgoing President Donald Trump from its platform “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” referring to potential future tweets by the Republican leader.

Additionally, as CBN News reported Sunday night, the conservative Twitter alternative, Parler, has been removed from the Apple App Store, Google Play, as well as Amazon’s cloud hosting apparatus, Amazon Web Services, essentially scrubbing the website from the internet altogether. The AWS Trust and Safety team told Parler’s chief policy officer, Amy Peikoff, the Twitter alternative, which prioritizes speech freedom over censorship, hosted content on its site that didn’t adhere to Amazon’s terms of service.

As for Torres, while one tweet isn’t likely to spark action against Rose, it is worth noting one post was all it took to get Abigail Shrier’s book critical of the transgender agenda briefly removed from Target’s shelves.

Most of big tech is led by progressives, and Democrats are just days away from assuming control of every level of the federal government — two realities that have many conservatives concerned about the restriction of free speech and the flow of information.

In just a matter of days, it seems, we’ve found ourselves at the beginning of a very slippery slope that could lead to the censoring and silencing of those who simply hold to differing perspectives, beliefs, and world views. This is “end times” stuff folks.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN THE LAST DAYS

Christians are the eye of the target and they are coming after them,” warned Dede Laugesen with Save the Persecuted Christians. The numbers are staggering. Leading human rights groups say what’s going on in Nigeria is a genocide. “Over the last 20 years, there have been massive attacks against Christians,” Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern (ICC) said. “50 to 70 thousand have been murdered.” For years, the main terror group was Boko Haram, which seeks to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state. “They go after Christians and moderate Muslims, they push a hard-line Muslim agenda and it is their intention to establish a caliphate and to rid all of Nigeria and West Africa of any Western influence whatsoever,” Laugesen said. Now, there’s a new actor on the scene.

Support your Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria

In Nigeria’s “Middle Belt” region, where the Muslim North meets the Christian South a terror group made up of Muslim Fulani herders are killing thousands of Christians. More than 1,400 Christians were hacked to death in just the first seven months of 2020 by Fulani herders.

Nigeria’s Muslim president has so far done very little to stop the bloodshed. His police and army are also mostly Muslims. “The attackers are never captured, they are not prosecuted, the security services respond very slowly, a full day can go on with attacks happening and no security shows up and frequently the government officials will provide cover,” explained Laugesen.

Read what Jesus said we can expect in the “end times” before He returns to earth to rule and reign with a rod of iron. We need to start living our lives with an eternal focus now.

But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance, you will gain your lives.Luke 21:12-17

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.Matthew 10:28

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS ESCALATING IN INDIA

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.”

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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

PROPHESIED END TIMES INCREASED PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS EVIDENT NOW

While Samaritan’s Purse has treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients at its field hospital in Central Park, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson demanded that the Christian charity leave the city over its biblical views on homosexuality.

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“It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave New York City. This group, led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed,” Johnson wrote on Twitter Saturday. “Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBTQ community.”

State Senator Brad Hoylman (openly gay member of the State Senate), who represents the district where Beth Israel is located said in a press release Friday: “It was bad enough that Donald Trump’s failure to prepare the nation for this pandemic forced New York to accept charity from a bigot like Franklin Graham. Inviting Graham to stay on longer is an insult to LGBTQ New Yorkers and sends the dangerous message that homophobia and transphobia are acceptable.”

Hoylman said. “On behalf of the LGBTQ community I represent, I demand they end their association with Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse, or risk further reputational harm with LGBTQ New Yorkers and the wider public.”

Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, responded to Johnson’s tweets and argued that Christians are the ones being discriminated against.

“This open hostility to Christianity is breathtaking. Christians have always believed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that all sexual relations outside marriage are by definition immoral, It’s not a particularly popular point of view in the secular West, but it is what all faithful Christians everywhere throughout the 2,000-year history of the church have always believed. This is nothing new.

“What is new is the notion that real live Christians are unwelcome to live and work and practice their faith in New York. That is an innovation of recent vintage and is nothing more than unvarnished animus—invidious discrimination. If Christians are not allowed to practice their faith in NYC, rest assured that it is only a matter of time before they won’t be allowed to practice it anywhere in the U.S.”

FALSE SPIRITS INVADE THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

Thank God the church in the main has recognised that the spirits evident in the video below are not of the Holy Spirit but deceptive evil spirits.

Sadly, instead, the spirit of the world has swept into the church and in the name of tolerance and false love, homosexuality, transgender and gay marriage are all considered acceptable lifestyles. Speaking out on the consequences of living those lifestyles brings immediate condemnation and loss of position and even ability to keep a job and earn a living. In Australia, Israel Folau and Margaret Court are good examples of this persecution.

Image result for picture of poster condemning Margaret Court at Australian Open
Two of the sport’s most legendary players John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova protesting against the naming of Margaret Court arena at the Australian Open.

Listen to what Jesus told the disciples in Mark and Luke as to what believers/Christians can expect from the world in the end times just before His return, first to take the saints to heaven so they will not endure the wrath of God that is poured out when the scroll (all seven seals removed) is finally opened and the trumpet and bowl judgements are poured out on the earth. Revelation 8.

But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Mark 13:11-13

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.Luke 21:12-17