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.
The rise of violent extremist groups throughout Africa, as well as the constant attacks against Christian communities in the continent’s most populated country, has religious leaders fearful that “the next jihad” is underway.
“I know one thing has never really changed: No one gives a damn about Africa except for their natural resources or if there is going to be a big party because there is a peace treaty being signed,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, director of the global social action agenda of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization with over 400,000 family members.
Cooper teamed up with Rev. Johnnie Moore, a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, to author the new book The Next Jihad: Stop the Christian Genocide in Africa. The book was written after the unlikely duo traveled together to Nigeria earlier this year to meet with dozens of Christian victims of terrorism from five different regions. “After our journey there, we want the world to know that you haven’t heard half of it,” the faith leaders said in a joint statement. “The terrorists’ aim is to ethnically cleanse northern Nigeria of its Christians and to kill every Muslim who stands in their way.”
Their trip came as thousands have been killed by Boko Haram (an Islamic militant group in Nigeria’s northeast with a splinter faction that has claimed allegiance to the Islamic State) and radical Fulani herdsmen who have in recent years increasingly raided predominantly Christian farming villages in the country’s Middle Belt.
In the natural this genocide is horrific and fearful but for Christians who truly understand God is working out His plans and purposes in His world and want to be in the centre of His will for their lives understand the truth of this Scripture.
“And not only that but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
“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.
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
Dalton Thomas of FAI does a good job of explaining the Mark of The Beast, its timing, and putting it, and current events in perspective. Dalton will challenge many on their view of God and how He operates in His world e.g. God allows the persecution of believers during the prophesied end times tribulation period. What Jesus had to say to the Church at Thyatira is pertinent in this regard.
“Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one 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... ” Revelation 2:25-26
It will be a time of great patience and endurance for believers. We overcome the Beast by following in the footsteps of our crucified Saviour, even to martyrdom.
In the USA they, as a society (Supreme Court), have now said as a matter of law that to hold beliefs about marriage and gender and human sexuality that are consistent with the Bible is discrimination, that it’s hateful and bigoted.
Now, society might give some of those hateful religious people an exception because their Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act tell them that they have to do that. But, when you think about the political and cultural trajectory of the USA, how long do you suppose that the religious liberty exception is going to last when everybody thinks that this is a bigoted and evil view?
We should not be surprised, Jesus told us beforehand.
Jesus told His disciples “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” Matthew 10:22a but also “But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22b
Thankfully, there are many prophecies warning us of escalating tribulation in the seven years preceding His Second Coming. World events indicate we are approaching that last seven years but IMO we are not there yet.
Spiked Online Editor, Brendan O’Neill says the fallout from the death of George Floyd has transcended into “a kind of explosion of political correctness” in Britain.
“There is a politically correct mob running around the country who are expressing all sorts of dangerous, backward, strange ideas.” He said protesters who are now smashing statues “looked to me like the woke-Taliban”. “This idea that we must cleanse the public sphere of every bad person, every bad idea, every bad way way of thinking”. “I think that’s incredibly intolerant, it’s not progressive and it certainly has nothing to do with the awful killing of George Floyd”
Because “racism” is the rationale of the Woke Taliban’s lawlessness and those who applaud and defend them, then nothing is safe from this lawlessness. Any monument to our Founding Fathers is eventually doomed to these mobs and vandals . . . and then they will come for the Christian Church — a Church the media and left have spent decades smearing as racist and homophobic.
Those Christians who know that persecution is coming and that we will not be “raptured out of here before the bad things begin” are not fretting over this. We expect this and thus our posture is one of soberness and humbleness to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
The temptation to apostatise is real. The majority of the Evangelical church is folding like dominoes at this time. But you brother and sister stand firm and have endurance to weather the spiritual storm that is upon us and will only continue. The world hates us, but only because they hate Jesus. It will be difficult to endure, as there will be no recourse, except for the ultimate reward of Jesus that awaits us.
“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 many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 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 24:9-13
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.
“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.”