CHRISTIANS MUST EXPECT PERSECUTION TO ESCALATE

It is important to remember that persecution come with the territory for Christians doing what God has called us to do. You are a Kingdom warrior in a spiritual war so expect demonic attacks. Moreover, Jesus tells us we should rejoice and be glad for we are blessed and our reward will be great in heaven.

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

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 4:14

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.Matthew 5:10-12

Many times demons work through unbelievers to insult, attack, degrade and persecute believers. This should be expected and how we respond is of course key to our ability to influence them for God. We know that they cannot understand the word of God without the Spirit of God. All we can do is love them, pray for them and return good for evil

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:28

It is also important to remember that Satan is a created being under God’s control. He is limited by God as to what he can do to you. Read the story of Job again.

Demons do know your weaknesses, particularly long standing addictions and will challenge you again and again to exploit that weakness. The Holy Spirit will convict you and hopefully repentance is quick in response. Make sure you have a mentor with whom you are committed to confess your sins and will hold you accountable to the path of righteousness.

As we approach the last days before Jesus returns, He has told us that spiritual warfare intensifies. Satan knows his time is short. God uses the time of tribulation to purify His church. Many people who call themselves Christians will fall away and compromise with the world and its changing values.

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

But just as Satan intensifies his effort to deceive and destroy, God likewise intensifies His efforts in the natural and supernatural. Joel testifies to this “prior to the great day of the Lord comes”

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” Joel 2:28-29

And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Joel 2:30-32

MORE ON THE ABC Q & A PROGRAM WITH MARTYN ISLES OF ACL

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Popular Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV Show Q & A

One of the most fascinating aspects of this Q & A programme was the tweets that the ABC flashed up on the screen.  In that unique definition of impartiality that the ABC has, all of them were hostile or mocking to Martyn and Christianity. 

The tweets themselves betray an ignorance of Christianity which is quite shocking. I will list them first so that you gauge the extent and nature of the ignorance.

  1. “ACL needs to follow more of Jesus’ style”
  2. “Who decides which souls need to be saved, Martyn?”
  3. “I don’t want my soul to be saved Martyn.  Please keep your beliefs to yourself and stop forcing them on to all of us?”
  4. We need a law giving us freedom from religion in this country. “
  5.  “Actually the Bible says we should ‘love one another as I have loved you’ so  let’s not judge”.
  6. God loves everyone, made in his image. Straight, gay, bi, trans” 

I believe this Q & A clearly shows we are in the days Jesus spoke of as representing the godless society that will precede His return first to take believers to heaven prior to His pouring our His wrath on an unbelieving, unrepentant world.

Although we are all made in the image of God, that image is tainted, distorted, perverted and fallen. We all need to be restored, renewed, reborn and there is only one way that can happen: repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. We must die to the old self and be been born again of the Holy Spirit as water baptism so clearly expresses. Only then will we realise that following the Maker’s instructions on all aspects of life not only sex and sexuality is essential for our own good and for the well-being of society. Also, that it is love that compels us to speak as we do.  

THE CROSS OF CHRIST

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.Matthew 16:24-27

Jesus spoke these words before He went to His death on The Cross and in fact the Bible tells us that He spoke about His coming death often “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Matthew 16:21 So often did Jesus speak of His coming death and resurrection that Peter got annoyed. “And Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:22-23

These were shocking words for Peter to hear but read what Jesus has to say about the reality of us taking up our cross and following Him: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.Matthew 10:34-39

Immediately following these tough words: Jesus spoke of the rewards that await those that serve Him. Note both the prophet and the one who receives the prophet get the same reward.

Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.” Matthew 10:40-41

USA – A DIVIDED NATION

Many Democrats are calling for Trump’s impeachment and removal from office through Congress, or the Cabinet’s invocation of the 25th amendment. For them, it’s not enough that Trump lost… They want him punished for his transgressions and his supporters humiliated.

If this attitude continues – and it almost certainly will – there will be no national reconciliation. The healing that President-elect Biden claims to bring will emerge as a short-lived fiction and even if he wishes to pursue a moderate course, the radical Left will push him on divisive policies.

Democrats already seem on the brink of a full-scale purge of prominent conservatives from public life. They are pushing to have them kicked off social media, fired from their jobs, and canceled in every possible way. Trump has been banned from Facebook and Instagram at least until the transition of power to Biden on January 20.

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:12-14

The irony is that this scorched-earth approach from the political winners of 2020 will only bring together and energize a badly dejected conservative base.

Nothing unifies people like a common foe, and the expected abuses and vindictiveness of the newly empowered Democrats will spur the GOP to circle the wagons. It will just be a matter of time… we should prepare for things to get even more tense, ugly, and bitter in 2021 which will provide us with opportunities to present the good news of Jesus Christ who alone can put things right and His Word tells us that He will in the not too distant future.

TOTALITARIANISM IS INEVITABLE SAYS ROD DREHER

“Conservative Christians and their churches and institutions are seen as an obstacle to progress. If you stand against LGBT rights for example, if you stand against abortion rights, if you stand against critical race theory you are a problem,” said Rod Dreher, Senior Editor of The American Conservatives.  Alienated and stressed over COVID-19 restrictions, American youth are readily taking to the streets to demand social change. A radical doctrine called critical race theory is inflaming their frustrations.

American youth are readily taking to the streets to demand social change.

Dreher said, “All Christians ought to be against racism. We are, but Critical Race Theory is something very different. It draws a line between good and evil between the races and alienates the races and turns us against each other when we ought to be standing together.” And instead of resorting to harsh tactics to control people, Dreher sees this future US government taking a softer, less violent approach. “We are going to see something develop in this country like the Chinese have today, the social credits system where they monitor everything the Chinese citizens do, they get all the data from their computers, from the internet and so forth and they assign them a rating,” he explained. “The more socially positive you are, from a communist point of view, the higher your rating, the more your privileges.”

Attending church would lower your social credit score and a lower rating means fewer privileges like sending your child to college. Dreher feels it doesn’t matter who is elected president because neither Biden nor Trump will be able to reverse the course. He believes we are living through the birth pangs of a cultural revolution.  “This sort of thing is marching through all the institutions, it’s marching through churches, it’s marching through universities, seminaries, corporations, and we Christians have got to be prepared for it by building networks among churches to endure persecution. Hope for the best, but we also have to remember ours is a religion of martyrdom. Those who suffered and even died for the faith, they received a crown of glory,” Dreher explained. “That may well be our calling and we need to accept that as believers.”

Source CBN News.

FUTURE OF AMERICA – Part 1

American Christians, who desire to live godly, conservative, biblically-oriented lives, need to prepare themselves and their families for suffering. The writing has been on the wall for some time, decades even, yet the church has done little to stop it. Instead, like a row of dominoes, she has fallen over on issue after issue. The church has watched while influential institutions and religious leaders denied the miracles of Jesus, rejected the inerrancy of scripture and its history of the Cosmos particularly Noah’s worldwide flood. The time when God judged the world destroying all mankind save eight people. Lawlessness brought on God’s judgement back then and lawlessness will bring it on again. The world is rejecting God’s laws with legalized abortion, gay marriage, adopting transgenderism and even embracing critical race theory. Additionally, we are witnessing apostasy in the church as it conforms to the new world’s standards. Also, we have witnessed many “celebrity pastors”, priests and pastors in denominational churches commit moral failures through affairs and sexual abuse.

Whatever circumstances befall the church in the coming years, we must keep in mind that we have a Saviour who was the perfect propitiation of God’s wrath. In Him, we are predestinated, called, justified, and glorified (Romans 8:30). His blood has covered our sins and set us free from the slavery of sin and death. Regardless of where the world goes and what horrors the church may face, we can rest in these truths, knowing that our greatest and deepest needs have been met in Christ. No amount of emotional, mental, and physical suffering can dislodge us from our Savior’s embrace. As sure as the sun comes up tomorrow, the gospel will remain the power of God for salvation – your salvation. To thrive in a world that hates Jesus (and duly us), we must cling to Christ and His gospel. Before any worldly allegiances, we are Christians. We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Should the world burn down around us, we can joyfully sing because we are eternally secure. There is no greater news than this.

Extract from article in Patheos: Persecution: The New Reality for Biblical Christianity in America by Jack lee

IS TOTALITARIANISM COMING TO AMERICA?

When many of us think about totalitarianism, George Orwell’s 1984 or the former Soviet Union often come to mind.  Government inflicts terror and suffering on its people to force them to conform. Rod Dreher, the senior editor of The American Conservative contends America is fast becoming what he calls, a “soft” totalitarian state.

Dreher’s premise is featured in the new book, Live not by Lies: a Manual for Christian Dissidents.

“Ours is going to be a more soft version where they use the infliction of economic pain and marginalization and shaming to force Christians out of the public square and to compel us to conform with left-wing ideology and the fact that it’s soft doesn’t mean it is any less totalitarian,” Dreher said.

Dreher says today, social media is a major driver behind isolation and unease – especially among young people.

“It has made them desperate for something to solve their problem of alienation and their anxiety,” he explained.  “I think this is opening them up to the acceptance of a false idol that will be totalitarian that will tell them, ‘We can take care of all your problems, we can fix it if you will only say yes to us.’ That’s what happened in Russia and that’s what happened in Germany and that’s what’s coming here. And those who advocate Judeo-Christian values and reject the lies of the new American leftist state will be marginalized and singled out for persecution.”

Watch this video it will take just 5 minutes of your time.

A NATION IN FREEFALL

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, was asked the following question about transgenderism by a young mother: “How will you as president reverse [the Trump administration’s] dangerous and discriminatory agenda and ensure that the lives and rights of LGBTQ people are protected under U.S. law?”

The mother prefaced her question with the revelation that she is the mother of a ten-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy who identifies as transgender: “I’m the proud mom of two girls, 8 and 10. My youngest daughter is transgender.”

Here was Biden’s answer — keep in mind we are talking about an eight-year-old, a third-grader:

I will flat out just change the law. Every — eliminate those executive orders, number one… the idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, you know I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I think I’d like to be. It would make my life a lot easier. There should be zero discrimination... and so I promise you there is no reason to suggest that there should be any right denied your daughter or daughters, whichever one or two [mother: “One.”] one, your daughter — that your other daughter has a right to be and do. None, zero. And by the way, my son Beau passed away; he was the attorney general in the state of Delaware. He was the guy who got the first transgender [sic] passed in the state of Delaware and because of a young man who became a woman who worked for him in the attorney general offices.”

While Biden’s answer is trite and unserious — presidents cannot simply change laws, for one, and the word “discrimination” masks a host of controversial policy and legal decisions that would affect everything from bathrooms and sports teams to medical insurance — what it represents should be a real wake-up call to Christians everywhere.

The former Vice President of the United States — and the current flag-bearer of a major political party who could very well be the most powerful man in the world in a matter of months — thinks it is good and right for an eight-year-old boy to be encouraged to identify as a girl. He should be able to “be and do” anything his sister is or does. 

male chromosone XY
female chromosone XX

“So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

In other words, one of the most basic, indisputable, scientifically-verifiable, essential, for-the-continuation-of-the-human-race-indispensable facts of our existence — that we are created either male or female, which affects our entire embodied existence down to every cell of the body — tossed out the window in a banal exchange without an afterthought about the seismic repercussions.

The above article is by Colin Smothers Executive Chairman of Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW)

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS UNRELENTING

I have placed several posts on Israel Folau (Izzy) on this site demonstrating the persecution that followed him quoting a Scripture on Facebook that said homosexuals are destined for Hell.

Izzy is no longer allowed to play sport in Australia—of every sporting code—and so he has been forced to take up a contract overseas. But that hasn’t stopped a hostile media from relentlessly pursuing him to create a story, even when there isn’t one. Take for instance, this hit piece by the Australian Associated Press published in Yahoo Sport Australia provocatively titled: “Investigation Launched into ‘disgusting’ new Israel Folau Drama”.

It makes the reader ask themselves, “What’s he done this time! Has he learnt nothing about his social responsibilities?” But the truth of it is, nothing. Except of course if you include that he scored a try with his very first touch of the ball – a fact that even the militantly LGBTIQ Sydney Morning Herald had to begrudgingly admit adding that Folau:  “had French supporters on their feet every time he touched the ball in Perpignan.

Fortunately, the unbiased Fox Sports reported the following:

Israel Folau may have been expecting a slightly hostile reception for his rugby league comeback, but his home crowd treated him to a hero’s welcome.

The Catalans Dragons supporters filled the ground with chants of “Izzy! Izzy!” as Folau crossed to score a dream debut try after just five minutes.

The former Wallaby…was mobbed by teammates as he celebrated his first points as a Super League star.

He then received a warm reception on full-time, holding his hands up to the crowd, giving them a clap and a thumb’s up in recognition.

He then wandered around the ground to mingle with fans, stopping to take selfies and chatting with supporters.

But not content to let anyone hold to a different point of view, Yahoo Sports Australia confected outrage even where there was none. For there was apparently one lone protestor who decided to try and make a political statement by bringing a rainbow flag to the game, but was asked to put it away because it was against club policy.

We know from Scripture that persecution of Christians that speak up for God’s values on marriage, gender and hell (as Izzy did) is inevitable. Already we see the church compromising with the world even on marriage and homosexual pastors, totally contrary to God’s will. This is “end times” unfolding in our day.

GOD IS BUILDING HIS CHURCH IN INDIA DESPITE PERSECUTION

Source Premier News Service

The number of converts to Christianity continues to rise across India, despite growing acts of violence towards believers after Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi was re-elected as Prime Minister.  Pastor Kumar Swamy of the All India Christian council said “One particular incident took place in the state of Pradesh where a church were having their prayer meeting, which was disrupted. ” Around 50 Hindu extremists were trying to stop the prayer meeting and harassed and manhandled the pastor.”  Pastor Swamy recalled the struggle of sharing the gospel in Indian villages.

He said: “I shared my testimony and a group of people started attacking me with stones, I got hurt and was bleeding.  That’s the scene almost every day in the country as we share our faith.”  He continued: “But today in the same village, by God’s grace, we have around 15 churches planted.

“On one hand, there is attacks, threats and bloodshed but on the other hand, God is growing his church in the midst of this persecution and this will be the story of India.” 

Christian leaders have joined together to raise their concerns for the safety of India’s Christian community following the recent election results. Plans have been made to meet with the Prime Minister to request increased security for religious minorities.  Pastor Swamy said: “The Christian Council is planning to lead a delegation of Christian leaders, to meet our Prime Minister, and our Home Minister, to give us protection and freedom.  “We feel it’s important to enlighten our Prime Minister, and assure him that we will be praying and standing with him that God will give him the wisdom to rule this nation with peace.”  According to Pastor Swamy, education and an ongoing dialogue between the government and religious minorities is needed in order to bring about lasting change.