PERSECUTION WILL ESCALATE IN THE LAST DAYS

Police in Finland are investigating the leader of an entire denomination for publishing a booklet that disapproves of homosexuality.  The author of that booklet, Dr. Päivi Räsänen, which sets forth the Biblical teachings about sexuality, is also under investigation for the crime of “agitation against an ethnic group,” a statute which added “sexual orientation” to the list of protected classes.  The maximum punishment is two years in prison.

Dr. Räsänen, who is very impressive for her integrity in the way she speaks up for Christian truth in the public square.  (For example, she points out that the Finnish state church is obligated, by law, to base its teachings on the “Holy Scriptures,” and asks, how could it then be illegal to teach what the Holy Scriptures say?)  Here is a sample of what Dr. Räsänen, also a medical doctor, has to say:

Dr. Päivi Räsänen is a member of the Finnish parliament and a former Minister of the Interior, no less! 

I believe that ultimately the purpose of these attacks is to eliminate the Word of God and discard the Law of God. It is very problematic that expressing Christian beliefs is often seen as insulting in the West. For example, marriage between a man and a woman has become a concept that is understood as restrictive, even threatening. Concepts such as man and woman, father and mother, are dearly loved concepts, and as old as the history of humanity. The attempt to break down the gender system based on two different genders hurts especially children. It is unfortunate how uncritically the ideology of sexual diversity and LGBT activism has been supported and endorsed even by churches.

I believe that every person has the right to hear the whole truth of God’s Word, both the Gospel and the Law. Only people who recognize their sins need Jesus, the propitiation for our sins. We must have the courage to speak about the dangerous effects of LGBT activism. Debatable themes such as immoral sexual relations have to do with guilt. Guilt cannot be solved by denying it, but only by confessing it and receiving mercy and the message of forgiveness in Jesus’ sacrifice. It is impossible to think that classical Christian doctrine would become illegal in the West.

Please pray for Dr. Räsänen and for the other faithful Christians in Finland and in other parts of the world, where many are enduring much worse persecutions. Remember, persecution comes with the territory

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

CONSEQUENCES OF REJECTING GOD

I believe God has delivered the USA to what theologians call “abandonment wrath.” As a nation they have forgotten God, and in response, He has delivered them over to a depraved mind. God is, in effect, allowing them to destroy themselves through their materialistic greed. You can expect that in the process, God will allow their true god, The Almighty Dollar, to be destroyed, most likely through hyperinflation. The following two Scriptures sum it up well.

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, Romans 1:28

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!Romans 1:24

Dark days lie ahead for all of us. Those of us who have committed our lives to Jesus must keep our eyes on Him, we must stand for righteousness, we must share the Gospel with as many of the unsaved as we can. Moreover, the Scriptures reveal Christians will experience intense persecution in the last days prior to His return. God will purify His church through a time of tribulation but the church will not experience the wrath of God which will be poured out on an unbelieving world with the trumpet and bowl judgements. The apostle John was shown the following “end times” scene in heaven of the saints before the throne of God. Note what John is told when he asked who these people were. They are the Christians living during the time of the great tribulation.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me (John), saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 7:9-14

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

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.

IN WHOM IS YOUR HOPE PLACED?

Acts 5.40-41,when they (Sadducees) had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.”

After being beaten, Peter and the other apostles were rejoicing.

The same spirit in the Apostles is in us. So, we have the power to stay faithful and rejoice, if we acknowledge His presence and ask Him.

1 Peter 4.12-13 “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.

Our hope is in the knowledge that Christ has already won the victory over Satan and that He made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be all we need to be overcomers during the coming tribulation and trials. Also, we know that His glory will be revealed at His second coming and that Biblical prophecy reveals we are in the “last days” prior to the final seven years before Jesus’ return, spoken of first in Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy.

First coming in the clouds to raise the dead Saints and rapture the Saints on the earth
Second coming to earth, after God’s wrath has been poured out on an unrepentant earth with the trumpet and bowl judgements. Jesus returns with the Saints to redeem Israel and rule and reign for 1000 years

END TIMES PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

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

ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS BEHEAD IN MOZAMBIQUE REIGN OF TERROR

Islamic extremists have unleashed a reign of terror in northern Mozambique leaving churches burned to the ground, people beheaded, and tens of thousands displaced and traumatized. There have been reports that the militants beheaded 15 people in one week. Earlier in Holy Week, 52 young people who refused to join the Islamic terrorists were killed. Since 2017, more than 1,100 people have been killed in attacks after extremists launched a violent campaign to persecute Christians and recruit young soldiers.

OVER 8,000 MEMBERS OF ONE NIGERIAN CHURCH KILLED

One church in northeast Nigeria has revealed extremist group, Boko Haram, has taken the lives of 8,370 of its members. In a press conference, Reverend Joel Billi, from the Church of the Brethren, stressed the far-reaching and systematic persecution by Boko Haram.  “Over 700,000 members have been displaced, with only seven out of 60 District Church Councils not directly affected,” he said. According to Rev Billi, 300 branches of the church have either been burned or destroyed. As well as countless homes and properties. This has forced at least 25,000 church members into refugee camps in neighbouring Cameroon.

POLICE SHUT HOUSE CHURCHES IN CHINA AND ORDER CHRISTIANS TO STOP BELIEVING IN GOD

House churches across China have experienced intensified persecution in recent months. Bitter Winter, a publication produced by the Centre for Studies on New Religion which covers human rights issues in China, documented numerous instances where Christians were threatened by Chinese Communist Party officials. Recently a group of officials in the city of Leiyang, in the central province of Hunan, raided a house church. The Religious Affairs Bureau in Yongzhou city shut down a house church for “holding illegal gatherings without permits” and confiscated computers, a photocopier, and Bibles. Police in Dengzhou city raided a house church, confiscating its Bibles and hymnbooks, and took 8 members away for interrogation. Officers warned them that they would be sentenced to 3 to 5 years in prison if they gather again. “The government wants to eliminate all religions and force us to give up our belief.” Christian churches that refuse to register with the government, known as “house churches,” are illegal. However, even Three-Self churches, those registered with the government, have also experienced an uptick in persecution in recent months. Regardless, according to estimates, there are more Christians in China than Communist Party members.

COVID 19 STOPS CHRISTIANS FROM ESCAPING NORTH KOREA

With borders closed and security increased, COVID-19 has made it harder than ever for North Korean refugees to escape. Between April and June 2019, 320 refugees fled to South Korea. In 2020, the number of those who made it across the border amounted to only 12. According to South Korea, these numbers are the lowest ever.

TAKEN CAPTIVE THROUGH PHILOSOPHY AND EMPTY DECEPTION

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truththe teachings of] Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God]” (Colossians 2:8 -9 AMP).

Political correctness is a control issue and a bullying tactic, used by the politically left special interest groups, and their fake news media outlets, to oppose and oppress free speech and religious freedom. They quickly label anyone and everyone who disagrees with their unnatural, crazy worldview, as a bigot, racist, and every other derogatory name they can come up with.  

You know we live in a mad, crazy, politically correct world, when the natural is unnatural and the unnatural is natural; when right is wrong and wrong is right; when normal is abnormal and abnormal is normal. In this world, God does not exist or if acknowledged is powerless and homosexuality, trans genders, same sex marriage are all acceptable lifestyle choices. God’s laws on sexuality and morality are unacceptable.

The further down the political correctness road you go, the further away you get from common sense. God has given each of us a conscience. In our hearts we know what is right and wrong but a rebellious spirit is increasingly evident in society. This should not come as a surprise to Christians that rightly discern the Word of God. Godlessness, lawlessness will abound in the last days before Jesus returns. Moreover, even though Jesus and glorified saints are ruling here on the earth during the Millennium. Scripture tells us they need to do so with a “rod of iron”. People, at least some, will still be rebellious not wanting to submit to God’s laws, God’s commandments. It appears the Millennium is a transitional period, the curse has not been totally lifted off the earth as people still die and people will still need to repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour in order to inherit eternal life. We know Satan is bound for most of the thousand years but he is released at the end and is still able to assemble a great army to come against Jesus. The following Scripture reveals the outcome.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.Revelation 20:7-10

Judgment Before the Great White Throne

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15

The New Heaven and the New Earth

​” Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS ESCALATES IN LAST DAYS

Over 4,000 people were killed in Islamic extremist attacks in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali in 2019, according to the U.N.’s envoy for West Africa and the Sahel Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

Since 2016, extremist groups including the Islamic State West Africa Province and Ansaroul Islam have carried out attacks throughout the Sahel region of West Africa. But attacks increased fivefold in 2019 — deaths rose from 80 in 2016 to 1,800 in 2019.

A Nigerian organisation claims that more than 350 Christians have been killed across the West African country since the start of 2020 and estimates that about 11,500 Christians have been killed since 2015.  “Nigeria has become a killing field of defenceless Christians,” the non-governmental organisation, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, said in a new special report.”

IS and al-Qaeda's JNIM are both active in the Sahel region where they compete for power
IS and al-Qaeda’s JNIM are both active in the Sahel region where they compete for power

Jihadist violence has now spread from the country’s north to the western Boucle du Mouhoun region where rice and maize are produced and transported to other areas, resulting in a food shortages and might cut off food for millions more in the region, according to the Associated Press.

It is feared that the COVID-19 pandemic might exacerbate the situation at a time when 2 million people in the country are already facing food insecurity.

“If production goes down in this area and if movement restrictions due to the coronavirus drive up food prices in the markets, it could push numbers of severely vulnerable people to double or triple,” Julia Wanjiru, communications coordinator for the Sahel and West Africa Club, an intergovernmental economic group, was quoted as saying.

According to the U.N., the number of people displaced in Burkina Faso rose 1,200 percent in 2019. There are about 600,000 internally displaced people in the country as it is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing humanitarian crises. 

Authorities in the Borno state of Nigeria said Wednesday that at least 81 people were killed in an attack on a nomadic community believed to have been carried out by militants aligned with the Islamic extremist groups Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa Province. 

Signs of the End of the Age

Jesus said, “And when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.” Luke 13:7-8

NATIONS RAGE AGAINST GOD AND HIS VALUES

Biblical prophecy is accurate, God has told us how events will unfold prior to His return to rule and reign from Jerusalem.

PSALM 2 gives us an accurate picture of the nations today, the rulers have taken counsel together against God and His people. They have cast away God’s values and commands. We can make up our own rules about sex, marriage and gender.

Look what God says and what He will do. They will face His wrath and Jesus will rule and reign from Zion’s Hill (Jerusalem). Notice what Jesus will do to the nations “break them with a rod of iron and dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel”.

Fortunately, Christians have been given a detailed picture of the “last days” and know that God is going to first refine His church with tribulation. Sadly, Jesus told us that many church goers will fall away from the true faith and compromise with the world and its values. This is already happening as gay marriage and homosexual pastors are being accepted in some denominational churches.

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.”
“I will declare the decree: the Lord has said to Me, you are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ” Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.
PSALM 2