June 2, 2016
Persecution against Christians is real and it’s growing stronger by the day. Christians are being crucified, beheaded, and imprisoned for simply believing in Jesus Christ. This persecution seldom makes major news headlines, but a simple investigation will reveal this demonic vendetta is real. Why is this happening? “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.” John 15:20. Jesus faced much persecution from His family on earth, who didn’t believe who He truly was until after His death, to the religious leaders who plotted His death. Why should we expect to avoid persecution? He told us we would face persecution. As we draw closer to the Rapture we can expect the persecution to get stronger. The god of this world is getting bolder in his attacks and Christians aren’t standing strong against him. Instead of being separate from the ungodly world, many who claim to be Christians join the enemy’s side.
The persecution against Christians is demonic in nature. Demons are real entities and are pure evil. They are Satan’s minions who have the ability to possess the people who invite them in. It’s a spiritual war and Christians should be on the forefront of the battle against the wickedness of this world, but it seems as if many of us don’t recognize the spiritual battle we face. Even if we do we fear the persecution that comes from speaking out and so many Christians join the world in lifestyle and attitude rather than being separate from the world and honoring God Almighty. The Bible gives us many examples of men who were not ashamed of God and stood against anything that was in opposition to Him. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced persecution in Babylon because they would only worship the one true God. When Nebuchadnezzar built a huge golden idol and decreed that everyone was to worship it, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused. There were tattletales who went to the king and said “There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee, they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou has set up.“Daniel 3:12. These honorable men were thrown into an extremely hot furnace because they refused to worship the demon gods of Babylon. There are Christians today who are being forced under penalty of torture and death to worship demon gods. Muslims behead and crucify Christians who refuse to embrace their evil religion. The good news is that there are many testimonies of miraculous conversions of Muslims to Christianity. When they turn to Christ they risk their lives. I pray that there will be many more who shun the hate-filled religion of Islam and turn their lives over to the love of Christ. May God strengthen Christians around the world who choose to be persecuted rather than bow to a demon.
Men and women around the world are being tortured because of their faith in Jesus, but we need to be aware of who really is being persecuted. The evil may be directed towards Christians, but it is Jesus who is truly the target of the hatred. As the days rush on to the end of time, the anger towards Jesus will continue to grow. This isn’t unique to the times in which we live; it began with those first brave men and women who embraced Jesus as their Saviour. We owe so much to Paul for the letters he wrote which encourage us in our walk with Jesus and strengthen our faith, but he wasn’t always a defender of Jesus. In those early days when Christianity was beginning to take root, Paul was known as Saul and he persecuted those early believers with vengeance. His name struck fear in the hearts of those first Jewish believers because of his vicious attacks on them. Many Christians fled from Jerusalem to escape the persecution, but Saul hunted them down. When he was headed for Damascus with authorization to arrest Christians, his time of persecuting came to an end. A light from heaven suddenly surrounded him. “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” Acts 9:4-5. Saul had convinced himself that he was doing God a favor by going after the Jewish believers in Christ, and he was filled with hatred towards them. Jesus knew his name and what all the wrong that he was doing, but He also knew that Saul was capable of doing great things for the Lord. Go back and read that verse again. In all of the persecution Saul dished out, it wasn’t the people he was persecuting, it was Jesus. Saul’s conversion was dramatic and complete. From then on he was known as Paul and was himself the victim of persecution because he served Jesus. The hatred directed towards Christians today is really directed towards Christ. The god of this world is behind all of the persecution, and there is no love in him.
We are in a war, a spiritual battle that has raged throughout time. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. This spiritual battle manifests in the natural world. Government leaders kill their own people, Muslims hate everyone who isn’t Muslim, North Korea continues to make threats, and Russia is always a problem. What about America? The evil that is residing in the White House is astounding. The President of the United States embraces child sacrifice through abortion (which is no different than placing a baby in the red hot arms of Moloch as a human sacrifice to a demon), promotes the homosexual agenda (which is an abomination to God), and he is not a Christian so he therefore does not worship God Almighty. Although Christians feel the ill effects of his administration, it is Jesus he hates and is persecuting. The Ten Commandments are being removed from public display and are being replaced by statues of the Baphomet, which is a satanic part goat, part human, part male, part female demonic idol. Prayer in government meetings is forbidden and we can see the fallout from this ban by the fact that many Government officials are openly corrupt and laugh at morality. Crosses are being removed from cemeteries because a few people complain, but t-shirts are worn in public that have vulgar messages on them. Through it all, it is Christians who are criminalized and made out to be evil, but it is truly Jesus who is being persecuted.
God has standards but the lost people of this world, over whom Satan rules, mock those standards. Prayer was removed from the classrooms and our children are being taught the lie of evolution and are being force fed the acceptance of sexual perversion. Brothers and sisters, doesn’t it make you worry that you send your children to public school where Satan is embraced but God is not welcome? The Bible is banned, Satan’s ways are taught, and then we wonder why depravity is everywhere. God created everything in six literal days. Adam and Eve lived in a perfect place where God was welcome. The only rule was to not eat the Forbidden Fruit. Then Satan entered the picture and sin began. Satan confused Eve by using lies and deception, and that is still his tactics today. Adam chose to eat the fruit, and so mankind was separated from God. It didn’t take long before persecution began. Abel gave a proper offering that honored God, but Cain ignored God and did things his own way. Cain’s offering was not accepted by God. Cain became angry and murdered his brother, then was worried that he would also be persecuted. Times haven’t changed much. It’s still those people who rebel against God who persecute those of uswho honor God. “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:16-17. What will the end be of those who don’t obey the gospel of God? Death. Eternal death in which the torment never ends. Only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will bring eternal life, yet He is still being persecuted. Brethren, if we don’t stop being ashamed of Jesus we will never lead anyone to obey the gospel of God. Persecution may result, but if a soul is won it’s worth the suffering.
If you claim to be a Christian and live your life by denying Him in your lifestyle, words, and actions, you’re mocking Him, and therefore you are apart of persecuting Him. As Peter said, don’t be ashamed to suffer as a Christian. That means don’t worry about persecution that may come because you live in obedience to God. Jesus said “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12. Remember, persecution isn’t new; it has been going on since time began. Anyone who serves God instead of Satan is subjected to persecution. Keep in mind, though, it is Jesus who is being persecuted.
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. Who’s the persecution against? Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to live for Him.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.