Christian persecution is alive and thriving September 28, 2011Posted by #4 in Everything but the kitchen sink.
Tags: Christian, God, Holy Spirit, Islam, Jesus, Persecution, United States, World Vision
Everyone is familiar with the Roman persecution of the early church. Christians were crucified, burned, torn by lions and dogs, beheaded, hunted mercilessly and thrown in prison. It is generally agreed that the persecution of Christians found its start under Nero and it has never stopped. Today the persecution of Christians is carried out primarily by Muslims and the persecution is often brutal and cruel, but then any sane person knows by now that Islam is anything but a religion of peace.
We are seeing a rise in persecution of Christians here in America. This is truly astounding considering that Christians came to this country to avoid persecution and as a result the United States has been the greatest country in history. But that is all changing. After 9/11 the religion of Islam is being tolerated as never before in spite of it’s evil spawn, Terrorism. Our world is being turned upside down and the only faith in the history of the planet that teaches to “love your enemy and do good to those who persecute you” is the one faith that is hated by the world above all others. The greatest humanitarian organizations on earth, that continually go into war torn countries to provide food and clothing and medicine, are those whose roots are founded in Christianity: The Salvation Army, World Vision, the American Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse. Yet Christians are vilified without restraint by heads of state, Hollywood and most talking heads. Take a look at some recent headlines showing this…
Christian persecution isn’t the only atrocity our world practices; there are many other evil occurrences that crop up daily, but this is not something that is inexplicable as many people find it to be – it is all a result of sin: a rejection of God and His Son Christ Jesus. When people live their lives without God or in direct defiance of God they tend to participate in horrible activities and evil visited on people reigns supreme. Just take a look at the current crop of horror flicks (or most any movie for that matter) available at the movies and you catch a glimpse of what a mind that is not influenced by God’s Holy Spirit is capable of imagining. Of course, if you are reading this and you are not born again with the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, you probably don’t understand what I’m talking about. Adultery, hooking-up, ghosts and hauntings, lewd behavior, anarchy, kidnappings and murder, corruption in government, etc…these are all subjects of our media; ungodly imaginings running amok.
Persecution of Christians is different. I’ll tell you why.
People die every day. People are killed in accidents, they are murdered, they succumb to disease and illness, they are murdered in the womb, or they expire from old age or substance abuse. They are dying, but they are not dying for any reason other than as a result of sin.
Christians are persecuted for a reason other than sin.
They are persecuted because of who they serve: Jesus, the Son of God.
A true Christian recognizes Jesus as God. He is not some meek and mild teacher from long ago, He wasn’t just a prophet, He isn’t just a good man who had great influence on the world – He is God. He is Master. He is Savior. God come in the flesh; the Word made flesh; the propitiation for our sin. Because of Him, Christians are persecuted. Jesus Himself said this would occur:
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15: 18-19
That verse also gives you a clue as to why some of the most despicable people on the planet receive fame and accolades and awards – the world loves its own. Some of the highest paid comedians are the vilest, some of the most celebrated movie stars are reprehensible and some of the richest and most famous singers are clearly vulgar and lewd. Jesus had something to say about them as well…
“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” Matthew 6: 2
What the Lord means by this is all their fame and awards and celebrity they have now is all they will ever receive – they have their reward. They have no heavenly reward, no treasure stored up in heaven. Eternity will be a place of torment and suffering for them, an eternity of looking back on their “reward” and knowing it was not worth sacrificing an eternity with Christ in heaven.
So Christians are persecuted for Christ, because the world hated Him first. It is not going to get any better. It will get worse.
It would not surprise me if the next decade sees Christianity becoming a crime here in America. Our country is caught in a vortex of sin and corruption that will not abate and the more wicked it becomes, the more it will hate the things of God, including His followers. We have yet to see the kind of persecution that Christians in other countries face, but it is not long away.
Yet we have a higher hope. A high calling. And we know we are storing up treasure in heaven. All the persecution the world can bring on Christianity does not take away the joy of serving Him who died for our sin. The world is baffled by the Christian; the determination and refusal to renounce our Savior – after all, compromise is part of the world’s creed. People are always speaking their mind and then having to recant. It is expected. It doesn’t understand holiness and therefore labels it as hate-speech. Christians are labeled as haters by the adherents of hate. Yet our hope does not wane, it does not die in the face of persecution. The world can laugh and ridicule us, try to silence us, imprison us, it can torture us and it can kill us, but it can never remove us from the hand of our Lord. That is our strength.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4: 4
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21: 28
- Growing Persecutions of Christians in Nigeria (thechristiangazette.wordpress.com)
- Open Doors plans ‘lock-in’ for persecuted church (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- This Month in Muslim Persecution of Christians: July (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)