Saturday, April 22, 2017

How Are You Preparing for Persecution?

 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 2 Tim. 3:12-13

I grew up in a church that believed that the LORD would Rapture the Church before the Great Tribulation.  Over the years, I examined this teaching and have come to this conclusion that the LORD has never removed His people out of tribulation.  The Early Church went through a period of persecution where it is estimated that 7 million Christians die in the Arena of Rome. In the 20th Century more than 45 million Christians died for being a Christian.  Today every 5 minutes a Christian is killed.
The number of Christians killed every year for their faith is about 105,000. And these are only those who were put to death because they were Christians. It does not include those killed as victims of the war going on in the Middle-East.  So, what makes the American Christian think that the LORD will spare us?  And who is to say we are not already in the Great Tribulation and have been for years?
This got me to thinking, are we prepared for a major persecution of our faith?  Are we prepared if our country becomes a war zone like most of the world?  How will you handle all the people that will show up at your door when a major crisis strikes because they haven’t been making any preparations of their own?    
I am reminded the story Jesus told about God’s kingdom.  He said it will be like ten girls who were waiting for the bridegroom. They took their lamps with them. Five of the girls were foolish, and five were wise.  The foolish girls took their lamps with them, but they did not take extra oil for the lamps.  The wise girls took their lamps and more oil in jars.  When the bridegroom was very late, the girls could not keep their eyes open, and they all fell asleep. At midnight someone announced, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come and meet him!’  All the girls woke up and made their lamps ready, but the foolish girls said to the wise girls, ‘Give us some of your oil, the oil in our lamps is all gone.’ The wise girls answered, ‘No! The oil we have might not be enough for all of us. But go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves. So, the foolish girls went to buy oil. While they were gone, the bridegroom came. The girls who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked. Later, the other girls came and said, ‘Sir, sir! Open the door to let us in, but the bridegroom answered, ‘Certainly not! I don’t even know you.’ So always be ready. You don’t know the day or the time when the Son of Man will come.
So, let me ask again, when disaster comes to America how will we react?  Will you be like the five wise girls who would not share what they had?  Jesus was telling them to prepare for the time when the Bridegroom delays his coming.   This story could be taken just as a spiritual warning to have the Holy Spirit in our lives or it could be a warning to prepare for the time when material needs are hard to come by.  Is he saying, we need to work extra hard to prepare because there will be people that need to depend on us when times get hard.  And turning away those that are in desperate need would go against everything that we stand for as, Christians.  Is a Christian turning people away the true meaning of love? It would be quite hypocritical of us to turn away those that we care about when they need us the most.
I was in a Sunday School class where they were discussing witnessing to people about their spiritual condition and what should we do if they refused and how often should we continue to be concerned for them?  One response was they were told now it is their problem.  I certainly understand the frustrations of those that have been trying to warn family and friends about what is coming for years and they never seem to listen. 
Unfortunately, we need to realize that there is a tremendous amount of deception going on out there these days about how the LORD is going to spare us and take us out of a time of tribulation.  Some of the deceptions that are currently circulating are very strong, and it can be very easy to be sucked into them.  So, we need to have compassion for those that have been led into confusion. 
There are thousands of watchmen standing on the wall all across this country never wavering from warning America about what is coming even for a moment.  That is because they are standing on the truth and not on wishful thinking that is the product of overactive imaginations.
The ingredients for the “perfect storm” that so many watchmen have been warning about for ages are starting to come together right before our eyes.  We are closer to the end than we have been in decades, our politicians are openly admitting that our relations with the Middle-East are at “an all-time low”, the federal government is 20 trillion dollars in debt, our nation is on the verge of being torn apart by strife and civil unrest, the financial markets are primed for a crash of epic proportions, and natural disasters are happening with frightening regularity as the crust of our planet rattles and shakes.
But we are somehow supposed to believe that “everything is going to be wonderful” even though we continue to murder babies, just about every form of sexual immorality that were in the Days of Noah, and Sodom and Gomorrah that you can possibly imagine is exploding all around us, our “entertainment” industry is an open sewer, and we lead the world in both legal and illegal drug use.
 America is headed for a date with disaster, and those that are suggesting that you will be Raptured out of the coming troubles are not being honest with you.  If I am wrong then you have nothing to worry about, if I am right you have much to be concerned about.