Persecution of Christians has come to the United States of America. It’s subtle and behind the scenes, but it’s there. This country that has had over two hundred year of religious freedom written into its Constitution is slowly eroding those freedoms, and because of the cultural climate, government, the court system, and the educational system are not just allowing it; in many cases, they’re the ones encouraging it.
I’m not one to go on about conspiracy theories or to spread alarmist rumors that don’t bear fact checking. So let me give you a few examples.
Home Bible Studies: Our right to assemble and worship is being attacked through zoning laws. Here’s a few news stories that show this.
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
Violation of Conscience: New laws such as the ones requiring Christian owned hospitals to violate their consciences by provide contraception and abortion in their health care packages are surfacing more often now. Here’s an example.
Bullying Christians: In education, it’s unacceptable to bully anyone except those who believe in the Bible. Here’s a link to a video that’s supposedly anti-bullying that was shown to a group of high schoolers. I won’t post the video on my site because it’s too offensive.
These are only a few examples. What concerns me is not that we will be persecuted. The Bible promised that believers would be persecuted. I’m concerned about Christians who follow Jesus because they believe life here on Earth will be better if they follow Jesus. But that’s not always true.
Here are some things to remember when persecution comes:
Never waver about what the Word of God says. Never. Ever.
Don’t be offensive. Jesus was a friend of sinners. If people are offended because of the message of Christ, that’s one thing. But if we act obnoxious and unloving, it’s not persecution that we’re suffering. We’re reaping what we sow.
Don’t blame persecution for your own faults or for circumstances. You’re not being persecuted because you didn’t work hard enough, talked about Jesus when you should have been working, and have a holier than thou attitude toward co-workers. You deserve to be fired. Also when people can’t accommodate you, it’s not always because you’re a Christian.
Don’t do anything to bring shame to the name of Christ.
If you do make a stand for Christ by breaking the law, expect to pay the consequences, and let God be glorified through you.
Remember the heroes of faith. You’re not the first to experience trials, and you won’t be the last. Do as the saints of old did, and praise God that you’ve been counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
Here’s a few Scriptures to remember when persecution comes whether through the government, education, work, friends, or even through the organized church:
Matthew 5:10-12 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.
John 15:18-20 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
1 Peter 4:12-14 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. 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 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.