Summary: You cannot find where we are promised prosperity, but you will find many places where we are promised tribulation and persecution.

Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Paul did not get the memo about the prosperity gospel. Having just survived being stoned he was well able to speak to us having to go through much tribulation on our way to Heaven. Indeed, if you look at his resume he was greatly experienced with that truth.

Indeed, the true Church has spiritually prospered and grew the most and during times of persecution rather than prominence. Not only has it survived the persecution of avowed enemies but also of Christians falsely so called. Even today, many enemies of Christ meet in buildings called churches though they worship another Christ or a twisted version of the real one.

We in the US and the West are about to experience what many brethren have endured for many decades. We should be the strongest Christians on the planet as we have myriads of seminaries and other tools. Sadly, that has often created a dead orthodoxy where we take pride in our various theologies but have not the Spirit empowering our knowledge of the letter.

In a pendulum reaction to that we have an emotional, selfish, materialistic wild fire that is not from the Holy Spirit generating people who are "intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind," Colossians 2:18

Thankfully, we have not only had such opposite views. There are balanced ministries that walk in the anointing of the Spirit without tossing doctrine to the curb. Perfect? No, but seeking perfection. It is likely that no group will have it 100% correct until the 144,00 preach in the Tribulation and then in the Millennium with Christ on the throne.

We will not endure God's wrath in the Tribulation for we are not appointed unto wrath, but judgment starts at the house of God. If judgment is coming soon upon the world, it is obvious that we will endure the wrath of man as a cleansing of the Body before the Rapture.

When the financial systems collapse so will the prosperity gospel. When it may cost everything to be a Christian the tares will tear out of the Church faster than the demon in the synagogue Christ cast out in Mark 1:26

While the American and Western churches may be the "smartest", we are not the wisest. An uneducated man in a persecuted land who has experienced the power of Christ through suffering for Him is far more wiser in the Kingdom. He does not rest in his accomplishments, but Christ's. He has no strength, but Christ's. He has no resources, but through Christ has everything he needs. He will have more crowns than most of us and be found to have been far wiser in his ignorance than in our knowledge. He will have been richer than our pastors in multi-million dollar homes though he lived on the street or in a straw hut.

Revival that we seek and pray for may come only because of persecution. In our freedom and opportunity many of us slept and dallied in our pursuits of fame, power or wealth. When those toys are pulled from hands then we will readjust our priorities and cry out to God rather than crying before Him like fat, lazy, spoiled children having a temper tantrum. It will temper us so we can be used in the Kingdom instead of building our own. May we be like the Marines be Semper Fi. Maranatha

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