Summary: Christian persecution and how to survive it.
“Surviving the Coming Days”
Matthew 24:6-13, 24 October 13, 2015
6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
“24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
The year was 1999 and this nation witnessed what was the fourth deadliest school massacre in U.S. history up to that time. We refer to this horrific incident simply as Columbine.
Rachel Joy Scott, a devout Christian, was the first to be shot. Reportedly she was eating lunch on the lawn outside the school when she was approached by the killers and asked if she believed in God. Knowing full well that the end result would be death, she said yes. Refusing to deny her faith in God, Rachel was shot in the head at point blank range. As part of the investigation, video tapes were found in which Eric and Dylan mocked Rachel for her faith. I cannot help but be proud of this young lady who in an instant went home to be with the Lord Whom she would not deny. At 17 years of age, she showed more courage and conviction than many adults ever have.
Chris Harper Mercer, the alleged Oregon community college gunman, asked students to stand and state their religion before shooting them. The killer asked "'Are you a Christian?’ " He then asked Christians to stand and said, " ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you are going to see God in just about one second,’ " before opening fire. Others have reported Mercer “hated religion” in his online writings.
Kim Davis, County Clerk in Kentucky said,
"I am here before you this morning with a seemingly impossible choice, which I do not wish on any of my fellow Americans," she said. "My conscience or my freedom."
"My conscience or my ability to serve the people that I love," Davis continued, choking back tears. "Obey God or a directive that forces me to disobey God."
U.S. Sen. Cruz, R-Texas, released the following statement regarding the arrest of Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis:
“Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny. Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America.” He went on to say, “Kim Davis should not be in jail. We are a country founded on Judeo-Christian values, founded by those fleeing religious oppression and seeking a land where we could worship God and live according to our faith, without being imprisoned for doing so.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world,
“Christianity is now the world's most oppressed religious group, with persecution against them reported in 110 countries."
At least 100,000 Christians are killed every year because of their faith in Jesus Christ, McAreavey said, adding that an even greater number of believers are "being tortured, imprisoned, exiled, threatened, excluded, attacked and discriminated against on a widespread scale."
Iraqi Christian children who were told by ISIS militants to convert to Islam or be killed. Their response? “No, We Love Yeshua (Jesus).”
Twenty one Christians are marched down a beach by ISIS terrorists clad-in-black with their victims donning orange jumpsuits. The Christians are forced to their knees. One is clearly praying. None recant their faith. All are beheaded.
I could go on and one with story after story. There are not dozens being killed; not hundreds; not even thousands being killed, many beheaded. There are hundreds of thousands each year being killed for their faith.
Here in America we have been spared the brunt of the persecution, but it is being to touch us. The school killings of Christians and government leaders who live their faith are paying the price for their faith. Folks, it’s gonna get worse. The Bible says,
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” Matthew 24:9
“5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.