Friday, December 17, 2004

The New Persecution

Christian Protestors Face 47 Years in Jail for Encounter at 'Gay Pride' Event after a federal judge refused to send a message to the Philledelphia DA's office that Freedom of Speech is granted to Christians the same as it is granted to those against Christianity.

I want to stress that this trial is a milestone in the growth of the church. Complacency and Apathy is the Hallmark of Christian Character today. In a time where Christian's are jailed for preaching the Bible: in a time when a student can be expelled for wearing a shirt that says "STRAIGHT": In a time where Christ has been LEGALLY removed from Christmas: In a time where the 10 commandments have been removed from the court room: and In a time where the declaration of independence has been deemed as "anti-American rhetoric" this attitude will be erradicated. Christianity is coming to a time of testing. We will lose jobs, homes, family members, and those who are uncommited to the faith they now claim.

Take heart in the words of Christ!

Matthew 5:10-12 - Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Luke 21:12-18 - “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.

John 15:18-21 - “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

I encourage you to understand that when the law can no longer protect us from the strength of secularism we should welcome the "fire that refines" the church, and prepare ourselves for the day of trial.

Practical Steps -
1. Memorize Scripture - I think this is the first most important lesson, Bible's will be come scarce, implant as much of the word of God in your mind as possible.
2. Prepare Your Children - Make sure your children understand why we are different, why we are hated, and why we must stand firm.
3. Pray for Strength - The pain of the flesh must be subjected to the will of the Spirit. Pray for a prepared relationship with Christ, a dependence on the power of the comforter, and a fellowship with the father to withstand the suffering of the flesh.
4. Repent & Evangelize - We must clear out our own sin and weakness, and work to share the gospel with "as many as possible, as often as possible" to prepare for the impending day.

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