We are in Part 3 of our study on Persecution of the Church. In Part 1, we discussed the pattern of persecution in times past, as it sprouted and grew in different cultures and how we are quickly fitting into that pattern here and now. In Part 2, we discussed why people are becoming so "intolerant and resentful" of Christ and Christianity in our culture today, and why persecution gives the real Church a unique opportunity of sifting, growing and witnessing to the world like no other time. Today we will discuss how to prepare for, and endure the growing animosity and resistance towards our faith. As levels of persecution seems to be steadily on the rise in our culture—whether quickly, or over time—we will face increasing persecution in the days ahead.
Last week we began a very important and timely message about "persecution!" Comparing our current situation in America, and even globally...To the pattern of how persecution has sprouted and grown in other times and places of history...
The obvious conclusion is that...Globally... And in our OWN Nation...Hatred, intolerance and persecution of Christians is growing in number and severity! We are the single-most hated group of people on the planet right here in our very lifetimes! And although we have been sheltered from most of the serious persecution in the past...Our society has taken on a completely different atmosphere and attitude in just a few short years...As Christianity has quickly gone from a position of favor and acceptance...To a position of contempt, and political incorrectness... It is becoming an almost common public attitude...To consider Fundamental Christian beliefs as homophobic, misogynistic, bigoted, judgmental and downright evil at times!
Do you see and feel increased animosity and even anger being expressed towards many of your Christian views in entertainment and in the politically correct world in which we live today? Do you sometimes feel intimidated and unwelcomed to express your Biblical belief about certain topics at work or among certain social gatherings? Knowing how they are in stark contrast to the accepted norm of society? Is there a very real and growing push by society for the church to change their stance on many current issues today? Are many of our very own churches caving to the desires of the masses in their beliefs and condemning us for not following suite? Have we crossed a new threshold of literal, physical, hate-filled aggression and intimidation towards unwanted beliefs and opinions in our country? Have you seen legal action taken against people as a direct result of their choice to live by their Biblical beliefs in our culture? Is there a very real trend to distinctly single out of Christian beliefs (over other religions) in our culture as the target for much condemnation and attack? With the current Representatives and Judges we have in place at this very moment, do you feel it is very possible for more restrictive laws to appear in our society towards our beliefs and convictions in the near future? Many Christians are wondering and asking whether we will experience serious discrimination and even outright persecution in our lives. I want to take a moment to give you a solid, evidence-based answer to set your minds at ease once and for all—absolutely, yes! Think that answer is biased? Paranoid? Opinionated? Let's take a few moments to get beyond our personal comforts, opinions and hopes—to see the big picture—from the standpoint of history, current blatant evidence, and Scripture.
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