The Persecuted Church
by Pastor Mike Taylor
“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (1st Peter 4:16-19)
Can persecution come to America? Its beginnings are already here if you look around you. We see where anything that speaks of God or His Holy Word, brings condemnation from a dying, rebellious world.
The news was full of the report in the past of one courageous woman in Kentucky, who would not bow to judicial pressure to issue same sex marriage licenses to gay couples. And a baker and florist in another part of the country who went through being sued for not provided their service to another gay couple. In this country we have freedom to stand against unjust laws that circumvent clear biblical morality. Our country and its so called leaders have gone rogue in subjecting this country to laws that were not meant for a free people. I am reminded of what the founding fathers wrote when they broke away from the tyranny of England in the Declaration of Independence:
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
How can we continue to live under government tyranny without taking back what we loaned to others in the government to represent us...? Is it so far gone that we have not got the power to take back our own government? I find this the fault of the pastors that stand in our pulpits that have failed to preach and stand for righteousness and fire up their congregation and men of good will to stand for what is right and what this country was founded upon. I'm not advocating revolution, although I'm sure there are many people are just about fed up with this direction the country is headed in. I'm reminded of a quote by our 3rd President of the USA when he said:
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson
And let no one be mistaken, there are men who believe in this country and will take up arms to defend her. I believe that is what the implementation of in the past the so called JADE HELM was all about, because the powers that be, know that the American people are getting fed up. This will promote more persecution and marshal law, and if you are labeled a right-wing extremist, a conservative, being religious, a Christian, or a patriot, then you have been branded as a threat to the government.
You may not think of yourself as a “domestic right-wing extremist”, and I certainly do not, but the truth is that patriotic Americans and conservative Christians have been repeatedly labeled as “potential terrorists” since this past POTUS became president by hook and by crook, being illegitimate and probably not even born on USA soil. If this had just happened one time, it would be easy to dismiss. Sadly, there has been a steady pattern of this happening over the past several years. Large groups of people that are the heart and soul of this country have been systematically demonized over the past 8-9 years. When you consider what history has taught us, it is absolutely chilling to think about what this could eventually lead to. Is this what those reports of FEMA camps, mass coffins, and NSA spying on every person's personal information leading to....PERSECUTION?
THE FIRST AMENDMENT UNDER ATTACK
We have been given alienable rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The ACLU from their own website describes what we call the 1st Amendment to the Constitution:
“Our country's founders -- who were of different religious backgrounds themselves -- knew the best way to protect religious liberty was to keep the government out of religion. So they created the First Amendment -- to guarantee the separation of church and state. This fundamental freedom is a major reason why the U.S. has managed to avoid a lot of the religious conflicts that have torn so many other nations apart.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits government from encouraging or promoting ("establishing") religion in any way. That's why we don't have an official religion of the United States.”
Most everything in the above quote is correct, but the point missed from the above clause that even the ACLU turns a blind eye to is that the government protects the free exercise of ones own religion. We have freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion. The statement of separation of church and state is not found in our original documents, but came from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a set of Christian pastors who worried about a theocracy coming to America. The phrase is lifted from this letter and is not part our governing laws, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the landscape of this country today.
GAY MARRIAGE FOUGHT IN KENTUCKY
So a firestorm has developed over one little county clerk who stood on her religious freedom to not condone a practice that would conflict her conscious of religious freedom and the right to practice that freedom by rejecting a spuriously and flagrant violation of God's Holy Word. She stood on the clear commands of written laws given by God concerning the abomination of homosexual sins. And she was not the first and she won't be the last. It will become more prevalent as we grow closer to the coming Tribulation. The Godly woman believed God when He said:
“22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. “(Leviticus 18:22)
Paul spoke of this also in the New Testament in Romans:
24 “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” (Romans 1:24-28)
9 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (homosexuals), nor abusers of themselves with mankind” (1st Corinthians 6:9)
This county clerk, the baker, and the florist mentioned took their religious convictions seriously and would not violate their Christian beliefs and issue a piece of paper condoning sin by her signature on a marriage license, or baking a cake to glorify their abomination before God or supply flowers to the same type of event. This part of the county clerk in Kentucky was not present when she was elected to her position..Mind you, this lady is a Democrat and was sent to jail by a Republican judge, so the issue is not about Democrat vs. Republican ideology..No, it's about what this country was founded upon...Religious freedom!!! Some say that she should have resigned or vacated her elected post if it conflicted with her conscience. Or the baker and the florist should just have supplied the service to whomever asked...Yes, each could have rolled over and given consent by being absent from applying their moral beliefs to their business and their elected office, but would that not have said they were wrong in their beliefs by doing so? Would they not have been denying their Lord Jesus who wrote down His commandments for righteous living in public, or in private practice? I think it would have been so.
I got into a long back and forth debate on Facebook when this same question arose over whether Kim Davis was wrong in her actions. One thing I quickly learned, no matter what evidence you provide that God condemns this act of immorality so perverse in God's eyes as calling it an abomination, the liberal left, the Progressives (Democrat Socialist, or Communist, same thing) will try and shout you down. They will mock, curse God using expletives, start name calling, and I'm sure foam at the mouth as they rail against your God given beliefs of moral behavior according to God's Holy Word. It is their right to not believe (granted), but it also my right to believe...If they refuse to believe in the God of the Bible, that is their freedom to reject the message, but on the flip side, it is my right to believe and voice my opinions about what God says and quote scripture to back it up. Each should have the respect of varied opinions and beliefs without resorting to verbal abuse. But get ready folks, if it happens when you speak anything of God even on Facebook, it will get exponentially worse as we grow closer to the judgment of God coming down on this country to the run-up of the Tribulation in any public forum. The godless masses won't tolerate anything that speaks of God in any form, and will brand those that do as bigots and haters. And to some degree, they already are doing so.
Just look at one case in point. See what is a happening in our armed forces? Our past so called POTUS...you know his name, informed the highest ranking military generals and admirals of our military, that if they couldn't support the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” over homosexuality in the military, then they should resign. Many did resign. Chaplains have been ordered to not use the name of Jesus when counseling or ministering to any of our men and women in uniform. Religious freedom has been stifled in the public arena. The past Usurper in chief promoted unrighteous living at every turn, and he calls himself a “christian”...fat chance. Not by definition of a “follower of Jesus Christ” he's not. The man worships at the altar of himself. I can only applaud this present POTUS Trump that signed a bill promoting religious freedom in this country, but how long will this last when the next POTUS may take it away, or the next (God forbid) and Democrat congress does likewise.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
This all began when this country through a decision by the Supreme Court to ban prayer in public schools back in the 1960s, which eventually led to the ruling over a “woman's right to choose” to have or not to have an abortion. It wasn't about freedom to choose, but one person denying the right of another person to life, even in her own womb. It's been a slippery slope from that point on. America has grown more Godless as time has progressed.
Then look at the “Defense of Marriage Act” or DOMA that was law in this country and this past usurper in chief, who took an oath to uphold the law, decided on which laws he would enforce and those he would look the other way and not enforce. At every turn, he has made his own laws by executive order and failed to uphold the Constitution which is the LAW of the land. Of course, the argument can be made that we have elected our national moral condition decline by putting this man in office. Or that God has given us this man to bring the beginnings of His judgment upon a nation who has abused the freedoms given to them by God and turned their back on Who has blessed this nation like no other nation in all of man's history. Why do you think that the left, the MSM (Fake News) is rabid that the Supreme Court may tilt to the right for years to come with another Conservative judge appointed by President Trump? They can see their hold on changing America into a Socialist country slowly slipping away.
The freedoms that we have enjoyed since the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War was won, now nigh 235 years is rapidly being shredded in the place of being “politically correct” and morally depraved. Almost no one trembles at the Word of God or before God Himself in our present society in America. We have become a proud, although broken generation, glorying in our self-esteem and positive thinking. Our self-centered idea of ourselves looks at flesh as if it were a god, but has lost respect for the true God. Since we do not need to fear Him, we do not respect Him and are therefore slowly replacing Him with an impersonal god more on our human level.
I saw that first hand in my aforementioned debate against a self expressed atheist who embraces Buddhist beliefs of man being his own god. I shudder to think what would have been the result if the exchange had been face to face. This person got so offensive in his language that if we had been sitting across from one another, I can envision him rising to strike with his fist. Like I mentioned, I believe that this same kind of intolerance for anything that is of God and His Word will find even more persecution as the Tribulation hour approaches. This object intolerance is of Satan, the devil.
Even now, pastors in churches have been jailed for speaking God's truth and the authorities have arrested them for hate speech. I find that ludicrous, as if the same as warning to a motorcyclist to wear a helmet to avoid splattering his head all over the pavement and in doing so it is called hate speech, because you infringe on his right to be a danger to himself. Men of conviction speak of God's law and sin to warn those who are lawless in their conduct toward a Holy God. They are concerned for their spiritual lives and wishing to follow the leading of God's Holy Spirit. But men do not want to be told that they are sinning. The Facebook page reinforced that concept, that men do not want to be told that what they are doing is wrong according to God's Word. Christians are just standing in their way of having a “good” time. We are stifling their ability to form a “utopia” on earth where everyone can be and do whatever they want to do, irregardless if it's right or wrong.
Jesus warned us in John chapter 16:
1 “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (John 16:1-3)
Satan is working overtime, as he knows his time is running short, so if he is going to have any chance of winning over the one True God, he must make God out a liar and he is searching for anything that would accomplish this. He has been trying for almost 6000 years to avoid the penalty that he knows is coming. So he uses men against other men to attempt to thwart God's plan for mankind. It all started with the people that God chose as His own, the people of Israel who gave us Jesus even in unbelief, where Christianity was born and has spread to the whole world. Christianity has flourished to the four corners of the globe to reaching every tribe and every nation in our modern world by means of telecommunications, television and the internet. Jesus proclaimed what we are seeing right now:
34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
35 For I have come to "set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
36 And "a man's foes will be those of his own household."(Matthew 10:34-36)
We may face persecution in our jobs, because of our beliefs...again,see what has happened to Kim Davis in Kentucky? At times, we may receive social persecution within a community (see the florist and the baker in the recent news). We are often excluded from friendships that would normally be extended to us as they are to others who are not of the truth of God's Word. Sometimes our children face this more directly in school than we do in the neighborhood or market place. But it's out there waiting to invade our safe place and make our lives more uncomfortable.
I wonder, as you are reading this, how many of us would have done as Kim Davis has done? Would we have stood up to an angry crowd that I'm sure became abusive and loud when she followed her faith and conscience and would not issue gay marriage license? Would you have been willing to go to jail for the crime of religious freedom as the baker and florist were facing? Would you have gone along with the crowd, as her deputy clerks did when they issued marriage license in her absence in fear of contempt of court of an unjust ruling? It is a difficult choice that we all may have to make before Jesus comes for His chosen bride.
Without a doubt, the most intense persecution will begin with those of a religious bent and culminates with the civil authorities. Christ received His most frequent attacks from the religious leaders, those with the greatest spiritual pretensions. The scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees all attempted to ostracize Him or destroy the validity of His teaching. In the end, the ecclesiastical authorities called upon the civil authorities to administer the savage beating and execution. As the Beast arises, we can expect its persecution to follow the same pattern.
PERSECUTION WILL GROW INTENSE
As I've explored in past messages, there is coming a push for a New World Order and a One World Religion. This has been proposed for the last 23 years since 1992 and the acceptance by 176 countries of the U.N.'s Agenda 21 and now is evolving into Agenda 2030, which I covered in my past messages. If you missed it, you may review it here:
There will come a time, when a government that has been formed to cover the whole earth will arise and demand allegiance to laws and commands that are in direct conflict with God's commands. A religious authority that will proclaim that all should worship an idol that shall be erected in the Holy of Holies in the newly built Temple in Jerusalem.
“15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 15-18
I've often wondered what kind of image this false prophet will cause the whole world to worship this image. Obviously, the whole world cannot go to Jerusalem to bow before an idol much like what King Nebuchadnezzer in ancient Babylon when he set up his golden image. So how will this be accomplished? I don't really know, but a good friend of mine postulated that the only way that the whole world will be able to see and worship the beast of Revelation is through a television broadcast into every home. Now we know that even today, Gallup Polling knows who is watching what program. Is it inconceivable to believe they will devise a means of tracking who is worshiping, and who is not? Will they be able to see into your living room and see how you respond, and if you bow or not? Seems far fetched in some aspects, but with technology the powers that be will figure out how to keep tabs on those who are loyal to the Beast Power and who are not...who will worship, and who will not. And if you worship, or take His mark, then that person is doomed for all eternity.
We in America have been virtually isolated from the evils that have grown rampant in the last several years in the rest of the world, but is it starting in America with the intolerance for anything that goes against the agenda that this New World Order elites envision? Will you compromise your morals and convictions and submit to their agenda? As we bump up to the coming of Jacob's troubles, known as the Tribulation, will it in fact get harder to be a patriotic American, a conservative, and a Christian? The answer is a resounding ….YES...yes, it will. How will you be able to stand firm....? Will you stand firm?
In this hour of man's last gasp of human government, when the persecution starts, you must arm yourself with weapons of war: Ephesians chapter 6,
“10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
My friend, we could see persecution that could come knocking at your door, before Jesus comes back to remove His bride from this planet. Many pray, even as I do, that Jesus will come soon. Many point to this month as something major happening in the world. The coming of Jesus, the implosion of the economy of this fallen world, the nation of Israel going to war with Iran, and many other possibilities that very well could come to pass, but of the one that we all hope for, the coming of our Lord, what if it doesn't happen this month, or this year...what if God tarries and holds back His Son from coming based upon His perfect will? Then the above verses will take on a completely urgent need and meaning. I pray Jesus is ready to burst on the scene, but prepared to be fully armed with my weapons of spiritual warfare.
What about the rest of you? Those who see the world going to “hell in a hand-basket”. The morals of the nation called the USA and the rest of the world becoming more permissive and evil beyond what you ever thought possible is right before your eyes. Can you imagine what it will be like, if the world becomes a 1000 times more wicked and dangerous with people dying all around you? Or you yourself, you loved ones, and those you care about dying a painful, horrifying death what that will be like? That is what is coming during the last 7 years of human history, called the Tribulation. How can you survive should you enter that time period...? Most likely, you won't survive. For the God of Heaven will rain down on earth an unimaginable wrath for the sins of mankind, that I for one, do not wish to be here to witness. A madman called the Anti-Christ will be the complete dictator and terror of this God forsaken world and will destroy all who do not follow him, and worship him as a god. But Jesus wishes to give all who call upon His name in belief “VICTORY” over this world, and reign and rule with Him for a thousand years...How you say? John chapter 3:
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”.
It's so simple, that a child can do it...become as a little child and believe on His name and follow Him in Spirit and in Truth. Persecution is coming, but we who stand on God's promises will overcome whatever is thrown our way...In Jesus Name.
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying for salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, comes into your life. Should you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, God bless you all:
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
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