- 1 Peter 4: 12-14 (ESV)
PERSECUTION. It's a word that we hear a lot about these days, and in recent years it has probably been most noticed regarding the treatment of many Christians in other parts of the world. Yet most Americans often ignore it, seeming oblivious to so many under siege in Africa, much of the Middle East and, of course, China, where a major purge has been underway for quite some time and the ministry of faith has been almost silenced, including beautiful churches as Chairman Xi has moved from being a somewhat quieter despot into one where it is not even avoided, excepting access to the Western press. But like tyranny everywhere, the Word is getting out with like Bibles continually delivered to Christian Chinese who yearn for it with so much longing no matter the danger they face.
Even here in America it has been noticed in increasing presence in our political world, first by Barack Obama, a man who claimed to be of the faith but whose actions belied those thoughts every day. But it has never been so prevalent as in what we've witnessed in recent days as the Constitution and the concept of free speech is being torn apart by the new Administration. It is becoming clear that Biblical-based Christianity as we know it, and authentic Judaism as well, are both under siege. Two major religions born within the same godly and moral foundation are finding themselves in the bullseye of a new Administration hell-bent on destroying the real concept of freedom that America was founded into. You can't be politically correct and speak truth, regardless of what some might think.
So, what are Americans of faith supposed to do in light of the dangers that appear to be rising? Well, I think the words of Peter above make it very clear what is expected of us. We must remember that Jesus Christ our Savior suffered horribly for us, ultimately dying on the Cross to cleanse us of all of our sins by washing them away with His blood. Now His forgiveness hasn't given us the prize, for we still must believe in Him by faith and faith alone and decide to live as He would have us live. And this means that we must stand up for Him no matter what we face and be willing to commit to never forsaking Him to save our own skin. After all, we won't be saving our skin ultimately if we falter and pledge to believe some other god as they wish, for we will be condemned for Eternity to the Dark Place instead of in the Light of Heaven that is ours if we remain faithful and true.
It's really just as simple a process as that although it is certainly frightening if faced, but God understands the weakness of we mortals and will never require anything that we can't withstand with Him at our side. And on the timeline of the earth, the suffering will only be a moment, yet the prize will be glory and a degree of wonder we can't even imagine in the New Life to come. And that leads us to the question that each one of us needs to ask and answer for ourselves using the free will that God gave each of us. What are we going to do?
The choice is ours. Will we stand strong for Christ and our will to keep America free as a nation under God? Or will we take what seems like to easy road but ultimately leads to our own destruction by being frightened into agreeing with our tormentors that we will cave to their threats? All I can say is the choice that each of us make is critical, not just for the time we have left on this face of this earth but for our eternity we face and what it will forever mean to each of us. Choose wisely, my friends, and commit to what is truly best for you. Choose standing with God not man and really live. Live a life where there is no pain or suffering and only peace and light. Choose God by committing to His son. Don't let Satan, the Persecutor in chief, take your heart. Stick with God and win not only this battle but the fight to be worthy of heaven.
Dear Lord, We praise you for your goodness and light and the gift of life which you have given us. Help us to commit to your son and make Him our choice for Eternity and spend that glorious forever in heaven with you. Amen.