Because we live in a country that is said to be built on a Judeo-Christian foundation, we never until now had to deal with very much persecution. That kind of stuff was done to those groups on the fringe of mainline Christianity, groups that most of us considered heretics or sort of loony. The mainstream never had to deal with suffering because of their faith. Of course, once in a while we would suffer some opposition, lose some battles, but not on a large scale. Our generation is the one which is experiencing major defeats in the public arena. We are the ones to have been paralyzed by philosophies contrary to our tradition. And now these unchristian ideologies are able to affect not only the politics, but education, media, and even Christian denominations.
What our generation is witnessing is without precedent, and it is only the beginning. It will get worse. Large and important denominations are taking a sharp turn to ideas, philosophies, and theologies that we cannot find in the Scriptures anymore. The way that people are responding is very weak. They just move to other churches, hoping that one of the churches will shelter them, or help them in their struggles. I am sorry to tell you this, but this is not a solution. They will be able to delay their denial and suffering just a little bit. The problem is all over the culture, and unfortunately the Christian culture seems to be losing ground.
The Bible is clear that the disciples of Jesus will always be the counterculture, and because of that they will suffer. Jesus was clear on that in the first sermon that He preached: “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. Matthew 5:10-11.” He also mentioned the experience of the prophets who came before the disciples: “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:12.” Paul, writing to his disciple Timothy, tried to prepare him for the suffering that everyone who follows Jesus will experience: “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 2Timothy 3:12.” And do not forget that in many parts of the world, the suffering of our brothers and sisters because of their faith is a daily routine.
I do not want to be pessimist. I just want to be realist. We who follow Jesus and want to continue to follow Him are the remnants. We are the minority, and because of that we will face persecution and we will pay the price. Things are going to be harder for us. Never before was it so crucial for the Christians to know in depth what they believe. If you are going to suffer, suffer for something that you really believe. But remember, He is Lord.
Have a blessed week,