Pastor's Heart

December 30th, 2015

The Persecuted Church

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Written by: Gene

As these End Times seem to be quickly upon us, I feel compelled to look at The Seven Letters to The Seven Churches as written in the Book of Revelation.

The point of this, is strictly for personal evaluation, but I may reflect on the actions and reactions of others to keep me focused.

The letters, were written not as a way to point out the wrongs of others, but for the believer (those who call themselves christians) to make sure their lives are on the up and up when it comes to their walk with Jesus.

The second letter is to what God refers to as “The Persecuted Church…”

Revelation 2:8-11 

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

Reading this, I must confront that Americanized Tribulation false concept that says, “I will never see the tribulation because Jesus will take me away first…” This is a lie that has kept us complacent for the Kingdom. Much like the Church to which Thessalonians was written, we are just sitting back and waiting (while doing nothing) for Jesus to return.

Realize it or not, we are under persecution right now. Judgements are coming down in courts awarding your whole life savings if you refuse to bake a queer cake. Yet sleeping Christians still believe that their founding fathers will protect them when the Attorney General says she, “will prosecute anyone who speaks out against muslims…” Are you sure? When courts and town councils have already ruled in favor of suppressing “free speech,” you still believe that persecution is an impossibility.

Yet while persecution builds up, our national media is telling us to not overreact to such a concept. That reminds me of a person I know who has a venomous tongue, and after she insults the crud out of you, has the nerve to then tell you to not let things get to you.

Isn’t that how Satan works? He will attack you, and then say, “how could a loving God allow…” He will lie to you, and say, “how could you be so stupid for…” He even still today will ask you, “did God really say..?” when you are taking a stand on the Word of God.

Yet we are living in a society that is selling it’s soul to Satan for comfort, entertainment and wealth. At the same time, he is plotting the churches destruction. I even hear fellow believers say, “thank god for a country that produces the best entertainment in the world…”

Don’t you mean, the filthiest, godless entertainment? And why are we so interested in entertainment and being entertained? Why would we mourn the loss of our favorite sports star or actor, and neglect our neighbors? Why are we allowing our enemies to come in in the form of refugees (stating that we must care for others)?

It is because we as a church haven’t been “faithful till death’ like God is calling us to be. We have forgotten Him, and fallen asleep when we should be standing on guard.

And yet, as the hand writing is on the wall, The Lord is still calling out to His people to keep their lamps full of oil so that they will be safe. As per Jeremiah 29:11 that says to Israel before they are taken into captivity, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope…” God is still calling His people to be faithful in persecution so that they will pass the tests.

My thought and question now is this, “If I can’t resist the small temptations and trials, how will I be faithful to resist the larger ones when they come?”

If we will stand firm on His Promises found in His Word, we will pass the test of this temporary world, and will enter into the Eternal Kingdom of God.

Father God, lead me not into temptation but deliver me…
Jesus, I serve You and You alone, please hear Your servant’s cries…
Sweet Holy Spirit, guide me through the trials and tribulations…

My goal is to hear You say, “well done…”

About the Author

A husband to an awesome wife, father to 3 beautiful girls, step-father to a beautiful girl and smart son. Preacher, Designer and best of all a Servant to a loving and gracious God.

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