Sunday, August 26, 2012

Christian persecution increasing toward the end times

Jesus prepared His disciple followers for hard times. Before He was put to death Christ often conversed with his 12 disciples about difficult days to follow. After Christ's suffering and death at the hands of His own Jewish people; and that of the Romans; the disciples all suffered severe persecution. From what can be pieced together of Biblical and other history; all Christ's 11 disciples were martyred, - all except the Apostle John who was banished to spend the rest of his life in seclusion on the Island of Patmos.

The following words [below] of Jesus also apply to present day disciples. After all, did not Christ, (after his bodily resurrection and before his ascension into heaven) instruct His disciples with the Great Commission [Matthew 28:19-20] promising to be with them until the end of time? That "end of time" includes all disciples following those 1st Century persecuted disciples.

Words of Comfort, Warning and Encouragement From Christ - Gospel of John 15:16-27

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.

Hatred Directed to the Christian:

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

The Lord's Promise of His Holy Spirit:

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. - John 15:16-27

Please note just one example how Christians are being persecuted as Christ foretold


>>>>>>> ...... Crucifixion, the Islamic punishment for apostasy, sometimes follows an execution as the purpose is to draw attention to the deterrent. In 2011, nearly 170 Sudanese were charged with apostasy.

Unlike the above punishments, cross-amputation — the removal of the right hand and left foot — is less public and often goes unreported; the sentence is usually handed-out in emergency tribunals that were first established more than a decade ago in Sudan to summarily deal with armed robbery and arms trafficking.

Cross-amputation is also found in the Qu'ran: "Those that make war against Allah and His apostle and spread disorders in the land shall be put to death or crucified, or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides … (Sura 5:33).

The verse ends with, "For you must know that Allah is forgiving and merciful," a phrase which seems to contradict itself when considering the barbarity of these divinely sanctioned punishments. <<<<<<<<< -


The Psalm 9:17 Scripture - A Scripture of Comfort for the Christian believer

“The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)

Certainly if a person is living as Christ’s disciple, he will possess his share of enemies. Jesus makes this clear when it comes to even one’s own family. We are also told in one of the New Testament Epistles [2 Tim. 3:12] -- “....all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

We also know from the Scripture that we are to find no amusement in the temporal and eternal demise of our enemies:

“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.” Proverbs 24:17-18

And so, very briefly, I propose that there is no contradiction with the reality of the wicked being cast into hell and with the righteous finding relief in that fact. Usually when we think of the “eternal ‘relief’ of the righteous” we think in terms of heavenly bliss, comfort and perfection. But for a moment, think of the Christian disciple’s relief as an eternal relief apart from his enemies, knowing assuredly that they are no longer able to wreak havoc upon his life and soul!

Without contradiction and without rejoicing over the eternal damnation of the wicked -- of those unrighteous enemies of Christ, the Christian disciple can find sweet comfort in the reality that God is true to His Word and that He ultimately punishes the wicked and gives them their chosen destiny!

It is a sweet relief to know that the unrighteous will not inhabit heaven to wreak havoc anymore upon the righteous. It is a sweet relief to know that the wicked will not contaminate the believer’s existence anymore. This is not rejoicing in the pathetic demise of the unbelieving wicked. It is rather, a triumph of victory that the dear soul who trusts Christ, is finally without strife and in a perfect place which cannot molest or destroy his sweet communion and companionship with His Righteous God and Savior.


See also:

Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins

Old Testament:

Psalm 1:1-6 -- The Lord God will reward the righteous and bring his just punishment upon the wicked

New Testament:

2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 -- The Lord God will recompense just vengenance upon those who have opposed His dear children

1 Peter 1:1-25 -- Words of (everlasting) comfort for the believer


Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.


Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3

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