“Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” 1st Corinthians 4:1-2
What is required of a Christian? As a Believer grows in Christ, more and more they will realize that the need for the armor of God is a very serious matter. There is most certainly a war raging and the Christian must follow their Savior Jesus Christ.
I would recommend Little Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, a book which may be read of no charge HERE.
In America our persecution generally differs greatly from those in other countries. For instance:
Those who profess Christ in India and follow Him, as commanded, are often brutally murdered, their wives ravished and then also murdered and their children are no exception. I have read of stories where Christian families are burned alive, as spectators revile in pleasure, pleasing their Hindu gods. Despite the fact that there are apparently 330 million gods and goddesses, there is no room for the Most High and His Son.
Travel to Syria and ISIS makes the news, now commonly known. How many people who profess to serve Christ are beheaded? This of course does not suggest how many are actually servants of the Most High, but certainly shows the militancy towards that. Yet not far away in neighboring Iran there are also prices to pay.
Street justice comes and takes its form as a mob against those who proclaim to be Christians and would dare practice such religion. Strong beatings, maiming, death and imprisonment are not that far from the doors of any who know Christ in Iran. Far from having television and hot meals in prison, in Iran, it is a dungeon-like existence with food that is equivalent to eating out of trash cans and dumpsters.
In places like Brazil there becomes strong hatred towards those who profess to be Christians and do not attend the cult Roman Catholic church (RCC). In some instances these people are murdered, often they might as well be considered an outcast in the community. The RCC has a very strong presence and going against such an antichrist system yields the fruit that one would expect from such an organization. Being a true follower of Christ is not accepted.
The same is true with much of old Europe. Whether or not one is from Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Norway, etc., the RCC is the foundational ‘church’ and where most people who profess to be christians attend. Those who are in Christ, following the Way, are outside of the influence of the society. Getting jobs that are “well-connected” are harder, family relationships are strained and a very blatant disagreement, with words often exchanged, are everyday realities.
The list could go on and on and be expanded to several different regions of the world, as well as numerous detailed stories. There are some ministries that make known these things that happen, but what I know is the following: the Holy Scriptures make known that these things will happen.
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before 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 on account of My name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” John 15:18-21
So the question resumes back to what about America?
It may come as a shock to some, others will know firsthand and still some have heard, that in America there is persecution. Yet there is not much physical persecution, so the question is why?
For those who are true Believers and work or relate to people in a lower job classification that lacks the professionalism that is more required in certain fields, one should expect persecution in the forms of taunts, challenges, off comments and even vague death threats. Yet seldom are such things heard about by the general public in the United States.
Just as Europe and Latin American have strong RCC followings, many souls in America are doomed as slaves to a false religion, under MANY different denominations and names. When those who are truly in Christ and living as they should for the Lord, when those who have awoken to life out of their slumber, as a newborn creature, then the distinguishing features of one who truly knows the Lord verses those who know of the Lord is visible and obvious.
A Believer by nature will always testify against those who are lost, irregardless of any words being exchanged. They are inhabited by the Holy Spirit and just their presence amongst a group of people is a harsh testimony against the world’s condition, one where they refuse to acknowledge and repent, also believing into Him who has the power to Save them.
Instead, due to the wickedness and hardening of their hearts, they will occasionally lash out, usually with words against the Believer. However, there are martyrs even in the United States who have died and will continue to die for the cause of Christ.
“Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial which is to try you, as though something unheard of was happening to you; but rejoice in so far as you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also rejoice with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. According to them He is blasphemed, but according to you He is glorified. ” 1st Peter 4:12-14
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2nd Timothy 3:12
“But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their terror, nor be troubled.” 1st Peter 3:14
“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death because of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 2nd Corinthians 4:8-12
“Let those who persecute me be ashamed, but do not let me be put to shame; let them be dismayed, but do not let me be dismayed. Bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.” Jeremiah 17:18
As Jesus says, we really shouldn’t be surprised at the trial that is taking hold against us. Instead we should simply put on the armor of God and follow Him, through whatever comes before us.
“Put on all the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11
Nonetheless, the Believer does have the liberty to flee persecution, unless Christ directs their heart otherwise.
“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 affliction ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10
“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in Heaven.” Matthew 10:33
“Then He said to them all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23