I have mixed feelings on whether we are.
John 15:20 says, “Remember what I told you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they obeyed my word, they will obey yours too.”
Luke says in Chapter 21, verse 12, “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and governors because of my name.”
Matthew says it this way in Matt 24:9 as he quotes Jesus, “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of my name.”
These are the sayings that Jesus told His disciples. Yes, these are not fairy tales or make believe inspirational stories. These are the true words of God, expressed in the Holy Bible. The point is that the people closest to Jesus were persecuted just for saying His name. Jesus knew that the principles that He taught were so painful to the rich rulers of the time that they would not allow them to be said.
So how do we achieve persecution today? On the surface, that may sound like an insane question, huh? Well, I don’t think so. I believe that the Bible is 100% truth. If Jesus predicted the persecution of His disciples in the era of His life, then I think He would be calling for the same response for me today.
The Roman empire was a morally corrupt, pagan, idol worshiping, decayed civilization that rivaled them all for its atheism. Hmm, ring a bell?
Sure, it wasn’t that tough for Jesus to prophesy His disciples’ fates. Remember that these were the people who lived with Jesus. They acted out His life through theirs. They knew Him, and they loved Him. They believed in Him in the manner benefiting the often-misunderstood John 3:16 – they obeyed Him. I prefer the much less quoted I John 3:16, “We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians.”
The parallels to us and the disciples are striking, in other words. Our society does not recognize the penalty of sin and disobedience. Jesus told us that we are to love God with all our heart. He commanded us to love our neighbor just as much as we love ourselves. Liars, cowards, jealous, drunks, idolaters and selfish will miss eternal salvation without turning away from the sinful life through total repentance. The apostle Paul gave the same warnings 2000 years ago.
What persecution does our nation have? Primarily, we are persecuted by muslims. Of course, the quran (the muslim “bible” very loosely translated) commands Muslims to kill us if we are not muslims. Many of our brave men and women die in the fight. I do not believe in our war on terror, though, as I believe it is done for economic reasons only. We cannot afford for our soldiers to have a full retirement at 40. We are $14T in debt, and the interest and entitlements are spiraling impossibly out of control already.
This is not persecution for the sake of the Word, though. America does not stand for the values it once did. In the process of erosion of principle, we have lost our edge. We need to get it back doing whatever it takes, including persecution if necessary.
I do not see the love that God deserves. Instead, I see little resemblance to the church of Acts on display in America. Correspondingly, I see little persecution on my generation. Perhaps satan is just getting his way, so there is no reason for him to generate any persecution. It seems to me that we are often missing the purpose of Jesus in dying for us. We put Him on the shelf except maybe Sunday and Wednesday for a few hours a week. As a result, the power of America seems to have vanished. It is replaced by an unprecedented immorality, highlighted by our leaders. This was not what Jesus or our founding fathers had in mind.
As we have rejected the notion of sacrifice, we have built a nation that is puny, selfish and spoiled. Courage is looked at as an anomaly. We steal from our future generations of citizens by refusing to balance our budgets and pay our debts individually and collectively. It has become so unlikely that we will do this. We would have to cut every federal department 90% and the overall government 80% to get close. Then the revenue reductions might leave us in the red. We would repay nothing and only pay the interest on our debt. Believe me, balancing the budget will not be far from persecution. We will cut 90% of every government department and lay off 80% of all government workers to keep the entitlements for Social Security, Medicare and veterans. Those are promises we made, so we can only cut the remaining areas, which will be all but eliminated. Does that feel a little like persecution?
Our churches are essentially businesses run by rock stars. Little truth and evangelism is done for the sake of the Lord.
Individually, we wait for big brother to care for the poor; but we spend our total tax collections on paying the interest on our debt. All our government “services” are paid for by borrowing. We just borrow from the Chinese to help anyone, and we don’t come even close to having the ability to repay that.
The Federal Reserve prints out-of-control sums of money, so they can rob our people through that interest. It is widely recognized that $2T is missing there. Wait until Rep. Ron Paul audits the Fed. There is no law that allows most any of this that is in keeping with the Constitution.
I think you essentially know all of this, but we say nothing. Why? We know how wrong this all is, but we are so afraid of even a little inconvenience that we cower away from tackling our problems of immorality and greed. The message we give depends on who is hearing it. It is so easy to be misunderstood that we are not willing to take the risk of being taken wrong.
There is really no truth anymore, but rather political correctness. That is not loving to water down God’s commands to us and the principles of freedom and liberty. The Bible and the Constitution are now just ideals to strive for, not the actual principles we live by continuously.
Yes, Jesus died on the cross, an unimaginable act of suffering and torment, out of His unbelievable love for us. However, we are not willing to do the same for one another. We all sin, and we are all unable to match up to Jesus. Still, we must learn how to act out of love to stand against the problems we now face. We cannot any longer shy away from the pain of fixing the mess caused by our complacence.
Love is not always praising. It is always praising God, but we have taken that to the unintended, incorrect next step of praising each other. Rebuke is hard, but it is much better to take our punishment now. Jesus is not kidding in His portrayal of a perfectly holy God who demands our obedience. Likewise, we must pay the price of our overindulgence with our country’s resources and bite the bullet now. After all, Mathew 19:23 says, Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven!” Luke 6:24, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort already.”
It is up to us to set the example to the world of true obedience to God and to be the beacon of freedom and liberty. If we are unable to live a life of sacrifice to these critical concepts, the world is thereby incapable of ever conceiving the correct course. The only resources of this kind of magnitude are the Bible and the Constitution. If we do not turn to them, now, it will soon be too late, I’m afraid. While we are willing to pledge allegiance to the flag as one nation under God, it certainly is clear that we fall immeasurably short. We need to rededicate our efforts to attain some measure of rejecting evil in our country. We are fortunate to have our foundational documents to guide us. However, giving them lip service while we go astray are foolishness and can no longer be tolerated if we are to correct our course. Allowing satan to attack our lives and our country must stop.
Give your best to the initiative of becoming the great nation we can be. Whatever means you have to hold our leaders accountable, use them. It is not an accident that our country is suffering like this. I find the church leaders and politicians guilty. Now, is the time to act boldly to rescue our nation. Join in the fight to save America by getting right with God who will lead us if we ask. We just cannot continue to be guilty of the same faults as we find with our leaders. Get your house in order and win back America with your leadership. Said another way, “ask not what your country can do, but ask what you can do for your country.”
Yes, may God bless America indeed.
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me.” Matthew 5:11.