“When it is evening, you say,
‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’
And in the morning,
‘There will be a storm today,
for the sky is red and threatening.’
Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky,
but cannot discern the signs of the times?
Matthew 16:2-3 NIV
I find this verse eerily prophetic. The division and the backlash against Christian values in our country are an alarming sign of the times.
Someone please wake me and tell me it’s just a bad dream.
Our beliefs and values are now opposed by many of America’s politicians, largest corporations, academic institutions, professional sports teams, and mainstream and social media. The number of companies that refuse to do business with Christians is increasing every day.
But the most alarming sign of the times and a leading indicator of our future may be the next generation of voters who do not share our values or appreciate our Constitutional freedom.
It’s no longer inconceivable that we could lose our freedom of speech and even our right to believe. In fact, we’re already losing it.
The increasing darkness will result in increasing persecution.
Jesus foretold this trouble to come (John 15:18-21). The good news is Jesus’ promise of trouble comes with a guarantee of victory: “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)
Until now, our ministry has focused on our persecuted brothers and sisters in other countries. But in 2021, we will also focus on persecution in the U.S. and how we can prepare and even thrive through it.
We can learn a lot from the family of God in other countries where mild discrimination and hostility became violent over time. We can also learn from Peter’s letters which are an invaluable guide on how to prosper in persecution. Excerpts from his letters include:
- Prepare your minds for action.
- Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you.
- Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.
- Since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose.
- Do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled.
- If you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed.
Jesus told us to “leap for joy” when we’re persecuted because our reward in heaven is great. (Matthew 5:11-13; Luke 6:22-24). But if you’re like me, you may find this difficult to do because we’re used to living in comfort and freedom.
My point is we need to get ready.
Put on the full armor of God, harness our hope in Him, stand firm and act…in love.
Mail Checks to:
The Alliance for Persecuted Christians
c/o The National Christian Foundation
1901 Ulmerton Road; Suite 400
Clearwater, FL 33762