Having just spent time giving serious thanks to God for all of His blessings this Thanksgiving, the Lord again directs my attention to the persecution being suffered by my Christian brethren among many nations. Though I do not write a lot about the ongoing persecution of Christians, I stay regularly informed and prayerful for all. The aforementioned “all” includes not just the suffering faces of those in faraway lands such as North Korea and Nigeria, but increasingly, those enduring persecution in this Western hemisphere and our own nation. Truly, growing hostility toward and persecution of Bible believing Christians in America is a reality that can no longer be dismissed as only isolated.
As a supporter of similarly named, but organizationally unrelated Open Doors USA, our Ministry regularly receives their reports on what is happening among our persecuted Christian brethren around the world.1 Not only are our brethren suffering from family and community exclusion within the nations they live, but government harassment, arrests, unfair trials, incarceration, legally sanctioned mob violence and martyrdom. When the Christian men are targeted for incarceration or murder, it leaves their families to suffer. While Communist and Islamic run nations fill the list of persecutors, nations such as Christian Eritrea, Hindu India and Buddhist Bhutan are also prominent.2
It is about to get really real for those of us that profess to be Christians in America too. Intensifying opposition to the biblical faith once on the fringe of American society is going mainstream. Moral tenets of the faith once taken for granted as absolute and bedrock to American society are not only being challenged, but cast down as no longer acceptable. These are not just tenets governing marriage and family for example, but definitions of objective truth, right and wrong, good and evil as well as justice and injustice. In the wake of this swiftly moving river of moral upheaval, Christians that would dare stand firm for the moral tenets of our faith are suffering varying degrees of persecution.
Besides the “in-your-face” government policies and litigations to remove crosses and nativity scenes as public displays of Christianity to implement falsely believed constitutionally mandated church and state separation, some Christians have suffered being demoted or fired from employment because they had Bibles at their work stations or read them on breaks. And because many secular entities have a “corporate culture” now, that does not tolerate religious expression (though, they publicly trumpet “inclusion” and “diversity” as values), being hired a Christian with a social media presence may be very difficult and once hired, witnessing Christ to co-workers is out.3
American secular colleges and universities that have historically celebrated tolerating various viewpoints as a means in the process of vigorous, but polite debate to sharpen the thinking of young minds have in too many instances today, hung out the “not welcome” sign to a biblical worldview. Biblically conservative Christian students are routinely singled out and held up to ridicule for their faith. Christian professors do not escape either.4 The secular media regularly ignores and mocks Christians that hold to a biblical worldview being quick only to report on high profile “Televangelists” and “Megachurch Pastors” whose sins come to light, while social media giants resist them.5
As I have also commented in other posts, a number of American Christians have been purposely targeted and martyred in mass shootings such as the one at Columbine High School in 1999 along with churches as occurred in Charleston, SC in 2015 and Sutherland Springs, TX in 2017.6 In agreement with all other observers here, none of what American Christians have suffered to date compares with the daily egregious and violent persecution our overseas brethren endure--yet! Praying for “the persecuted church” like it is some disconnected entity that exists only in non-exceptional, often impoverished nations of the world is about to change as persecutors intensify their efforts in America.7 And why? It is their “hour and the power of darkness,” (Luke 22:52-53, NKJV).
For this reason, beyond seeking to sensitize us to the ongoing suffering of our brethren wherever they are as a primary reason for this post, exhorting faithful American Christians to spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepare for the kind of hatred fed persecution our overseas brethren experience is an important secondary reason since our Lord has warned it is to occur in “all nations,” (Matthew 10:16-39, 24:9, NKJV).8 Now, is the time to awake from arrogance and apathy to get ready for what our Lord foretells and assures will take place. Among the equipping resources available is my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and related group studies.9 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The organizational parent of Strong Man Ministries is Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. I was led by the Lord to found August 12, 1985. Read some of the
stories of persecuted Christians among the many countries on the 2020 World Watch List of Open Doors USA.
2 What many of our brethren overseas “normally” suffer from their persecutors has been intensified during the Lord’s Coronavirus judgment. As we are banding together
with other Christians to help and encourage one another here at home, the Lord would have us remember our suffering persecuted brethren in those faraway lands
with tangible support as well (1 John 3:16-18).
3 Sadly, our military as a work place is no exception. Read about the case of Chaplain Curt Cizek.
4 To learn more about the experience of Christians on American campuses read the following ACLJ, Beliefnet and IsChristianityTrue articles.
5 I can attest to the heavy-handed resistance of Facebook to biblically conservative ministries such as this one among the social media giants. “Likes” to our pages by
Christians mysteriously dwindle after I write blogs or make posts on their platform that are not politically correct, tolerant etc. which the Lord has had me call them on.
They want me to believe that just making better posts and spending more money to “boost” them will remedy the situation though, such has not been the case since
they also limit the reach of the same. For the record, I do understand a to be expected number of professed Christians that formerly liked our Facebook pages are sub-
ject to “unlike” them at any time as a show of disagreement with me. I get that, but not what Facebook is doing which lately has even taken away page likes whenever
someone has liked a post! I urge Christians that have liked our pages and those of other ministries to check back periodically especially if you have not received a post
in your newsfeeds for a time and re-like the pages if necessary. Also, enlist other Christians on Facebook to like our pages after you have done so.
6 Read for example, the June 8, 2014 post, And Then There Is The War, under the category, instruction. Revisit the cited respective church shootings at the following
links Charleston, SC and Sutherland Springs, TX.
7 See the November 12, 2017 post, God’s Throwaways?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
8 Read the two-part post beginning May 17, 2020, Persecution, Hatred And Betrayal, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
9 A print copy or digital download of the book published by the Publishing Division of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. with fresh editing in 2019 for greater clari-
ty and updated web addresses in the footnotes is available at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only).
You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store. Too, leaders can teach, disciple and equip through The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and The
Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study also in the Strong Man Store.
Truly, every prophecy of Scripture concerning and from Christ, the living Word, will be fulfilled (Luke 21:33, 24:44)! Thus, the hate-filled global persecution of Christians is coming to America! Judging by the spiritual energy presently being expended to relieve fear among an obviously large number of professed Christians during His Coronavirus judgment, clearly, many are not ready for the coming “fiery trial” God is allowing to “try” us in judgment (1 Peter 4:12-19, NKJV).5 As a result, the people need to be warned, taught and prepared to faithfully persevere trusting in the Lord as He has led me to write in many previous posts and my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.6
The current state of fear pervading much of American Christianity is on every pastor and Bible teacher that has failed until now to biblically warn, teach and equip those they serve in the church building and by way of media in the basics of the faith and “the whole counsel of God”--His grace that saves and holiness that demands His foretold wrath upon sinners (Isaiah 13:9; Acts 20:26-27, NKJV). Imagine how much more fruitful the response of our unsaved fellow citizens could be if in the background of the solid preaching of the Gospel now, going forth, there wasn’t also the steady drone of exhortation not to fear going out to those that already profess to be Christians weak in faith!7
Faithful Christian Americans are just one anti-Christian spark and/or national election to the political far left away from legal persecution through arrest, trial and incarceration for standing on the Word of God as it is written.8 The Lord Jesus Christ warns His first century disciples and us about this reality and instructs not to worry about what to say at that time, but to speak what the Holy Spirit puts in our mouths giving testimony about Him (Matthew 10:16-20; Mark 13:11; Luke 21:12-15; John 15:26-27). Besides that kind of tribulation, verbal and physical assault for being a Christian easily follows in a nation where the majority hates Christ and the Bible He is faithfully portrayed in!
Too, as in other nations whose governments now, look the other way when mobs and terrorists murder Christians identified by their unwavering testimony of faith, it will happen here as it has and does for example, with black and other Americans profiled by our skin color. The Lord Jesus teaches that the hatred behind Christian persecution stems from apostasy, falsehood, love grown cold in abounding lawlessness, His works and exposure of the persecutors’ “sin.” This persecution comes well before the “great tribulation” and gives rise to open conflict among professed Christian religionists and apostates who “betray” and “hate” each other along with the faithful (Matthew 24:10-12, 15-21; John 15:18-25, 16:1-4, NKJV).9
Indeed, the coming global persecution is a major factor in “the falling away” the apostle Paul foretells (2 Thessalonians 2:3, NKJV).10 Falling away and betrayal among the disciples of Christ whether in times of persecution or not has occurred from His time on earth (Matthew 26:20-25, 47-49; Luke 22:48; 2 Timothy 4:9-10; 1 John 2:18-19). However, for many professed Christian Americans that barely distinguishes between being a Christian and an American, the Lord’s warning of extensive betrayal to the death by family and friends in a nation that hates Christians as a coming reality is very hard to accept. Yet, Christ says so (Matthew 10:21; Mark 13:12; Luke 21:16)!
Moreover, church history and current events among our persecuted brethren in other nations shows how Christians are betrayed by hating family and friends.11 Most Americans--Christian or not--place a high value on family and other mortal relationships. The Lord Jesus though, quoting from the prophet Micah as historic and ongoing spiritual reality, not only foretold division over Him in families, but made it plain He expects our love and loyalty to Him above all including self (Micah 7:5-7; Matthew 10:35-36; Luke 14:25-27)! Regardless of who is doing the persecuting, hating or betraying, He also expects His faithful to patiently endure to the end--our lives or His coming--not retaliating or taking vengeance (Matthew 10:22; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:18-19; Romans 12:17-21).12
Therefore, pastors and ministry leaders: do you really plan to go back to business as usual? The Lord calls you to recognize the times have changed in front of your very eyes and to repent from every way it was before the Coronavirus judgment that is sin in His sight to include allowing women to corruptly defy His Word in falsehood (1 Timothy 2:11-14); deceiving many and leading to their equal judgment (Ezekiel 13:17-23; Revelation 2:18-23)! Too, snap out of denial and get His people ready for all of what the Lord Jesus said is coming in the face of God’s Coronavirus judgment which is demonstrated proof the judgments and events He foretold would precede His return are underway! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
5 This unpreparedness for His sudden judgments in the earth is just as the Lord led me to warn would be the case in the September 29, 2019 post, God Almighty In A
21st Century World, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
6 Read the following posts under the category, Instruction: May 22, 2016, The Peculiar People, May 29, 2016, Preparing For The Final Battle and the two-part, Lined
Up Behind Jesus beginning on August 18, 2019. Get a print copy or digital download of my book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble,
ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
7 Having previously written transparently about my own 2014 failure to trust God in a business situation, I did not write this statement out of some high-handed, self-
righteous place. See my March 2, 2014, The Testing Of Our Faith, under the category, Instruction. I understand and empathize with those of my spiritually maturing
brethren that fail the test of faith as a matter of momentary weakness in sin. What I am writing of here, is ongoing unbelief in weakness sustained by longstanding
spiritual immaturity through lack of instruction and practice especially prevalent in the many forms of empty, powerless manmade Christianity the religion. Read the
two-part post beginning August 21, 2016, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction followed by the two-part post beginning September 11,
2016, American Culture’s Religion, under the category, Call To Repent.
8 Roman Caesar, Nero, had only to blame Christians for the fire that destroyed much of Rome to persecute many to the death, while a later Caesar, Diocletian (and
government tyrants from many nations that followed), used no excuse except to be rid of them! Without endorsing as completely accurate or any specific sects men-
tioned, an online overview source to explore the history of Christian persecution is Wikipedia.
9 See the December 9, 2018 post, The Peril Of Religious Men, under the category, Instruction.
10 Read the February 2, 2014 post, The Falling Away, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
11 This Ministry supports Open Doors USA, a Ministry serving our persecuted brethren in many places and invites you to read some of their stories that include be-
trayal and violence against them by family, former neighbors and friends.
12 Read my June 5, 2016 post, The Day Of Vengeance, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
It is truly unfortunate, but not surprising that with all else our nation must deal with at this hour, unresolved racial issues have recently come to the surface again through the citizen and police murders of black Americans, freshly proving racism is not a past thing. The incidents and resulting explosion of initial violent rioting, looting, protest marches and rallies not just by black Americans, but Americans from every hue were sparked by the recorded video of a Minneapolis, MN police officer’s murder of black American male, George Floyd. I wrote about this incident as the Lord led June 21, 2020 in a post under the category, Black History, entitled Has Racial Justice Arrived in America?
This time, among the early voices speaking empathy and counsel into as well as engaging with the crisis are a number of especially younger conservative white Christians. Along with the manifold increase of white Americans across the political and social spectrum in general, conservative white Christians as America’s “moral majority” speaking anything but condemnation into a riotous racial crisis is recent. While there have been apologies for slavery and Jim Crow segregation and endless talking by white conservative Christians with amicable black clergy about racial reconciliation since the 1960s, as I have written in other posts, there has not been any real, widespread progress.1
Our majority white society as a once professed Christian nation propped up supposedly by morals and ethics drawn from the Bible, has far too long tolerated the abuse of its black and other citizens of color in many forms that actually run counter to it (Zechariah 7:8-12; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-37; Romans 13:8-10). Not biblical Christianity as the order of the day since the nation’s founding, but corrupt, counterfeit manmade forms of it that even allowed for slave owners to commit adultery on their wives with their female slaves; church pastors, deacons and congregants to brutalize and terrorize blacks using burning crosses as a symbol of hate among many other evil acts.2
Such deeds were done while police, judges, educators, businesses, legislators (often as active participants) along with the larger white society through silent indifference were complicit.3 Over the past hundred years the most vocal champions of maintaining the morality of the Bible among professed Christians has been white Americans that self-identify as conservative in their religious, social and political convictions. Many are also intensely patriotic, devoted Americans who ascribe to the phrase “God and Country” as their motto though, on such issues as allowing systemic racism in their churches and other entities, God’s will in Christ has clearly been secondary (John 13:34-35).
However, at this strategic moment during God’s Coronavirus judgment when the festering sore of racial injustice has ruptured once more, younger conservative white Christians are speaking up perhaps finally perceiving, God Himself keeps bringing up the matter because those professing to know Him among their ranks have not dealt with it in accord with His written Word! After all, as I have offered in other posts, a “biblically conservative Christian” is supposed to be about objectively interpreting, applying and preserving the whole Word of God as it is written! In no place does it advocate for or tolerate hating a brother in Christ for any reason (1 John 2:7-11, 3:10-15, 4:20-21).4
Besides being and presenting the world a corrupt if not outright counterfeit form of biblical Christianity, guilty conservative white Christians (to include those calling themselves “Evangelicals”) have been hypocritical by insisting “our nation” uphold their cherry-picked morals and ethics from the Bible while they undergirded its systemic racism to this hour. This reality has been among the chief reasons many former biblically conservative black American Civil Rights activists searching for righteous allies over the years have abandoned the effort among their ostensible like-minded white brothers. Instead, those that are guilty through lack of faith in and impatience with God have to their shame taken up with rebels against Him for help (Psalm 2:1-3; Isaiah 30:1-5; Philippians 3:17-21).
The guilty among de facto apostate black Americans will give an account to God, but so will conservative white professed Christians who have been more loyal to a humanly invented religious, social and political philosophy that permits such sins as racism under the guise of Christianity than to the Lord who calls all to repent! Indeed, why but for sin am I as a black Ministry leader who has remained faithful as a biblical conservative not fully embraced and supported by conservative white professed Christians? Your sinful flesh built conservative philosophy does not welcome those of any race much less inferior black males who speak biblical truth challenging the wicked status quo; one white church elder once intimating this to me by essentially saying I needed to shut up!5
Now, though, the Lord during His Coronavirus judgment is plainly showing racism is one of the issues He is calling the guilty to repentance from among professing Christianity emptied out of its buildings. The authentic younger conservative white Christians coming forth repentant and in the power of the Holy Spirit to actually take a stand with their black brothers are representative of those I spoke of in my June 21st post.6 May the Lord bless you and all others to follow in what is very likely a last chance for conservative white Christians to get on the right side of the Bible and help forestall the eruption of greater ethnic conflict awhile longer in America; conflict ongoing in many parts of the world that fulfills another of the Lord’s foretold occurrences to precede His soon coming (Matthew 24:7a).
1 See the posts, Moral Pressure Rightly Applied, May 4, 2014, Biblical Equality And Equity, July 5, 2015 and Professing Christian Racism Is Sin Too, December 11, 2016
all under the category, Call To Repent.
2 Read the two-part post beginning August 21, 2016, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction followed by Christianity The Religion American
Style (which shows how even many black religionists to this hour mimic the practice of it by their former masters so pervasive is it) posted on September 4, 2016 and
the two-part post beginning September 11, 2016, American Culture’s Religion, all under the category, Call To Repent.
3 Read the August 9, 2015 post, Silent Endorsers Of Evil, under the category, Instruction. Whether Christians or not, like the white pre-Civil War Abolitionists, it has been
heartening to see current white protest marchers for racial justice carrying signs with wording like “Silent no more” and “Not silent and complicit.”
4 See footnote #9 in the two-part post, The Racial Divide, under the category, Call To Repent, that begins July 29, 2018 to see how the Lord led me to make a distinction
between “conservative” and “biblically conservative” to avoid any confusion about the Christians faithfully obeying His whole Word as it is written! Also, read the April
19, 2015 post, On The Lord’s Side, under the category, The Cause, cited in the footnote for a discussion of why all professed Christians ought to be standing with the
Lord Jesus as Bible conservatives!
5 Get my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics to understand why aspiring strong men of God in the image of Jesus Christ from every hue must be willing to
stand and speak as He commands (Matthew 10:24-33)! Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble,
ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
6 I invite those that are biblically conservative from all hues to stand with and support us at this like-minded Christian black American founded Ministry! The Ministry is cur-
rently engaged in a campaign to raise my 2020 full-time salary and is 63% there. Learn more at https://fundrazr.com/salarycampaign1. I am also seeking to raise the
funds necessary to license the music used in and Webcast our still relevant 1994 radio docu-drama, From Slavery To Victory: One Man’s Journey that presents a biblical
worldview of the black American experience from West Africa on our From Slavery To Victory Education Project Web Site, https://fromslaverytovictory.org.
It is wonderful hearing of what God is doing during His Coronavirus judgment to stir the hearts of those bewildered and seeking for answers made up not just of persons never having made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but those professed to be Christians living out nominal, spiritually dead lives. These are flocking in large numbers to the online services and instruction of churches and ministries. However, gauging by Christian media chatter and actions, it still does not appear there is a widespread appreciation among Christians, churches and their leaders that they are enduring judgment from the Lord and consequently, needing to give full heed to His call to repent!1
My mother used to always say to us kids growing up, “A hard head makes a soft behind;” a saying passed down to her from her parents and a cultural expression familiar to nearly all black Americans born before the 1970’s. The expression served to warn stubbornly disobedient children of pending corporal punishment if obedience was not immediately forthcoming! Only the hardest of heads did not get the message and pressed on to find out mom was not issuing idle threats (that would have been me on too many occasions, I am ashamed to report). Now, the Lord looks out upon professing Christianity and sees that far too many filled with stubborn pride are being hard headed.
To the Lord’s great displeasure rather than brokenness and repentance, many church and ministry leaders have gone into organizational survival mode with no plans to change anything from what they used to do before the Coronavirus except what is needed to keep from spreading it. On top of that, they are not taking any of the prophetic signs this judgment presents serious enough to prepare those following them online or that will assemble in their buildings for what is plainly foretold in the written Word to come next. One reason for this, of course, is psychology 101 in survival mode from ancient times: don’t frighten people with the truth; keep it positive (Jeremiah 38:1-4)!
In the face of God’s judgment, telling the truth to a people having been spoon fed a steady diet of deceitfully crafted ego affirmation using Scripture and “American style home grown,” but not unique to America ancient “false doctrines of perpetual peace and prosperity” as He led me to write in a May 2, 2020 social media post is like biting the human hand that feeds you--not a good thing when men are trying to feed themselves and sustain their organizations!2 But the Lord who hears all that these leaders say and sees all of what they do will judge them as false prophets and teachers without repentance (Jeremiah 14:11-16, 23:16-17; Ezekiel 13:1-16, 34:1-10; 2 Peter 2:1-3).3
Not peace and prosperity fully and perpetually restored now, but more judgment from God is coming upon this world! For as I wrote earlier in that May 2, 2020 social media post, “From His own words Jesus Christ did not come 'to bring peace on earth' prior to His return, 'but a sword' representing divine judgment and conflict in division over Him (Matthew 10:32-39; Luke 12:49-53, NKJV)." The Lord will bring perpetual peace and prosperity to the earth at His Second Coming and after the divine outpour of wrath on sinners that have refused to accept salvation by grace through faith in Him!” If the Lord Himself says there is no peace now, where do you get off contradicting Him?
Nevertheless, I wrote, “Now, His Personal peace; the peace of God is only available to His sheep,” (Isaiah 57:19-21; John 10:27, 16:33). This is His peace in the midst of this world’s troubles and the judgments He brings on it seeking for repentance leading to salvation from “whoever believes in Him” and His fruitless, strayed sheep (John 3:16-21, 36, 15:1-8, NKJV). Christian leaders and teachers deceive those they teach when they only want to present the shine of the Lord’s face in grace and purposely avoid dealing with the fiery glow of judgment in His eyes to keep it positive for people that will not give unless something is in it and “He is for me.” This they say not appreciating Christ is Savior and Judge and for the righteous even in judgment (Revelation 1:12-16, 3:19)!
While “famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places” will continue and intensify to soon be followed by unmistakable acts of God from the sky as warning judgments for all, next up specifically for Christians is hatred fed persecution already rife in many parts of the earth and coming to “all nations” including America according to the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:7-9; Mark 13:8-10, 13; Luke 21:11, 17, NKJV). If you do not or refuse to believe the foregoing you are blasphemously calling Jesus Christ a liar! Too, you are quite deceived and denying reality in arrogance as an American since you must also be falsely believing persecution and suffering is only for those professing Christ in other, unexceptional nations of the earth as God’s throwaways.4
1 See the April 19, 2020 post, Does Anybody Repent Anymore? under the category, Call To Repent.
2 I am not without empathy on this point as this Ministry too, faces all of the same challenges of trying to raise funds to keep me employed full-time in the work. The
The difference for us though, is that we will not sell God out, soft pedal the Gospel, compromise the truth, avoid talking about sin and judgment or invent feel good
messages that tickle hears to raise what we need. We have struggled for nearly the entire organizational life of this Ministry from 1985 because of this conviction,
but have watched God continuously provide what we needed in His will on time, every time!
3 Like the handwriting on the king of Babylon’s wall declaring the end of his kingdom, so, this epoch of corrupt, huckster invented and driven Christianity has been sig-
naled by God through His Coronavirus judgment (Daniel 5)!
4 Read the November 12, 2017 post, God’s Throwaways?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
It is not supposed to happen in America. However, it has happened quite a bit in recent years and again this past week in a small Texas town where a gunman entered a church with a gun killing twenty-six and critically wounding others. While demonically instigated and hate-filled individuals just assume all that they seek to harm in a church are Christians, in secular settings such as Columbine in Colorado and Umpqua Community College here in Oregon, the assailants coldly asked some of those they would kill, “Are you a Christian?”1 Such targeting is the ultimate form of persecution and of course, martyrdom for the Christians that are slain for whose they are.
Professing American Christianity seems not to want to acknowledge that more and more in this still believed by many to be a “Christian nation” violent targeting of our numbers is occurring and intensifying. Once again for whatever all the reasons including the practice of Christianity the religion of men in all of its forms with various prosperity and escape doctrines, denial is easier. However, as the Lord led me to write in this edited 2010 Commentary, the foretold latter day persecution of Christians (Matthew 24:9) is a reality in many nations. It can no longer be out of mind here because of being out of sight. Hateful persecution of Christians is happening in America and the West too!
An obvious truth in all of this is that American and all other Christians are in fact, still on earth en masse while persecution and tribulation keeps rising. So, as we pray for the “Persecuted Church” on this special Sunday set aside for it, let the faithful realize though we yet have it relatively light here in America compared to our persecuted brethren in other lands, we are included among them. Let us also continue to pray for the surviving wounded and grieving families of the Texas church martyrs.
Originally Published November 2010
After recently reading an article on the current persecution of Chakma Christians by Buddhist extremists in Bangladesh, I was reminded that tribulation or suffering for Christ is quite the norm for many of His followers in many openly anti-Christian parts of the world. This month we remember persecuted Christians with prayer. I am also led by the Lord to again warn Western Christians our time to suffer in like manner is near. We do not want to hear this, of course, and have invented all manner of scenarios that will enable our escape as though fellow Christians in other parts of the world are somehow God's throwaways; people He does not care about as much as He does us.
While it is not my intent to engage in a end time prophecy debate, I do want to point out a reality to all parties planning on the escape of Western Christians from the "great tribulation" spoken of by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:15-22 and Mark 13:14-20. That reality is the tribulation our persecuted brethren now endure in several hostile nations is of the same nature as the "great tribulation." Powerful anti-Christ's now kidnap and/or arrest, imprison, torture, maim and kill our brethren as well as destroy their property if they will not renounce faith in Christ. The Chakma Christians in Bangladesh are not even allowed to buy or sell crops unless they openly display Buddhist loyalty.2
Bible students should instantly recognize the buying and selling issue as one that will emerge in the days of the Antichrist as foretold in Revelation 13:16-17. The government of the coming Antichrist will also violently persecute Christians as do the many national governments, terrorist and religious groups today. The only difference in what takes place now and the foretold "great tribulation" under the Antichrist is one of scope and duration; then it will be global and last intensely three and one-half years (Daniel 7:19-25; Revelation 13:1-10).
If God allows His people to experience tribulation past, present and in a foretold future, where do we Westerners get off thinking we have a special exemption from Him who shows no partiality (Acts 10:34-35)? I suspect this expectation of escape in part is tied to the sin bred arrogance of accomplishment Western nations have enjoyed over the past 500 years. Another reason surely grows out of a popular false teaching that God does not let His people suffer. But those of my racial heritage especially that are sons of slaves know better or else are we God’s throwaways too having experienced the severest forms of brutality even after professing faith in Christ?
The call to His people at this hour to become strong men and great women of God is very strategic and biblically consistent. Indeed, all trials and tribulations have the ultimate divine end of testing our faith (Deuteronomy 8:1-6; Psalm 11:4-6; Hebrews 12:1-11; James 1:2-3, 5:10-11; 1 Peter 1:3-9). Judging by the lack of biblical knowledge, spiritual maturity and outright rebellion continuously reported in Christian media, professing Western Christians are not as ready to endure violent tribulation for the faith as our brethren in other parts of the world are doing--though in fairness, the Chakma Christians of Bangladesh are struggling and urgently need our prayers.
The strong man of God in the image of Christ is empowered with His strength and equipped to persevere in faith under the most severe of trials (Ephesians 6:10-18; Revelation 12:11). For this reason Strong Man Ministries through the Strong Man Institute is pleased to be part of God's strategic work to instruct Christians from His Word on the life of the strong man of God. As well, I do the same on the printed page as the Lord leads in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and its companion resource, The Strong Man Of God Men's Group Study pastors, men's ministry and other Christian leaders can use to equip those they serve.3
At this hour we must pray for and support our persecuted brethren in non-Western nations while we recognize the increase of and prepare more deliberately for our own tribulation (which is even now at the door) because none of God's sons are throwaways! For the record, the "great tribulation" is not God's wrath that He has promised to deliver Christians from (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11). It is Satan's permitted final expression of wrath that comes before God justly pours out His upon unrepentant, reprobate sinners sold out to evil (compare Revelation 12:7-17 and 16:1-21).
1 Oregon Gunman Singled Out Christians During Rampage, October 1, 2015, New York Post.
2 Buddhist Extremists Continue to Persecute Christians, SBC Life, October/November 2010, p. 22. The article can be read online at SBC Life.
3 Learn more about the Strong Man Institute on our Web Site. My book and companion men's group study resource are available through all major internet booksellers
and in the Strong Man Store.
At the mid-point of the last century, God once again exposed the evil under belly of ostensible Christian America to the world. In the historically documented brutal response to the quest of its black citizens for justice, equality and voting among other rights in the Civil Rights Movement, America was seen to be significantly filled with spiritually unregenerate citizens. The hypocritically selective love, morality, ethics and works of race propagated and propped up so long by decidedly white faced Christianity as a religion in the land was rendered powerless as a moral authority nearly overnight and has not recovered its prominence to this day; to the contrary, its churches are dying.
Meanwhile, in rebellion against God and His Anointed since, the nominally professed Christian en route to becoming fully secularized culture has created its own form of Christianity complete with the gods, morality, ethics and works it wants founded upon political correctness and tolerance. Seeking to be relevant and survive, many churches have fallen away in defection to the culture as foretold (2 Thessalonians 2:3); serving up and paying homage to the new gods of cultural Christianity. Incredibly, the Lord first made me aware of this national situation through my crying out for repentance and revival among black American Christians and churches heading into this century.2
So, now, in the main, Christianity as a religion in America is a captive servant to the culture as its religious comforter in crisis and otherwise, must perform in accord with the delineation of an existence and legal dictates required by the government as its enforcement arm contrary to God’s will and the Constitution. So much for religious liberty and there is no other nation to run to for it since as foretold by the Lord, hatred of Christians is rapidly going global (Matthew 10:22, 24:9)! Thus, the stage is set for an inevitable showdown between American culture and God’s faithful that will not bow in denial of Christ or compromise His Word for it. Many will suffer and be martyred (Luke 21:12-19).
Contrary to the scoffing of patriot professing Christians that call what I am about to say “gloom and doom,” all of us that are of the faithful and care deeply first not for the humanly constructed entity called America, but our fellow citizens must snap out of denial. We must face the reality that America the “great experiment” devoid of godly citizens in the majority to help it work is failing just as the founders warned.3 For the ungodly of the culture have not only divorced themselves from the counterfeit form, but openly rebelled against the God of real Christianity and His Word entirely; inviting His assured wrath upon the nation as His Word warns (Psalms 2:1-5; Proverbs 14:34-35).
Our nation has no special exception in God’s Word exempting it from His wrath upon earth’s nations when it comes (Isaiah 40:15-17; Jeremiah 25:15-33; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Revelation 6:12-17, 16:17-21). Already God’s painful remedial judgments on the land are evident as is America’s slip in world standing so far from being that “shining city upon a hill.”4 This year’s wicked race for President, the nation’s continuing moral slide, growing lawlessness, hopelessness and despair are among many other plain indicators it is slowly crumbling. No sinful mortal, new social order, political or educational system, economic plan, return to the old time religion or any other can save the nation.
There is only one Person and Name Heaven has given for salvation, God’s Son, Jesus the Christ (Psalm 2:6-12; Acts 4:8-12)! Therefore, if there would be any hope of prolonging America past any premature point of demise, repentance and revival must take place now among needy Christians of all hues (Psalm 51:1-17)! Or do not American professors of Christianity as apathetic, hypocritical religionists understand God holds them responsible in major part for the current state of the nation and disdain for Him as the Jews of old (Romans 2:17-24)? For sin always has known and unintended consequences! Without any event or fanfare then, professing Christians that are guilty must begin to seek a personal encounter with Christ like unto the apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-9; Philippians 3:1-11).
In this encounter, all sin must be earnestly confessed and repented from so that with His forgiveness, needed revival will come from God! After this, rather than a place at the table of culture and comfortable status, with His heart for the lost let the salvation of our lost fellow citizens mean more to us (John 11:45-48). Not any longer the feeble attempt to build a “Christian nation”--the Kingdom of God on earth that singularly awaits the return of Christ, but the revival fed, passionate return to preaching the Gospel and witnessing Him to make disciples as He has solely commanded (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)! This work our God has never left undone as Billy Graham, for example, was conducting evangelistic crusades at the height of civil unrest in America last century.
The Graham team and effective evangelists such as Luis Palau and Greg Laurie continue at this hour. They, however, are not to be alone since the Lord’s command is to all of His disciples. So, let us with the courage and zeal of ancient aspiring strong men of God in Christ’s image such as Joshua get after it because the end of all nations save Israel fast approaches (Joshua 10:6-15; Jeremiah 46:27-28). As I am led by the Lord to write in the booklet, The Scourge Of Racism,5 repentant and revived American Christians can go out like Samson who also failed to fully please the Lord. In mercy, he was granted an opportunity by God to finish well (Judges 16:23-31). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
4 A phrase used by President Ronald Reagan in his farewell address January 11, 1989 with Puritan and ultimately biblical roots (Matthew 5:14).
On this Lord’s Day and occasion of solemn remembrance for the lives lost during the murderous events of 2001, I reflect and as the Lord’s servant, soberly continue calling for repentance and revival in the churches. While not all of those that died that day were professing Christians, the national religious response in the aftermath was decidedly Christian in sight and sound as services were held at the National Cathedral (the closest thing in the culture to an official church) and churches around the nation. In one of only a few times in American history to that point, the nation was blindsided by evil and Christianity as the culture’s primary religion was looked to for comfort.
For a few weeks attendance in the nation’s churches was up as has been typical historically in times of crisis. Comforted by sermons extolling the love, care and compassion of God along with the familiar music and traditional rituals of the respective church services, the largely professing, cultural American Christians quickly returned to their usual routines as many researchers noted at the time.1 Since then, the same researchers are reporting a continuing slide in religious participation by Americans. As I write, many especially conservative evangelical Christians decry this and are bemoaning the departure of America away from its religious roots as a “Christian nation.”
The descriptor of America as a “Christian nation” is strongly held by such persons because generically speaking, Christianity has been the dominant religion of the nation by pure number of professing adherents since its inception. Early explorers hailed from European nations where Christianity was the dominant religion and the colonists that followed declared themselves Christian in name if not fully in practice. Indeed, many from the various Protestant sects fled Europe to escape from murderous persecution by fellow Protestants, Catholic and State church authorities. They sought freedom to practice their beliefs and convictions of conscience without consequence.
Though there had been no idyllic precedent in Europe after many noble tries over the centuries, some idealists did hope to set up a Christian land in the New World. As I wrote in my September 4, 2016 post, Christianity The Religion American Style in this same category, the United States of America arose from the large moral and ethical influence of the real and counterfeit forms of Christianity among a number of heady political and social ideas of the time. In spite of badly missing the biblical mark by for example, racially redefining “neighbor” as “whites only” in sinfully showing partiality (Luke 10:25-37; James 2:1-13), the influence of Christianity as its dominant religion helped shape America’s culture through the mid-twentieth century.
America’s entrepreneurial, “can do” spirit and valuing of hard work to build something up out of nothing can be directly traced back to those early colonists and the Protestant work ethic. The concern for rights and justice embodied in the founding documents clearly acknowledge and declare they flow from a Creator; the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible. From that Bible too, proper social behavior, the concept of fair play and concern for the poor, widow and orphan had been drawn. Religious zeal wrapped in cultural arrogance by some among professing Christians, led to America being of the greatest missionary sending and supporting nations in Christian history.
Truly, America became great reaching its pinnacle with the victory of World War II because of its initial tip of the hat to God, noble, though selective attempt to live out the Bible’s moral and ethical precepts and doing of commendable works in human strength. However, even with a continuing respectful tip of the hat to God, full adherence to the Bible’s morality and ethics (if this were possible) and doing works, the nation was surely going to come to where it is now spiritually which is far from anything like “Christian.” For every faithful Christian knows just acknowledging God, morality, ethics and works are not what biblical and real Christianity is all about first, but salvation from sin leading to reconciliation with God, spiritual regeneration and eternal life (Romans 5:6-11; Titus 3:3-8)!
For God as sovereign Judge has declared His verdict of condemnation on all mankind that we are sinners unable to perfectly keep and be justified by His law which embodies His holy will and just demands of us (Romans 3:9-20). But He in love and by grace has provided righteousness for us through repentance and faith alone in the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ because even at our human best, we miss God’s standard of perfection (Romans 3:21-31). If every citizen to a man genuinely came to Christ for salvation, reconciliation with God, spiritual regeneration and eternal life then and only then might America lay claim to being a “Christian nation.” The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Google “post 9 11 church attendance” and among others, read the Fox News article citing Barna Research findings.
Strong Man Of God Resources
Get Your Copy Of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
Your purchase supports restoring men, families and communities through Strong Man Ministries!
Purchase It Now