As we Americans can see, persecution against things deemed "Christian" did not end in 1962 when prayer was banned from our public schools. Among the more recent targets are Southern symbols incorporating St. Andrew's Cross, the Boy Scouts, St. Patrick's Day, the Salvation Army and monuments to the 10 Commandments.
Even more disturbing are a growing number of attacks aimed at the true meaning of Christmas, as expressed in Christmas carols and the Nativity. These attacks surged in 2004.
Whitewashers of the facts would have us believe that these developments, coupled with the present push for homosexual "marriages," are nothing more than the "politically correct" advancements of modern-day liberalism. Not so; these developments are indicators of heavy demonic activity.
And while some well-meaning Christians are vowing to take America back and rescue Christianity from the persecution that we now see mounting, are we to ignore Bible warnings of even worse days to come?
During his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ prophesied that directly prior to his second coming the entire world would be great with evil, just as it was in the days of Noah before the flood. Needless to say, I don't think this region of the world (the United States) is somehow exempt.
Furthermore, the Bible foretells of a great falling away from truth and the rise to power of a wicked global ruler (the anti-Christ). This man will be empowered by Satan and his reign will be preceded by an increase in crime, wars, natural disasters and anti-Christian activity. Hence, believers will be persecuted more, not less.
This persecution of Christians has been ongoing since Christ walked among men. However, many American believers are shocked to see it happening here, in the USA. Moreover, some are wondering why the "Rapture" hasn't already occurred.
Undoubtedly, God is using these circumstances to reach out to unbelievers, but he may be fleecing his sheep, too. As a matter of fact, doesn't the Scripture teach that trials, tribulations and chastisements promote purity in the church?
For instance, note that many American believers are losing their appetite for the glitz and glamor that is often associated with Christianity in the United States. Religious figures donning special titles, fancy outfits and haughty attitudes are not as appealing as they once were, and there seems to be a growing hunger for the Savior in all his meekness, simplicity and holiness.
Certainly God would have his people longing for Christ's return. But how can that be if the church is still holding onto the world? Perhaps an increase in persecution will prompt the church to let go. Now that is something to think about.
From Hebrews 11, the Apostle Paul points his readers to numerous heroes of the faith. In the days to come, verses 24-27 may prove especially relevant for American Christians.
May God bless us with the faith of Moses. I certainly need it.
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