Will the Real Christians Please Stand Up?

This is different than probably anything I have ever written. I have wanted my writings to be a means of encouragement to those who are struggling or who need a pick-me-up. I do believe, however, that God laid this on my heart so I hope you will bear with me for this very solemn post. I am sure most of you have heard about what is happening over in Iraq; however, if you can’t handle the details, feel free to skip to the second paragraph.

I have read a couple short articles on the atrocity that has been happening in Iraq the past few days. I didn’t read more than that because, honestly, I can’t handle it. My heart is breaking for those people, however, as I pray for their strength and comfort. Many watched their children beheaded or cut in two. They had to flee their homes which have now been taken over by this terrorist group. I am reminded that Christian persecution has not ended. For a while, it has been out of sight and out of mind, but I am endeavoring to begin praying for the persecuted church like never before.

the-persecuted-church

Here in America, we have had it so easy. Any persecution we have faced has been really minor compared to what our Brothers and Sisters in many other countries have experienced. I am grateful for this but I don’t believe this freedom will last forever. We very well may live to see the day when our lives are in danger as well. If this doesn’t happen in my lifetime, my children and grandchildren may see that day. Would I stand firm as so many martyrs have done and boldly declare that Jesus is my Lord? The Sunday School answer is, “Yes!” I know that’s easier said than done though. I think I would probably have the boldness to die for Christ but what about being tortured day in and day out for months on end? Or what about seeing my children tortured in front of my eyes? Is my faith and devotion to Christ strong enough to withstand those things?

I am not trying to scare anyone. Life is plenty scary and uncertain without me adding to that. But I do want to tell you that this is the time to choose who you will serve. This is the time to get as close to God as you can without any compromise. If you are not fully surrendered to Him now and willing to do whatever He asks of you, you will not be instantaneously willing to suffer for Him when that day comes. Second Timothy 3:12 tells us that “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” It’s not a matter of “if”; it’s a matter of when and to what degree. The call is still the same, however. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13).

I am challenging myself as I challenge all of you. Whether you agree with me or not that America will see immense persecution, I hope you will at least agree that this is a wake-up call. Christians in other countries are being massacred while we live a life of extreme ease. If this doesn’t break your heart, it is way too hard. We do not live here because we are special. We have been the recipients of God’s gracious mercy. Every day that we wake up, we should be rejoicing and asking God how we can best serve Him with the time that He gives us on this earth. God told the lukewarm Church in Laodicea that He would spit them out of His mouth. I can’t imagine anything more dreadful.

hotcoldweb

God, give me a renewed determination to live for You wholeheartedly. Remind me daily to pray for my Brothers and Sisters who are being persecuted for Your name’s sake. Fill me with the fire of Your Holy Spirit so that I do not become lukewarm or mediocre. Continue the work that You’ve begun because You are faithful! And please give comfort and a special grace to Your people in Iraq who have lost their homes and seen friends and family members brutally murdered. No one could get through that with You. Let them feel Your presence in the midst of their grief more than ever before.

11 thoughts on “Will the Real Christians Please Stand Up?

  1. Mickey Merrie says:

    Yes, and this is why dispensational theology has men thinking we are in the Laodicean age, for they see those attributes in the “American Churchianity of the jesus franchises.”
    They sit comfortably blanketed in a tradition of men known as pre-tribulational rapture theory, thinking they will get whisked away before things get bad for them. The reality is, only in the west can this delusion exist. The rest of the Christian world looks NOTHING like Laodicea in fact.

    And you are right, we could not endure persecution, let alone tribulation without the Work of the Holy Spirit within us. At best we would be no better than Simon Peter, and deny Him 3 times before the rooster crowed! Ah but Simon the reed becomes Petra the rock when filled with the Holy Spirit! For He alone is able to make His workmen stand…and He will!

    Will we see the wrath of satan known as the Great Tribulation in our days? We know not for certain, but the puzzle pieces no longer have to be force fit, and the picture they reveal becomes ever clearer. He comes NOT as a thief in the night to His own, contrary to the teaching of many. Let us be wise and be vessels filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit, and not foolish being dependent upon the oil of the snake oil salesmen. Let us also be awake and not asleep, for behold the Bride Groom certainly returns soon for us!

    Finally take heart as He always delivers His own, not from, but THROUGH the plagues, captivity, flood, sea, firey furnace, wilderness, lion’s den, cross and yes THROUGH the “Roman Candles” burning at the stake known as martyrdom which means His witnesses! Amen!?!?!

    Like He commanded Job, let us gird our loins as men of God, for He alone is able to bring salvation to His elect, and for His glory!

    “Lord? Show me your Truth, and I will be conformed to that Truth regardless of cost. In Jesus Name, so be it!”

  2. EK in reference to Rev.3:10 means [out of], not through, so I will keep the commandment to keep watching, while occupying, till He comes! [Maranatha]!*-)

  3. Mickey Merrie says:

    Mark Owen, brother, you might want to dig a little deeper in your Greek. Out-come oriented means something more akin to “unaffected by the event” rather than from the event.
    Also, the context of all the scripture related to the Great Tribulation points to saints being present. Think for a moment. How many men boarded the Ark after God shut the door? Zero! A for-shadowing perhaps? Also. Those who would remain after the pre-trib. rapture would have to be born from above. They had already rejected Jesus, yet they “get in” because they now see all their Christian friends gone?!?! Just like all who perished in the flood, having no understanding even of rain were able to get on the Ark?

    “OK Noah, we get it, open up! Come on Noah it’s getting deep out here and we don’t swim well. Noah?! NOAH!?!?”

    That friend is the picture of a man wanting to avoid judgment, not a man in right relationship with the Lord. And then where does your “understanding” of EK hold for these who would be, in your eschatology saved after the rapture?

    1537 ek (a preposition, written eks before a vowel) – properly, “out from and to” (the outcome); out from within. 1537 /ek (“out of”) is one of the most under-translated (and therefore mis-translated) Greek propositions – often being confined to the meaning “by.” 1537 (ek) has a two-layered meaning (“out from and to”) which makes it out-come oriented (out of the depths of the source and extending to its impact on the object).

    This is iron sharpening iron we have here brother, and contending for the faith. This is not the silly division so common within denominational churchianity. We both have the right and opportunity to re-look and re-think what affect the traditions of men have had upon us such that His Word is made of no effect. I would urge you to further investigate for your self using the promise of Jesus Himself leading you into all Truth through His Word in context as revealed by the Holy Spirit and no man. I would also urge you to look into the lifestyle of one Cyrus Scofield and then look at his relationship to one Darby and their 1830 ish new wind of doctrine theology er heresy. You could start here:

    http://poweredbychrist.homestead.com/files/cyrus/scofield.htm

  4. Mickie: Here’s the problem I have with the idea of the saints enduring the Great Tribulation: the purpose. The purpose of the Great Tribulation is God’s judgment, something that the redeemed are rescued from. What purpose would come from God not pulling His people out of harm’s way beforehand, like He has done in every other instance of judgment? How is He glorified by forcing His children, His chosen, to endure His wrath?

    Another issue I have is this: wouldn’t wanting to avoid judgment be a very valid reason to come to Christ? The warnings are summed up as, “Repent or perish!” That is an ultimatum! Hoping to avoid judgment is THE ENTIRE POINT OF CRYING OUT FOR MERCY!

  5. Actually, there is NOTHING in Scripture that states we will not endure the Great Tribulation. In fact, there is NOTHING that even shows the Great Tribulation is a full period of 7 years. The Scriptures are clear that the children of God will never endure the wrath of God. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. We will never have to fear His wrath.

    One big purpose for allowing God to allow His people to remain in harm’s way will be for His glory. A secondary issue will be the cleansing of the church so she will become a Bride who has been made ready for the coming of the Groom.

  6. Mickey Merrie says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Mark. Thanks!
    072591
    Why would we describe God’s motives by our feelings, rather than accepting what the Word actually says? For example:
    Satan has the authority to wear out the saints.
    If He didn’t shorten the time no flesh would survive, but for His Elect’s sake…
    At the final trump the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we that remain…
    Oh, and then their is the little matter of the man of perdition being revealed before these things take place…Got the name yet?
    They will kill the saints thinking they are doing God a favor…Hmm
    Are the martyrs under the alter only from history and none from America?

    These are but a few of the many examples that are conveniently left out of the discussion in the pre-trib. rapture heresy. And no that doesn’t make pre-tribbers unsaved or heretics, just deceived. Every person I know who chose to count their past religious training as dung, and studied the matter for themselves, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance have moved away from that eschatology. They may not agree on the exact timing, but they do agree that the pre-trib. rapture doesn’t hold water scripturally.

    I urge everyone to question EVERYTHING they have been taught and allow the scriptures and Jesus to set them in order. I contend, not to be right but for His Truth because I truly care.

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