“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;” 2 Timothy 3:12 – 14
Paul is speaking to this young Minister named Timothy, Paul is also speaking to all ministers through-out time. It is not that Ministers are the only ones to be persecuted, but as leaders of the Christian faith, echoers of the gospel of Christ, as church leaders, Ministers are the prime target. You kill the general and the troops will retreat, because the strength of the church is Christ Jesus her head, then the Pastor, Christ’s overseer and under-shepherdof the church. It is your Pastors job to be the backbone of the local church, they are in the bloodline of strength of the churches that runs from Christ Jesus through the Pastor then through the church. This is the reason you see so many churches starting to deteriorate when they are without a Pastor. As Christians God tells us how to arm ourselves for battle’s in this world, Eph. 6:10 – 20. In this passage God tells us how to fight, verses (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" our defense begins with faith, faith in God our Father, our Saviour Jesus Christ, and our strengthener and enabler the Holy Spirit. We must trust God, the entire Godhead because God is more powerful than Satan and his army of demons who seek our destruction. As Christians we do not just fight the evils we cannot see, we also fight the evils disguised as Christians. These so-called Christians are not out to love us as fellow Christians, they are out to destroy us because we are Sovereign Grace believers. The battles have been blooming for hundreds if not thousands of years, I believe soon there will be another uprising of Satan’s army of evils, and we very well may see what we did in the “Dark Age” years when Catholicism and Reformers persecuted the Lord’s churches and Christians alike that some fifty-million were slaughtered. These times have been forgotten by many, never taught to others, and hid from others, but they are true in every letter of the word. Dr. Clark (who started the first Baptist Church in America) and others escaped England to escape persecution, coming to a free new world. Dr. John Clark and other Christian leaders worked with the founders of our constitution to make America a persecution free land where Christians and Churches could worship free from tyranny. Therefore, every Christian should fight for the best America, in hopes we can to keep it free from becoming another England under tyranny. The Devil is our adversary, he is seeking whom he may devour (that is to swallow up or destroy) so powerful in his endeavor the Lord called him “a roaring lion” 1Peter 5:8. We all know how powerful the lion is in the jungle, he is king, and Satan is the king of the earth, seeking to destroy Christians and churches. God said in Revelation 12:12 “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Satan knows, he has fallen from heaven as one who seek to overpower God, so his powers are great. I believe as Christians and Churches we must be prepared for a war, I believe Satan is about ready to move again with his persecutions, His army is greater and his strength has not weakened, I believe American persecution is about to reach a higher level. I also believe this persecution will spread worldwide as many parts of the world already still kill Christians. As Christians we must put on our “Armor of faith” our sword must continue to be God’s word, and we must continue to be, “… be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10 We must remember those believers and churches that were slaughtered in this faith and trusting God, and we must allow their faith to be our faith in Jesus Christ and God. We must stand in the power of God and never lose faith no matter what happens, even to our death. Our life is not about this world, it is about the world that awaits us. We must be like Jesus, who went to His death trusting (as the Son of man) the Holy Spirit to raise Him. Our strength, our faith, our survival all starts with our walk in the word of God, that is in the truth of it. “…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution…. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;” As the deceivers continue to deceive each other to bring it to the climax of Satan’s prepared war machine, we need to be on our knees everyday praying to God for the war that is about to be. While we watch and pray for the Second Coming of Jesus, we need to be prepared to die for Jesus, the time is ours and the time is getting shorter. We do not know how much God will allow us to suffer, how much we may suffer, or how many will die, therefore be prepared.