“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
(Matthew 5:11-12 NLT)
Around the world there are terrible persecutions that our brothers and sisters in Christ live through every day. Those who live in America don’t have to worry that our faith will cause mobs to burn our home down, or need to smuggle Bibles into the country because they’re illegal, or risk being thrown out into the streets [or jail] by our own family for following Jesus, or for the 7000+ Christians who were killed in 2015 only because of their faith.
America is synonymous with Freedom, a country founded by people who wanted to worship the one true God, how they desired to – not how a monarchy, government, or church-state commanded them to. Along with these freedoms, very slowly and decisively history has been ‘tweaked’ and rewritten to teach that the main reason for the American Revolution was because of taxation without representation, an economic focus instead of a religious focus. By simply changing the perception of our country’s founding – decade by decade – we have dramatically altered the landscape of our great Nation – beginning with the removal of God, which has left us with an immoral vacuum in it’s place, all in the disguise of ‘freedom’.
Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.
(1 Corinthians 6:12 MSG)
Because surely, if an economic focus was the cause our country’s creation, it would have been the first priority in the Bill of Rights…oh wait, it wasn’t??? This might make you wonder if anything else has been ‘edited’ for our point of view, here’s the first amendment to the US Constitution : Prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. If you notice the 1st Amendment is focused on our freedom to worship God – without hinderance or interference from the government; not a separation of church and state, if that was really the case, then the founding fathers wouldn’t have created a chapel inside Congress, nor would they have held daily prayer sessions during the writing of the Constitution. These same ways of manipulating the truths, have caused people to believe that political parties have ‘switched’ sides or views to fit the modern agenda. Along with our freedom to worship, another right that has been corrupted, is the freedom of the press (as I wrote on earlier, Our Media – a False Prophet).
Our country may have many freedoms, but with those freedoms, we’ve lost our moral compass along the way. Christians today can look at what’s happening around us with a sense of expectancy, because we know what Jesus told us….
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
(Matthew 24:9-14 NLT)
I think this is why there is so much tension growing. In a modern age where people can hide behind the anonymity of the internet, it’s now popular and acceptable to condemn ALL Christian values and label those values as ‘hate’. We’re told that we must conform to what society believes and to keep God to ourselves – and some Christians have conformed and they are accepted & celebrated because they’ve altered God’s Word to fit their choices!!! Everyone agrees bullying is wrong and must be stopped, unless the bullying is against what we find offensive and intolerant to our point of view. Those that don’t know God, don’t care that we have to cast aside what offends us – because it only matters what offends God.
Although this growing resentment to Christ followers hurts my heart and frustrates me – I know God sees everything and even if He doesn’t interfere how we wish He would – it doesn’t mean we’re alone or forgotten, God’s timing is perfect. My prayer right now, is that we will remain strong in the Lord, true to God, and keeping our eyes and focus on God, always. As much as I love America, I have to love God more and keep Him first.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
(Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT)