Am I the only one, or have you also noticed an increase in messages on the end times from biblical preachers? The amount of persecution around the world is on the rise. If we’re not careful, this could produce great fear in us!
Right before our very eyes, Jesus’s predictions about an increase in wars, calamities, pestilence, and evil are coming true (Mat 24:6-8). But “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7 NKJV).
When I was a young Christian, I heard a message about being persecuted and it frightened me. I told the Lord, “Please don’t let that happen to me!”
I knew I was weak and would deny Him. I knew I wouldn’t be capable of remaining faithful. But my kind Lord reassured me that IF it did happen, I would be able to endure it; I would remain faithful because of His enabling grace.
I never forgot it! It was one of the first times I clearly heard Him speak to my soul.
I must admit though, being reminded of that time scares me! Why is God impressing on my heart to seriously think about this now? Does it mean that I will be greatly persecuted? I sure hope not!
But I’m choosing not to dwell on that and cause myself needless anxiety. Perhaps He simply wants me to prepare for the difficult times that I know are coming.
Whatever His reason, you and I have 3 choices:
- Deny the possibility that it could ever happen to us
- Cower away in a corner and hide that we are a follower of Christ
- Prepare ourselves
The first 2 are what Satan wants us to do. We can’t let that happen!
We need to prepare.
As I see it, there are 2 major areas in which we need to prepare for the difficult times ahead.
- Develop a strong faith so we’ll have the courage to stand for the truth despite the possibility of opposition.
- What to do in the event that we are persecuted (in big or small ways).
The best time to prepare for a storm is before the storm. A tree’s best defense against being blown over in severe weather is a deep and strong root system.
As believers in Jesus Christ we have been grafted onto the strong rootstock (Vine) of Christ. The more we abide in Him and His Word the stronger our faith will be.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Col 2:6-7)
My friend, I didn’t want to write this blog. But I felt compelled to join my fellow Christians in helping us get prepared for the difficult times ahead. We need to wake up and heed what God told Jeremiah when called to speak to the wayward nation of Israel…
“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you.” (Jer 1:17)
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Eph 6:13)
Stay tuned for more related blogs on this topic. Next week I’ll cover why God allows persecution.
Meanwhile you can read for free the first 3 chapters of my funny and witty allegory, The Master’s Garden, so you’ll know how to abide in Christ the Vine better. And don’t forget: God’s in control!
Except where indicated all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
(NKJV) New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved