PERSECUTION

John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. So Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others. —Luke 3:19-20

Standing for Biblical values sets Christians apart. A New Mexico photographer is in court because of not wanting to photograph “a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony” http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865557098/New-Mexico-photographer-loses-third-round-of-gay-discrimination-case-but-attorneys-vow-fight-isnt.html?pg=all. “Christian bakers fined up to $150,000 for refusing to bake same-sex ‘wedding’ cake” https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/christian-bakers-fined-up-to-150000-for-refusing-to-bake-same-sex-wedding-c. “Govt tells Christian ministers: Perform same-sex weddings or face jail, fines” http://www.adfmedia.org/News/PRDetail/9364. The list goes on…

Targeting followers of the Lord God Almighty to persecute them is nothing new. It started in the first family as Cain killed his brother Abel. “And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you” (I John 3:12-13). In the Middle-East our brothers are being targeted for the very fact that they seek to be living righteous for the Lord Jesus Christ. That is all. In the United States we have the above situations occurring. They are not as severe as what is happening to our brothers and sisters in the Middle-East and other countries, but the U.S. is moving in that direction. “Supreme Court agrees to rule on gay marriage” and you better understand that if this ruling is in favor of “gay” marriage, then the “church” is going to be in the bulls-eye of the activists targeting.

Again, Cain killed Abel because Abel was doing what was right in God’s sight and Cain was doing what was evil in God’s sight. That’s it! It is true today. Christians, those truly following Jesus not just in words but also in actions, will be targeted by “wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18). Here’s the crux of the matter— wicked people seek to suppress the truth by their wicked practices even if it means killing those standing for the Truth— Christians. This is not new…

Dear Father, even as the church in Smyrna was warned they would be persecuted, Jesus told them to be “Be faithful, even to the point of death.” Oh, that we who follow You would be faithful until we die— whatever circumstance brings that final breath. May it be so!

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