Are You of the World? :: By Vanessa Panas

Christian Persecution

Do you look like the world and act like the world? There are a lot of Christians who are a part of the world. Truly professing Christ as our Savior is the only way to the Father, but if you are living in unrepentant sin, have you really in your heart given your life over to Christ? As a Christian you seek forgiveness and repentance daily. You strive to do the right thing. You will no longer want to be part of the world. And you do not get to the Father by works; you get to the Father by Jesus.

When the woman was accused of adultery and was going to be stoned, what did Jesus say to her? “And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more’” (John 8:11).

Without Christ, there is no hope for salvation. We are sinners by nature and not worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. When you become a Christian you will always fall short of the Glory of God. He is perfect; we are not. But there is a difference between blatantly living a sinful and worldly life and truly trying to walk the narrow path and living as Christ taught us. We will stumble and we will fall, but He will be there to pick us up. When you want to live for Christ, you will begin to change.

Jesus said not everyone that says Lord Lord, will be saved. If you do not know Him, He will not know you!

Matthew 10:33 “But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

Jesus told us we will know them by their fruits. Can a bad tree bear good fruit? If someone looks at how you are living your life or speaks to you and they see or hear no difference between you and someone of the world, then are you truly saved? Is God transforming your life?

Matthew 7:16-20 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

As a Christian, you will not change overnight, BUT YOU WILL BEGIN TO CHANGE.

You will begin to love what He loves and hate what He hates. You will want to read His word more. You will yearn for a closer relationship with Him. You will pray more and you will worry about the salvation of others. You will not continue to live in your previous life because you will become a new person. People WILL notice that you are changing.

We who are saved should look forward to the rewards we will receive at the Bema Seat judgment after the rapture. Therefore, we must be aware of the sin in our own lives and confess it. We are warned not to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ unfairly.

John 7:24 “Do not judge by appearances but with right judgment.”

Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”

Matthew 7:2-5 “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Jesus did not come to bring peace, but a sword! What is His sword? It’s His word. A sword divides, and so does the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. It divides and separates those of Christ from those of the world. Luke 12:51 describes the “sword” as “division.”

Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”

If you lose friendships or family relationships, will you still confess Him?

We are facing our own persecutions in the West where the word Christian is becoming a bad name. If you haven’t been to church lately, go. However, it shouldn’t be just any church, but a church that teaches God’s word. If you haven’t opened your Bible in awhile, then open it.

Have you fallen away from Him? Then run back. He is still there.

Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

When God truly saves someone, God begins to pull you out of the world. He pulls you closer to Him. If you truly are a Christian, you will not look like the world or act like the world. You will be set apart from the world. You cannot love the world and love Christ.

John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

You will become like new. You will want to change. Things you once loved that are disgusting in the eyes of God WILL begin to disgust you!

It’s easy to be a Christian in The United States. There are no real consequences. Your condo association won’t let you display your nativity scene at Christmas. In other parts of the world they won’t let you LIVE. In other parts of the world, they profess Christ knowing it could cost them their lives. In such places, if you profess your faith in Jesus Christ, then chances are you mean it because your life is on the line. They profess Him knowing they very well may DIE for Him, and they still do it.

Are you willing to die for that Nativity scene? Are you willing to die for your right to say Merry Christmas? Will you stand by Him knowing you are going to be beheaded for Him? Many Christians have a hard time standing for Jesus in the face of men even without the threat of death.

Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Jesus warned us that we would be hated and persecuted for His name. He told us to remember that He was hated first and, because the world hated Him, it will also hate us.  Christians have been persecuted since Jesus walked the earth as God in the flesh. We were used in the coliseums as sport. We were being hunted and killed for His name’s sake. The goal was to kill all of us, but something amazing was happening.

As more Christians were killed, more people became followers of Christ. As Christians faced starving lions or fierce gladiators, they were somehow finding the strength and courage to sing and praise Jesus into the very face of death. Christians have always been persecuted in some form or another, but the all-out brutal assault on Christianity is back, and it’s in full force. Are you going to stand for Him? Be killed for Him?

Paul was ready to be a warrior for Christ in the face of the Gentiles, ready to face death. Paul, the man that hunted Christians, who hated them, was made new; He became a Christian. He went from the hunter to the hunted.

Many people across the world won’t give an opinion of their own to their peers if it’s not in line with everyone else. Christians are not supposed to be like everyone else. We are supposed to love what He loves and hate what He hates! We are not called to be weak. We are not called to meekly defend Christ; we are called to be warriors of Christ. Be a warrior for Christ. Stand apart from the world, don’t become the world. 

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”

Luke 6:22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and

spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!”

Being a Christian is not popular. It’s even less popular in the Middle East, Africa, North Korea, China and Nigeria. They are dying for not denying His word. They are dying because they refuse to be ashamed of Him.

The Coptics in Egypt are under attack because they name the name of Christ. Any non-Muslim is up for persecution, but especially Christians. In Pakistan, the blasphemy laws are being used to arrest Christians. If a court finds the Christian innocent, he still loses his or her life. They are released to a mob in the streets where they are murdered.

Muslims in Nigeria are torturing and murdering Christians more than any other group on a routine basis, oftentimes performing the most barbaric and brutal executions.

In May 2016, over 500 Christians were murdered in Benue State in central Nigeria. In October 2016 in Godogodo, Nigeria, Muslim herdsman attacked the village, killing more than 40 Christians. “They shot and killed my four children,” survivor Peter Atangi told WorldWatch Monitor. “As we ran for our dear lives, they also set our homes on fire. Many of us have been rendered homeless.”

In the first month of 2018 in Benue, 80 Christians were hacked to death by Muslim herdsman.

A persecution watchdog group, International Christian Concern, reported that since Jan. 1 there have been another 50 deaths in Logo and another 30 in Guma County.

Islamic Fulani herdsmen in northeastern Nigeria who have been accused of aligning with the Boko Haram terror group killed more than 100 Christians after reprisal clashes earlier this month with the suspected help of the military.

Women are being taken from their villages and sold into slavery at record numbers. There are still hundreds of Yazidi girls missing from Iraq and Syria, sold into slavery by Islamists because they mix Christianity with Islam.

The persecution of Christians is brutal in India. On average, one Christian in India is attacked by Hindu terrorists every 40 minutes. Christians in Syria and Iraq have been forced from lands their ancestors have inhabited for 2,000 years.

Christian genocide happening across the world is real; it’s happening, but you wouldn’t know it. You don’t hear about it. A recent study by the group “Aid to the Church in Need” said the treatment of Christians has grown substantially worse since 2015 and has quickly grown more violent than any other period in modern times.

As The largest Christian nation, we cannot forget our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s far too easy to forget the trials and tribulations they face, as we feel worlds away in the west. Our fight for Christianity in the United States is very real, but it is a much different fight than our brothers and sisters elsewhere face.

Imagine for one moment that it wasn’t just about your right to say “Merry Christmas,” but about your very survival. They need us now more than ever before. President Trump has made a bold start by withholding funding to the U.N. We are far more capable of helping Christians directly rather than through the U.N. The U.N. and the world ignore the real human rights atrocities committed against the very people they say they are defending.

I’m asking you as a sister in Christ to not forget them. Pray for them. Donate time or money to rescue groups that help Christians all over the world. No matter what you do to help them, just don’t forget them.

Don’t just hashtag some phrase and feel you’ve done your part. Your hashtag makes YOU feel better, but it does not change anything. Christ’s message wouldn’t have been spread through a hashtag. Social media helps tremendously in today’s world when spreading God’s word, but what I’m saying is spread His message but then live by it yourself. Don’t be a lukewarm Christian.

Christians are not only facing persecution and death; they are steadily on the decline. In the UK, a recent poll showed only 55% of Brits consider themselves Christians, while only 6% consider themselves active Christians.

The left and women’s rights groups condemn Christians as hateful or intolerant. Christians are accused of homophobia, often ridiculed as bigots. The left accuses Christians of being violent and promoting hatred, while they protect Muslims. Yet in the Middle East, Muslims throw homosexuals to their deaths from rooftops. Women from all walks of life are brutalized daily. Rape of “infidels” is not only condoned but is commanded in the Koran and Hadith.

Feminists all over attack the traditional mother while overlooking the real plight of women. Christian women were recently named the world’s most persecuted group. Christian women! But feminists attack Christian women along with everyone else. Women in the church that profess Christ are having abortions at a rate not far behind non-Christian women. Women in Iran are protesting the hijab and removing it, facing arrest or death. Women in the U.S are protesting against removing it, on the grounds of feminism. Many of the women being forced to wear it don’t want it. Women here fight for them to wear it behind the guise of freedom.

We have to stand together, united, and speak out against the atrocities happening around the world. We must call it what it is, CHRISTIAN GENOCIDE.

In Christianity, we are all brothers and sisters. In Islam, for instance, it’s very different. So why are Christians persecuted and Muslims are being labeled as the religion of peace? It’s the same reason yet again that takes us to Eve in the garden. It’s good versus evil, light versus darkness.

Christians are hated because of Him. He was crucified for you. If He died for you, you can stand with Him. There are Christians, and there is the world. If the world loves you, then you are too much a part of the world.  Jesus told us that the world hated Him first. Blessed is He that is persecuted for Jesus’ sake. The world stores up their riches here on earth; we as Christians are rewarded eternal life through Jesus Christ in heaven.

So are you a Christian ready to take up the sword of God, which is His word, and stand with Him and defend His flock, your brothers and sisters?

2 Corinthians 4:8-13 “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.”

Vanessa Panas