Just recently, two persecuted Christians made world news because of their being arrested, incarcerated for lengthy times, and then being released. One was an American pastor in Turkey who was arrested and held for over two years because of faux espionage charges and terrorism. President Trump had a lot to do with getting him released.
The other is a Christian Pakistani woman who was sentenced to death in 2010 for blaspheming the Prophet Mohammad. She is a believer in Jesus, and that’s worthy of death in Pakistan. From some reports, there are at least 20 others in Pakistani prisons sentenced to death. No Christian is safe in that country.
Upon release, the pastor returned to the United States, and had a meeting with the president. He is now in safe hands. The whereabouts of the woman is unknown as she will be killed by the citizens if found. Measures are being taken to try and get her and her family out of Pakistan.
This is happening in Europe as well. An unnamed Austrian woman called the Prophet Mohammad a “pedophile” for marrying a 6-year-old girl. The Muslims believe this is perfectly alright, because he didn’t consummate the marriage until she was 9. The woman was initially convicted by the Vienna Regional Court in 2011, and ordered to pay a substantial fine. Her initial appeal later was lost, and the fine upheld. She then appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and named a specific article that should have protected her free speech. For some reason, the court upheld her initial conviction this year. It appears Islam is taking over in most of Europe.
Other countries have enacted similar laws that anyone speaking against Islam in any way is considered a crime. Some have very severe penalties. Do not try to take a Bible into Dearborn, Michigan.
Now, a “what if” question; what if someone anywhere else in the world speaks out against Jesus or Christianity… what would be their sentence? Sadly, here on earth there would be no conviction of any crime. However, the highest court for this is not of this world, and will be discussed a bit later.
In fact, even in the U.S., there is a movement to remove the name of Jesus on anything perceived as “Christian” from the public eye. Yet, in some public schools around America, Islam is being taught to grade school students as being a “peaceful religion.” Students have “prayer rugs” and “pray” to Allah at regular intervals. Don’t forget, prayer to our Lord has been all but banned in all educational facilities. In a number of instances, the parents were not notified of the Islam “training,” and many have filed formal protests. Some have even pulled their kids out and are homeschooling them.
The Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit never realized this sort of thing would happen on this earth … right? John 16:2-3, “They will put you out of the Synagogues, yet a time is coming when the one who kills you will think he/she is doing a service to God. They will do these things because they have not known the Father or Me.” (emphasis all mine, and Jesus made this statement about 2,000 years ago.)
It has occurred to me that – if we’re here long enough – sharing our faith may get to be a major crime. In some parts of our liberal states, Christianity is being openly challenged by laws that prohibit any, and especially Christian, counseling against the “LGBT and whatever other letters” society. When the Tribulation takes place, all religion will be outlawed, and special persecution will be reserved for Jews and new Christians. The only “religion” allowed will be that of worshiping the antichrist. Even Islam will be against the law.
Our last president openly declared, “America is no longer a Christian Country.” Of course, he is a declared Muslim, and was instrumental in backing any activity that tried to put down Christianity. There were no protests in the streets, no rioting, or any form of mayhem that took place because of this. The Conservatives went to the polls and elected our latest President who honors Christianity, Judaism, and whatever religion one wishes to follow. As a result, Christianity and the Constitution are being viciously attacked. The “election losers” and mainly the one who actually lost that election, have declared there can be no civility until they are back in power. If they do get back into power, this country will be totally lost.
If being a Christian and proclaiming the word of the Lord is outlawed, what will I do? Will I be able to stand for Jesus no matter what the sentence is? This is a question every believer needs to respond to. I go to Matthew 10:19-22 for my supporting answer:
“Whenever they hand you over for trial, do not worry about how to speak, or what to say, for what you should say will be given to you at that time. For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” This will be prevalent during the 7-year Wrath.
In His messages to the 7 Churches in Revelation, Jesus tells the Church at Philadelphia (not Pa.), “Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth” (Revelation 3:10). This is plainly stating that believers will not be in the Wrath.
James 1:12 “Happy is the one who endures testing, because whom he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the Crown of Life that God has promised to those that love Him.”
Saying to just stand by because things will change for the better, is not going to happen. Jesus, Paul, Daniel, James, John, Peter and others all stated times would get worse toward the end. There were already antichrists and false prophets in their day, and they have only multiplied. The evil isn’t even trying to disguise itself today, as there are so many who are not only willing, but eager to join the satanic mess. Satan and his demons are working overtime, because even though he doesn’t know when the Tribulation will actually start, he knows it’s close.
The Wrath/Tribulation will be a time like never before. As long as a person takes the mark of the beast and worships the final antichrist, they will be allowed to live pretty much as they wish – that is, until the end of the tribulation – and then they will face the final Judgment. However, if a person is Jewish or refused the mark because they’ve become a believer, then they are fair game for anyone. Re-read John 16:2-3 for this.
A time is coming very soon when all the world’s believers of today will be taken up (Raptured) so that, like the Church of Philadelphia, they will escape the Wrath. For someone who has never heard the message of salvation, this may sound like a strange concept, but it is very real just the same. God’s word and prophecies that were recorded by the Holy-Spirit-Inspired writers have been 100% accurate, and will be so all the way to the end of the Millennium.
I made mention of the highest court earlier; other than the Judgment Seat of Christ, the White Throne Judgment is the Grand Finale!
First, the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) is for all believers, and Jesus is the absolute authority and Judge. It is not a condemnation hearing, but will be based on rewards for whatever a person did on earth to serve the Lord. Everyone has different talents, and will be rewarded for how those talents were used. Some will receive many rewards, and some may receive none. However, all at this judgment are still going to be with Jesus in Heaven forever.
The alternative is the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). This is the ultimate punishment phase for not obeying God pre-cross, and not accepting Jesus post-Calvary. There are no rewards, no appeals, and no pardons from this judgment. All who go to this Judgment are bound for eternity in the Lake of Fire. Determination here is what degree of punishment will be administered to each individual. I believe it’s safe to say, Satan will receive the absolute maximum punishment possible. Someone who was a “good person” but rejected Jesus will receive less than Satan; however, they will still be in punishment forever.
False prophets will tell you there’s many ways to heaven, but that just ain’t so! Jesus died at Calvary to be the perfect sacrifice none of us could ever provide, and He paid it ALL. We cannot buy or earn our pardon, and we definitely don’t deserve it. It is fitting and just that the Father requires us to believe Jesus is our Messiah, Our Savior.
He came to this earth as fully human, but still fully God, and died for our sins at Calvary. He was raised from the dead by the Father, and all who call on Him will be saved (Romans 10:9). Jesus is a part of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To accept this, and to ask forgiveness for our sins, and to ask Jesus to save us is all we can do for our Salvation. He will turn no one away who truly asks, and He will have the Holy Spirit to live within us while we are on this earth. When the time comes, we will be taken up to meet Him in the air (Rapture). The dead in Christ will rise first, then those of us who are still alive. All will receive imperishable and immortal bodies, and this will take place in less than one second.
Putting off calling on Jesus could be the worst mistake you could ever make. We don’t know the day or hour He will call, but it could be at any time now. All the signs point to our going Home soon. It will happen; God has promised it. The price is right, He paid for your ticket, but you have to accept it for it to be valid. Today would not be too soon, and would be good!