Saturday, October 13, 2012

Do You Feel It?

Author Unknown 
I visited a doctor today, a man I have known for some time.  He is a quite remarkable man, Chinese, but devoutly, incredibly Christian. He is the sort of man who makes me stop and pause when I consider a life truly lived out for Christ.  He travels the world, going to various places as a preacher.  He has also raised two doctor children – one an eye surgeon, the other an internist.  His father had been converted by missionaries before WWII, who also helped his father overcome his opium addiction.

My doctor friend came to this country a little over 30  years ago.  He remarked to me today, that at that time, the U.S. seemed overwhelmingly Christian.  Christian almost in an “in your face” kind of way.  It was who we were.  Businesses were shut down in much of the country on Sunday – widespread repeal of blue laws did not begin until the early 80s.  Now, he notices a great change. Many people are not Christian, and of those who claim to be, only a limited number practice their faith to any real degree.  More and more people are not just agnostic, they are militantly atheistic.  It’s not just that they don’t want to practice Christianity, they don’t want you to either, and they are more and more willing to try to drive Christianity from the public square.

Then there is the persecution of Christians in other countries.  The doctor and I share a mutual friend who is Iranian.  She converted to Christianity a few years ago. She is really on fire.  She has gone back to Iran a few times to distribute clandestine Bibles.  She was going to go back again, soon, to help coordinate some underground Christian groups, when a fresh persecution fired up in Tehran. Christians were crucified, children dragged from their homes and thrown in prison.  Things like this haven’t happened in centuries, because……well, for numerous reasons.

Then we discussed the militant homosexual lobby and the efforts to have “hate crime” laws expanded and then, the ultimate vehicle of the persecution – state recognition of gays simulating marriage. Churchmen have already gone to jail in Canada for simply reading various bits of Scripture condemning homosexual acts and doing nothing more.  If so-called “gay marriage” becomes the law of the land, here, the floodgates will be open for denying the Church its rights and a great state-empowered effort to finally and completely drive Christianity from public life.

That’s when he said “Do you feel it?”  At first I didn’t understand what he was saying, so I had to think, but then I got it – the persecution.  It’s coming.  I have had a number of Christians of all stripes relay to me their concerns that there is a mighty persecution coming in this country.  Perhaps we’re just doomsayers, but I feel it. I’ve written about it, primarily in passing, from time to time on my blog. Pastors have been warning us about this for 120 years or more – specific references to how the culture is de-Christifying and becoming something very much darker – a sort of new, high tech paganism.  My doctor friend, using his spiritual sensibilities, believes this coming persecution means end times.

No one can be certain of the exact day or the last hour, but we do know from the Book of John that there will be a great falling away even before the antichrist comes.  Do you feel it?  Do you read the signs of the times and come to the same conclusion?  Or do I travel in some wacked out alarmist circles?  If Obama is re-elected, should we all stock up on food items for remembrance of the Lord's Supper?

But, even if the above is true, it is no reason to fear.  We should hold fast in the Faith, and actually thank God for being so lucky as to suffer for Him.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth... ~Matthew 5:10-13a

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