There are only two ways this world can go … toward God or toward evil … there is no middle ground. People think they can remain neutral and align themselves up with a modest dose of spirituality, and be culturally ‘woke’ to society as a whole.
In a recent email exchange with a family member, I pointed out that when death happens to us we will immediately be in the presence of God. As we face the God of the Universe, there will be two questions that will be asked:
1. What did you believe?
2. What did you do?
This is the exchange the Bible tells us will happen according to Revelation 20:11-15. Two books will be opened and our lives will be judged according to those two questions. The book of life will be the most important because if your name is missing from it your sentence will be eternity without God. The other book is about how you lived your life, which will impact only you and prove God saw every moment of your life.
My theme today is about persecution. We will endure persecution if we know there is a cause great enough to withstand the pressure of conformity. The pressure to conform is what I believe persecution will be about.
The extreme causes today want us to conform to their agendas and if we won’t, we will be punished by violence. Death brings us before God and when the books are opened, the Bible teaches that all things will be made right. So, by knowing this, persecution for your faith in Jesus will be a sign to you that standing for Him will one day be rewarded before God.
Truth is about living right and believing right, so if you are standing for Biblical truth you can be assured you will face persecution. The world is constantly looking for the injustice of racism, oppression, and how certain powers in society have influence over various people groups. Diversity of race, beliefs, and lifestyles will be the new standard of morality in society. The immorality that has been taught by Judeo-Christian values will no longer be accepted … it will suffer the rejection of culture and it will go through persecution to purge it from the land. In fact, in time, even the Bible will be questioned and rejected as a book of truth because of the monolithic culture of the writers of the book. It was all Jews who wrote the Bible, so in this new world of diversity how then can one race speak for all races and set the standards for truth?
The persecution that will come will be that the Bible and what it teaches is racism/hate speech, homophobic, and socially immoral. The ultimate charge will be that the God of the Bible is racist because He chose one race to speak through and called them ‘chosen.’ You can just hear the cry, can’t you? ‘All groups matter, we all are chosen.’ As human beings, no culture is above another and all disparities between us are now eliminated. The problem with the reality of this is that sin is still alive and well in our world. As long as sin reigns in the hearts of men and women there will never be an early utopia, and all disparities will remain because that is the sinful nature of humans. Period.
As I started out, persecution is inevitable. As one preacher said: “To the Christian, this world will be the only hell we know, and to the sinner, this world will be the only heaven they know.” The Bible tells us that we will suffer if we are living for Jesus Christ … that is inevitable:
2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
The message of the Gospel is offensive because it addresses truth. You cannot stand on the verse that tells us that Jesus is the only way, the truth, and the life, and no man can come to the Father but through Me, and still have friends in the world. The exclusivity of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and that being the only way into heaven, simply will not and cannot be true in future days. There are too many cultures today that do not accept that, so it will not be true. They will say that God would not limit such a narrow way for so many people … God is bigger than one way, one truth, and one life.
I leave you with the statement Jesus made that makes Satan mad and the world crazy. Jesus was either mistaken and deceived, or He gave us the greatest advice on earth. Getting into heaven is a very narrow path, and ultimately it means that entrance into heaven comes down to one simple name, Jesus Christ. And you can be assured, it will be this name that will bring persecution into your life. (Note: the ESV translation points out that not only is the path leading to life narrow, it is also hard, persecution is hard.)
Matthew 7 13Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler