What Is Persecution?

Yeah this is a little deep, but it’s on my heart…

After hearing about the earthquake and tsunami yesterday I quickly pulled out my Bible to Matthew 24. Had to get a quick refresher in th signs of the end… In one sense I was relieved because Jesus clearly said wars and earthquakes were not the signs of the end. Simple birthpains; but the real deal would be coming later… 

The real deal is persecution. 

But the question came to mind today, what is persection?

In one sense we assume we know. Laws being changed that stop us from preaching, teaching, and reading the Bible. The potential of jail or death for confessing our allegience to Jesus. 

But check this, historically when the church has been persecuted like that, they have grown stronger not weaker. In the scriptures on the end times, it does not say the church grows stronger, but even the so called strong fall away…

So again, what I is persecution? 

I started to ask myself instead, what is the GOAL of persecution? 

It’s goal is to make believers fall away… 

So what would make believers fall away? What makes believers, even the strong ones begin to change their mind about God? 

In my little experience, I’d say: “Dissappointment”. 

To be disappointed that God did not do what we thought he would do. Having dreams unfulfilled, having sin issues unresolved. Having critical concerns that were not answered by God. That to me seems to shake up people’s faith more than anything. 

So what if somehow, the enemy could have access to bring this type of persecution. Where all of our praying, fasting, and spiritual exercises seemed to not work. Seeing others who do not follow God being blessed, yet we continue to struggle. Would that make us fall away?

In Hebrews 11, it tells of countless men of God who did not receive answered prayer, or dreams fulfilled in their life time, yet they did never we offended, never gave up on God. 

So now I beleive we see the beginning of birth pains. But the end is not here. 

Are we ready for persections in the form of dissappointment? 

Are we ready to trust God in the most blessed nation on earth even if the blessings seem to pass over our lives?

Is our faith built on earthly satisfaction, or everlasting life?