Although the points listed in this post are in no way exhaustive it represents a limited list of reasons why the church is under persecution today. I write this with a heavy heart for those who have chosen to love the world and reject the teaching of Christ. None-the-less we look for a brighter day, 2 Pet. 3:10-13. Please read carefully with the understanding that the things listed must occur according to the order of Biblical progression toward the coming Rapture of the Church and the subsequent Tribulation period. This must be so, in order to make for the brighter day of Millennial existence with Christ as Head and ruling on the Throne of David from Jerusalem.
(6) For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(7) Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
In Luke 24:24-27 Jesus had a conversation with two disciples on the Road to Emmaus who were saddened by the closing events of the Passion week, namely the crucifixion of Jesus. Part of the conversation went this way:
(24) And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see."
(25) Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
(26) Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?"
(27) And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
What must be
In this passage Jesus succinctly demonstrates that He had to suffer persecution, scourging, whippings, mockery, inhumane things, and finally die upon the cross in order to bring us an optimistic future–one filled with hope for all believers.. These things had to be so. Mankind in an assiduous succession of war and crime against itself and God could never save itself from the cyclic patterns of ruthless rulers, savage armies of conquest, and heinous oppression. Neither, and more importantly, could it save itself from the atrocities of Sin. Sin kills and separates us from God. And all of us are guilty, Rom 3:23. Jesus came to provide the way of peace, love, and harmony amongst all people. Unfortunately all people do not believe or have faith in Jesus and His vicarious death, burial, and resurrection. Since it is the work of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth, John 14:26, 16:13, and all do not possess the Spirit of God–because all are not Christian, sin, war, hate, and injustice still ravage pitting man against man and man and against God. But even still, Jesus paved the way to Peace–He lived and demonstrated what pure love for one another really means.
Just as His Death and resurrection had to occur and just as rebellion against our Holy Lord still occurs it is evident to all that this enmity and rebellion against the Lord would be carried out against His representatives, the church. The reason we feel it more atrociously in America, although not in intensity by any means in comparison to other nations, is because America was a Christian nation. Moreover, it is still inhabited by millions of Christians and its moral and ethical boundaries were what America was founded upon. Because America exalted God and held to the Judeo-Christian ethic, the Lord blessed this nation. In infant America, sin held a very small stake-hold over what America's children were taught was right and wrong. Even those who grew up choosing not to believe or hold to faith in God still lived out moral principles for the most part. (Sometimes we call it Common Sense.) But its those foundations of truth that are being torn down in America today. And the church feels this and we know once the boundaries are torn down then oppression will follow on its heels.
What is ahead
13 things Satan and all who are under the sway of the wicked one cannot understand about Christians:
1) Why Christians teach that Jesus is the only way to heaven (exclusivity)
2) Why Christians stand for traditional Marriage (which is Biblical Marriage!)
3) Why Christians cannot conceive that a woman or many women must be tried out sexually by men before marriage (very few men live with a woman in abstentia)
4) Why Christians choose allegiance to God and His commands over family and friends and the worlds philosophies which produce death, futility, oppression, and hopelessness (Understand that there is a time to stand on the side of family and even with sacrificial cost Jesus calls us to do this. But often Christian allegiance to the call of Christ can tear a wedge in families, especially when morality and ethic is at stake. Christians will stand with Christ always while giving utmost effort to live peaceably with family.)
5) Why Christians cannot see that an unborn child is really just a hunk of worthless flesh in their eyes
6) Why Christians cannot understand that it was their God who made men to lust for the rear end of another man (Oh Really?) – Call it for what it is–sick perversion
7) Why Christians cannot let Christmas be a holiday without Christ
8) Why Christians cannot be "more progressive" going beyond the childish superstitions of the Founding Fathers, such as “In God We Trust” and “The Ten Commandment.”
9) Why Christians must insist that their God created the world
10) Why Christians insist that all people will be accountable to their God – who really does not exist or He would not allow suffering to occur – (The world promotes this deceitful bill-of-goods)
11) Why Christians read an ancient book that has been written is so many different translations that no one can truly know what they believe (There is some validity to this argument, but there is also misunderstanding. It only gives the appearance that we do not know what we believe. We still have the same reliable Word of God that has been read for centuries; we do know what we believe)
12) Why Christians must insist that Israel deserves the land they are squatting on (So they call it squatting. God owns the land and it will be God who will return to the Mt. of Olives, in Israel, just prior to the coming Millennium, Zech. 14:5)
13) Why Christians are against technologies that promote the endurance of human life – such as growing human organs in labs and surrogate pigs–the mixing of DNA between kinds. Or allowing a mark to be tattooed or implanted on or under the skin for better interstate commerce amongst other so-called wonderful uses!!
As I said earlier the list is not exhaustive. Each topic deserves its own post and there are many others. I am sure you get the point. As long as we Christians stand for Biblical principles, lifting Jesus to be the one and only way of salvation, we will suffer persecution. The world calls Christianity oppressive because of the things above. They call us haters because of non-conformity. But really all they want is to live in freedom from Christianity and God. They do not want to believe that they will be accountable to Him one day, Rom 14:12. But honestly speaking, Christianity reveals that our accountability should result in living in such a way that is beneficent to all people and pleasing to God. It eliminates selfish behavior and cause us to serve all others before ourselves. It initiates servant-hood and the sharing of our resources with those in need. It lives out the principle "I desire mercy more than sacrifice," Matt. 9:13b. Christians show mercy because they have been shown mercy, Luke 10:37. We love because we were loved by God, 1 John 4:19. Only the rebellious nature can say there is oppression found in Christianity.
What follows the Rapture
Jesus described a period on earth that was coming which He referred to as "Tribulation," Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:19. Jeremiah the prophet referred to it as "Jacob's (Israel's) Time of Trouble," Jer. 30:7, and Daniel referred to it as the final week of the "Seventy Weeks" prophecy, Dan. 9:24-27. During this seven year period of judgment upon sin and the world, the Bible describes the immense carrying away of world sentiment toward a leader referred to as the Antichrist. But he is anything but the Christ (anointed one) he claims to be and with the Lord's allowance, is put in to power by the "Prince of the Power of the Air," the "God of the World," the "Dragon and Serpent" (Satan), as he is affectionately known by the Holy Spirit and John the apostle.
Rev. 13:1-10 and 2 Thess. 2:3-10 reveal that all those of the world who have not received the "Mark" or the "Number of his name," 666, will worship him as the Christ. He is promoted by a near equal individual, also employed by the dragon (Satan), the False Prophet spoken of in Rev 13:11-18. Both of these imposters of good have billions of followers. The False prophet is an evangelist for the Antichrist. We would do well to remember, this does not happen over night. This False Prophet garners the following he has because he has spoken words which tickle the ears of all who desire to live in rebellion to God. He is called false because he has committed Spiritual Adultery against the Lord. In Rev. 17 this leader is described as a Spiritual Harlot riding the beast upon which she is supported. This same beast that supports Antichrist of whom the world worships. It is these two, empowered by Satan, that will draw the world into destruction and damnation. But the key is that it is Satan that does it in his deceptive cunning, see 2 Thess. 2:3-12.
This in-gathering of worldly sentiment against the Lord and His Christ is gathering a lot of steam. Satan is alive and gathering these folks even today. The mass persecution coming against the Western Churches is all apart of the world system which hates Christ and Christianity. The birth pains of persecution which we are now experiencing are just the beginning. God in His just nature has spoken His word and His church has taken it to the farthest reaches. He now just waits and watches as the world divides itself against Him. Again, like the days of Christ, so in our day the sword is truly laid to the root of the trees. The winnowing fan is blowing and soon the righteous will be taken away to meet the Lord in the air.
These things must be in order that God in His justness can claim, "I called, but you would not listen."
Is. 65:12, "Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you shall all bow down to the slaughter; Because, when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, But did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight."
Is. 66:4 "So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight."
It is my desire that all men everywhere would reconsider their rebellious ways. That they would look to Christ and take to heart for themselves and their families what He says. Placing ones hope in a world that will soon be judged is not a gamble anyone should make. It is childish and selfish. It puts ones own thought and action above all others. It is the opposite of loving your brother.
God's created world will once again flourish in righteousness and the reason for the Lord in creating it in the first place will soon come to fruition. All people everywhere have the ability to be a part of what the Lord will provide for an eternity. But you must battle your demons. You must reconsider your beliefs. You must look to Jesus. He is the only way, like it or not.
**http://adrianmcqueen.blogspot.com/2011/05/christian-persecution.html- last accessed October 18, 2013