I often wonder why many Christians, including myself, fail to acknowledge that persecution is part of the package that comes with being a follower of Christ. Why do we look to be welcomed with open-arms by the world when in reality Scripture depicts quite a different story. One needs only to look at those in the Bible whom God used to see how difficult their life on earth was. They were rejected, persecuted and even killed for “living out” their faith…that is they knew that this world was not their home….their eyes were fixed on heaven and on the Lord and their lives reflected this. As a result the world hated them and indeed this world was not worthy of them.
Why then should we seek to be accepted by the World? Why should we expect for God to want nothing more for our lives than to live, get married, have a family, get a nice home, nice car, retire, then die. What a waste. What a tragedy that is. Indeed what will happen to us in the days of persecution that could well come in our lifetime? Will we stand firm or will we crumble? Will we speak or will we remain silent? Will we deny Jesus like Peter or will we like Paul confess aloud “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation”.
Whilst we may not get chucked into a den of rabied, stray, man-eating dogs or a Lions Den, persecution does occur and will increase in the future. Consider the article below;
“In the old days things were much simpler, and much more direct. In the early days of the Christian faith, pagan rulers could say, ‘Hey, I hate you Christians’, and throw them to the lions. Today our pagan elites (in academia, the media, and especially the courts) don’t tell Christians how much they hate them (that would be seen to be intolerant – a really big no no in contemporary culture). Instead they pass all sorts of nefarious and mischievous legislation, such as vilification bills, and hate crime acts. These do the job just about as well as the lions used to do.
Indeed, they are much more insidious. In the old days you pretty well knew where you stood in a pagan society. To be a believer was a life and death proposition, and you were either in or out of the Christian camp. There was no place for sitting on the fence – too much was at stake.
But today it seems that being a believer is not so costly, and direct persecution does not appear to be happening. But there is plenty of indirect persecution taking place, in the form of discrimination laws, equal opportunity legislation, and those wretched hate crime laws. And one never quite knows where one stands in relation to these laws, especially the religious vilification laws.