All that I have Commanded You – 9
January 15, 2016, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Church Stuff, God | Tags: , , ,

John 15:18-23 NKJV “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (20) Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (21) But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. (22) If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. (23) He who hates Me hates My Father also.

This series would not be complete without a truth that Jesus taught his disciples. That truth is that just because you have become a Christian person does not mean that all things will come to you and you will live a good life, with all that you need to be fulfilled in your person. I know that the scriptures say that all things work to good for those who love the Lord and that is true, but, this teaching in the gospel of John is also truth. You only have to look to the middle east to see that Christians are being persecuted for their faith by the radical Muslim group ISIS. However they are not the only ones who persecute Christians.

Looking at the United States, we find that there is much trouble for Christians here at home, we are told that we must support homosexual marriage, that we must agree with abortion on demand, and allow for other sexual sins as being just another type of life style. This includes man with boys as well as adultery, and the change in morality that says that a person in power can have sex with an employee and it is acceptable. Teachers with students or a President with an intern.
Of course none of this can hold a candle to the darkness that is engulfing the rest of the world. In Europe, we see Christians and Jews being told that they cannot say anything wrong about Muslims, we see the Muslim attacks in Paris, and London, Brussels and Germany on New Years Eve, as hundreds of women were assaulted by Muslim men. Some were raped, some were groped, and the governments in the towns where these things happened hid the truth from the public.

Then there is the middle east where the city of Mosul, which had a Christian presence from the very beginning, around 100 CE, and there are now no more Christians in that city. They either escaped, or were murdered by the adherents of Islam under ISIS. They were told to convert to Islam, leave or die, there is no other choice.

On December 14, 2015 Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote an article in National Review titled “See and Name the Genocide” In the article she quotes from Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus who testified before congress in regard to Iraqi and Syrian Christian refugees from ISIS. He said: “Fear of being slaughtered or enslaved for their faith prevents them from returning home.” “Like the Jews in Nazi Germany, these Christians are escaping genocide. They are being specifically targeted because they put their faith in Jesus Christ.”

Returning to our own nation, I have to make note of the fact that the Obama administration has accepted Muslim refugees, but has sent Christian refugees back to their home countries, to face the terror of extermination. In that context you can say that Christians are no longer welcome in the United States either.

In the past year we have witnessed horrific killings in Islamic held territories. Christian men have been burned to death, had their heads cut off, been drowned and of course shot to death. In Egypt, during the time when the Muslim Brotherhood was in charge, we witnessed actual crucifixions of Christians in the middle of Cairo. All of this violence has been practiced against a people of who try to live by loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

We are told that the suicide bombers of Islamic radical groups, are martyrs of their faith, true martyrdom however comes when you are confronted with the threat of death unless you convert to Islam. If you refuse to give up your faith in Christ, your throat is cut. Yet thousands have refused to give up Jesus Christ for Allah or Muhammad.

So, Jesus said that persecution would come to those who followed his way and it is for sure coming to pass in this day and time. Here in America, we are told we may not pray in the name of Jesus if we are going to be chaplains. The prayers in the Chaplains book for the American Legion do not use the name of Jesus, on military bases there are now sacred groves for the use of pagans and witches. There is even a movement afoot now to have atheist chaplains, a bit of an oxymoron in my book, but there it is. There have been children expelled from school, not for using curse words, for acting badly, but for wearing a Christian tee shirt, or refusing to remove a cross.

Prayer of course is strictly banned in many schools across the country, and there are schools where they make the children wear Muslim garb and recite the pillars of Islam, and pray to Allah. If they were forced to pray to Jesus it would bring cries of outrage, but to Allah not so much. We will have to go a bit further to see true persecution, that will come though it is only a matter of time.

Jesus also taught the disciples this:
Mat 5:10-12 NKJV Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11) “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (12) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Persecution is coming to our nation, whether we realize it or not, we who follow Jesus Christ, are out of step with our society. We believe that there is a moral code to be followed, that sin leads to hell for all eternity, and that following Jesus leads to eternal life in heaven. There are real penalties associated with sinful living, hell being the end result. Will we Christians live abundant lives? Depends on what you know about abundance, for me, it is a resounding YES! Not because I will be rich or famous, but I will come face to face with my savior and Lord one day. I know that my Lord walks with me through all the stuff that life throws at me. I have a wife who loves me, brothers and sisters (in the Lord) who I love and who love me as well, because Jesus loved us all enough to die for us, to pay our price for our sins. He also sealed the deal when he rose from the dead to show us that we too would one day rise with him into eternity.

I have an abundance of love in my life and that gives me all the riches I could possibly want in this life. I know that my redeemer lives, and that my future is secure in Jesus Christ, fully Man and fully God.

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