April 29, 2014
In this week’s news headlines, we saw
quite a few incidents of Christian persecution … more than the usual … and
this seems to be the trend all across the globe right now … but it seems to
be extremely disproportionate here in America, the once proud Christian nation.
Let me start by reminding you of what
Franklin Graham said … “Christians are being attacked by Hollywood and
some news media … Anti-Christian actions are occurring in America and much of
it is coming out of the entertainment industry and some segments of the news
outlets. .. Christians are being attacked and this is on the rise
globally.” …. So let’s take a quick review of what we do know in just
the past seven days here in America …….
  
*More firings in the public workplace for supporting Christian beliefs
  
*A second-grader’s Bible being taken away by her teacher and then told
it was not allowed in public schools …
  
*A Bible verse removed from a high school team’s website along with it
being removed from the gym …
  
*Easter ‘insults’ through the legalization of marijuana (pictures of
Jesus smoking a joint) …
  
*Humanist group suing a school district for allowing ‘under God’ in the
Pledge of Allegiance …
Now let me share this piece of
information given to me last week by a dear sister (her initials are ‘Gail’)
… It’s title is “7 Common Careers Christians may no longer hold in America”
…. .It starts out by saying, 
“Many Christian choose self-employed careers because they want to
be able to run their business according to the dictates of their faith and
conscience. … The list is quickly shrinking as homosexuals pro-actively seek
opportunities to wreck the personal business and career of any Christian who
declines to support the gay lifestyle. .. Don’t be fooled. .. This is a focused
effort to ostracize and humiliate faith-based businesses and their owners. ..
Here are a few recent examples:
*Photography – A Christian photographer
in New Mexico was fined $6700 for politely declining to photograph a lesbian
commitment ceremony. .. The Supreme Court allowed this fine to stand.
*Baker – A Christian baker in Oregon is
facing both civil and criminal penalties, including jail time, for politely
declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding ceremony. .. Her business has
closed.
*Florist – Baronelle Stutzman, a
Christian florist in Washington, is being sued by the state attorney general for
politely declining to prepare an arrangement for a gay wedding ceremony.
*Broadcasting – Craig James was fired
by  Fox Sports Southwest after only one
day on the job for expressing his support for natural marriage while he was a
candidate for the United States Senate.
*Counseling – “Jennifer Keeton was
dismissed from the counseling program at Augusta State University for her
religious reservations about the homosexual lifestyle.
*Innkeeping – :The Wildflower Inn in
Vermont was fined $30,000 and forced to shut down its wedding reception
business after politely declining to host a lesbian ceremony.
*Teaching – “Ms. Gillian
John-Charles was kicked out of a doctoral program in education at Roosevelt
University for expressing in class her belief that homosexuals aren’t born
gay.”
Now while this last article is focused on
the homosexual onslaught against us, there are many more ‘aggressors’ involved
as well. … Look at our own government for example …. The Department of
Homeland Security is lining itself up against Christians .. the Military is no
longer allowing Christians to openly practice their faith .. our own leaders,
including President Obama, all seem to be openly anti-Christian. .. In fact,
one recently released list of ‘terrorist’ groups included fundamental
Christians along with Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the KKK! …. One commentator said
that ‘it is becoming apparent that Christians will soon become the most hunted
people on the face of the earth. .. The coming persecution will make the Roman
persecution seem like child’s play.’
Ok, any of us with a brain can see what
is coming. .. It is becoming more apparent with each passing day. … So why is
this the case? … Let’s start with a statement from Jesus Himself …
“They hated me without reason.” (John 15:25) … Certainly there were
thousands of reasons for people to love Jesus, and really not one reason to
hate him. .. The Gospels portray him as kind, patient, long-suffering and full
of tenderness, forgiving and willing that NO person should perish. .. So what
did he do that he should be so despised, both in His own day and today? ..
Simply, the world hated Him because he
came as a light to deliver them from darkness. .. Jesus declared Himself to be
the light of the world:  “I am the
light of the world:  he that follow me
shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
… But then Jesus said,  “Every one
who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that
his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:20) … The bottom line? .. Simply,
people love the things of this world! .. The ungodly relish the pleasures of
sin. .. Jesus said they would prefer the darkness to the light. … “This
is the verdict:  light has come into the
world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were
evil.”  (John 3:19) …
Many voices in the Church today say that
we Christians MUST accept and show a new kind of love. .. But what they are
really saying is that we need to ‘bend’ the Bible’s teachings so as to fit the
times. …  Certainly by doing this we
would avoid this persecution …but also in so doing … when promoting this
‘Bible-bending’ theology .. then no personal changes would be necessary when
one accepts Christ .. indeed, no repentance is needed! … This is an absolute
lie! … Why do we NOT see the world becoming a better place? … Because
without a spiritual change, one will remain in the realm of darkness …
without repentance and rejection of these things of darkness, there will be no
light …
Tell me, are you tired of the shame of
the Cross? … Are you fed up with being mocked, dismissed, seen as the rigid,
hateful, intolerant, non-bending zealot? 
.. Are you weary of being rejected and ridiculed? … Well, you can easily
find acceptance. .. You can have the world call you friend, associate with you,
admire you, even love the kind of Gospel you preach. … How? .. It happens
when you allow the ways of the world to seep into your souls. .. You cast off
the reproach of Christ, convincing yourself you can mix with darkness and still
be a light to the world. …….. but It doesn’t work that way! .. If you
succumb to such friendship with the world, your light will become darkness. ..
Jesus described it this way .. “But if your eyes are bad, your whole body
will be full of darkness.  If then the
light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness.”  (Matthew 6:23) … Such is the condition of
your soul when the world has taken hold. …..
Will persecution keep increasing? … You
can count on it! … But then I also believe this …  People everywhere are hurting! ..  There is a ‘sin-sickness’ in this world, with
multitudes facing empty days and fearful nights … They can find nothing to
put their trust in  .. nowhere they can
turn for help .. no one who can give them hope. ….  But ….
“You are the light of the
world.” .. Jesus said this simple statement in Matthew 5:14. … Now if
this light is shining bright enough, and people can see that you are loving and
kind, with a full confidence in the truth of your faith, they will come seeking
you. … There will be many folks out there who, once they realize that their
leaders are clueless as to the truth, will come seeking the truth they so
desperately need! ….. And how will they find you? … By being a living and
breathing example! ..  “By this
shall all men know that you are my disciples.”  (John 13:35) …
OK, I’ll close now … but remember this
scripture .. in fact memorize it, so that when you come under attack through
the increasing persecution, it will give you strength just to know that you are
following your Savior’s teachings …. “If the world hates you, keep in
mind that it hated me first.  If you
belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but
I have chosen you out of the world.  That
is why the world hates you.”  (John
15:18-19) …
Stay strong and let’s remember to pray
for each other constantly. … Our redemption is near! … We will hear the
trumpet at any moment! … Hallelujah! ..
Until next time,
Red                     
    

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