“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19) 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 …

Are you a ‘lonely’ Christian? .. Do you feel that sometimes you may be the only follower of Christ that is trying desperately to follow His teachings during these increasingly difficult times? .. Seriously folks,  there is no question this world is rapidly descending into the depths of Hell with each passing minute! .. As an example, just look at the rapid acceleration of the moral depravity that is going on all over the globe! .. Here in America right now, kids as young as 5 must face the decision of which sex they choose to be.! .. They can even be a fish if they want to be! …(God help us!) … Adding to this tragedy is the increasing participation of this deception by many of our Church leaders. .. In fact, just last week, several Methodist pastors & leaders came out in support of the ‘gay’ agenda & even some were marrying their ‘partners.’ .. There’s no question that the Bible’s teachings on the rampant deception that would be the ‘order of the day’ in the final moments before our Lord’s triumphant return is now upon us .. and it’s only going to get worse. …  I could go on for hours about all the craziness, but for now, let’s get to today’s point ….

So why do a few of us feel isolated & lonely? .. Because the truths of the Holy Scriptures are being re-written & totally distorted by both the Church & the secular society. .. For those of us who refuse to ‘bend’ to the new ways of today’s modern world, we are being singled out as ‘judgmental, intolerant haters.’ .. With each passing day, we are becoming more & more isolated by most everyone around us. .. We are now the ‘pariahs’ of the new modern & progressive society. …

But then, why should I be surprised by this. .. This also was prophesied! .. 2 Timothy 3:12-13 says it quite clearly ..”.. Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ WILL BE PERSECUTED,  13) while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” .. (emphasis mine) .. It’s simply incredible as to just how the ‘true’ written Word of God is so accurate when describing today’s world. ….

I ran across this article written back in 2006 by Billy Graham that sizes up the ‘condition’ of the true followers of Christ .. those of us who do our best to stay true to the teachings given to us through the Holy Bible. .. The following is an excerpt from that article ….

“Paul was not popular in his day.  He was little known, despised and rejected.  This does not sound much like the way we paint the ministry today, when preaching is many times called a profession instead of a calling.  Nowhere in the New Testament do I find that Christians are to expect to be popular and successful.  The servant is not better than his Lord.  Christ was despised and rejected, with nowhere to lay His head.  He was born in another person’s stable.  He died outside the city walls, an outcast, having come to His own who received Him not.  He was buried in another man’s tomb.

“In His footsteps followed the heroes of the faith who were tortured, mocked, imprisoned, stoned, torn asunder, slain with the sword.  They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, afflicted, tormented.  They wandered the deserts, in mountains and in caves of the earth.

“In many parts of the world, being a Christian still means suffering.  But here in America, giving your life to Jesus Christ brings little persecution.  Sometimes it is difficult to tell a Christian from a worldling in the United States. ..

“I’m afraid that we in the Church are making a great mistake by trying to make Christianity popular and pleasant.  We have taken away the cross and substituted cushions.  But Christ said the world hated Him, and He predicted that it would hate us.  He invited us not to a picnic but to a pilgrimage.  He offered us not an excursion but an execution.

“Too many Christians have geared their program to gain worldly favor.  We argue that humanity is more Christian now, that we need not suffer as our forefathers did. … But the times are not brighter.  Christians are a foreign influence, a minority group in a heathen world.  If the Church is acceptable to this present age and is not stirring up trouble or suffering reproach, then God have mercy on the Church!  If we are at peace with this world, it may be because we have sold out to it.”

Sums it up quite well, I would think. .. So yes, we who follow closely to the true teachings should not be the least bit surprised by our increasing isolation. .. In fact, it gives us a great opportunity to witness to this lost and dying world… So how do we do this? .. I believe that when things are unsettled, the most powerful testimony is that the Christian is wholly at peace. .. While the rest of society is in a panic – fainting, and in some cases, even dying from fear – the praying believer will be growing continually stronger. .. It will be so because that we will be receiving more & more encouragement from the Holy Spirit. .. The Bible speaks of that which can’t be shaken! ..

Bottom line? .. Our isolation & persecution will only increase as we draw ever closer … and if we want to be able to stand steadfast in this increasing storm, Scripture’s counsel is simple:  We MUST have the Lord’s presence in our daily life. .. Jesus tells us in John 16:33 .. “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” … Hallelujah! …

How much quality time do you spend alone with Jesus? .. Are you growing closer to Him with each passing day? .. Do you pray without ceasing  – that is, to silently call out to Him throughout the day and evening? .. He promises to hear your cry, even when uttered in weakness. ..

Let me close with these encouraging words from the prophet Isaiah … “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.  29) He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  30) Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;  31) but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” …. Isaiah 40:28-31 …

Stand strong – your victory is so very near! … Hallelujah! …

Until next time,

Red

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