Christians have been taking a lot of hits lately…
- Religious groups at Vanderbilt University are told they cannot be an official campus organization if they restrict their leadership to those who have like-minded beliefs. As a result, thirteen groups have been forced off campus.
- Christians who believe marriage is between a man and woman are classified as bigots and in some cases are forced to pay outrageous fines and close their businesses.
- The government requires through the new health-care law that to be classified as a religious employer (and thus be exempted from having to provide contraception— abortion—to employees), the organization must serve only people of its particular faith. This means Christian hospitals, schools, and other charities would not qualify if they reach out to non-believers (as we are commanded to do).
- In other parts of the world… since US troops left Iraq, Christians are being massacred. In Nigeria, Muslim extremists like Boko Haram have wiped out thousands of believers. In Syria, 50-60,000 people—the entire Christian population—has fled; in Egypt 100,000. The same is happening in Mali and Sudan. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom released a report in March citing sixteen countries as the world’s worst religious freedom violators. Christians were the only victims to make all sixteen countries.
This represents a small sampling, but a sample, I believe, that continues to expand. It should not surprise us. In Revelation, Chapter 12, we read about the dragon [identified as Satan] who in the last days wages war against all “those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (verse 17). Chapter 13 describes the rise of two beasts, each given power by the dragon to make war against the saints. Whether these beasts indicate an alliance between the secularists in the West and the extremists in the East, I don’t know. I’ll leave that to the eschatologists.
But this is clear: a hatred for believers is fomenting throughout the world. We run now with the footmen, but the horses are coming…
And we would do well to be ready!