Will you crack under the coming persecutions or feast frequently on the reality of your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? This is perhaps an egg-ceedingly important question in this day and age!
I am republishing this article that I wrote back in November 2017 as it seems even more relevant today than back then. For those of us living in “lockdown” and watching the world’s financial and business sectors spiral into decline and people pumped full of fear of an illness, we may well be wondering what the Bible has to say about these times.
I certainly believe that the current events are part of the “birth pangs” that Jesus fortold us to watch for. Jesus also told the following little parable about how to know that the time was drawing near for His return.
“Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” Luke 21:29-31
As we watch and pray, we may begin to fear the things coming upon the earth. We may begin to realise that the “Prince of this world” is getting more impatient and is stepping out onto the stage of world history in a more open manner. You may be frustrated that those around you cannot see what is occuring and they think that the world will soon go back to what it was like before. But even if it does (which is quite unlikely), this time is certainly a wake up call. Life for the Christian is not meant to be one of mere leasure and pleasure. We are meant to be “hearers and doers” of the Word of God.
Brothers and sisters in Christ please be encouraged that the Lord Jesus is still in control, that He is going to return for His beloved bride, and that return is nearer than when we first believed. Brothers and sisters in Christ, remember to “lift up your heads as your redemption draws near.” God is still good and just. But there is coming a time of tribulation and the bud is on the tree.
Article from November 2017
As one of my microwaved poached eggs has just exploded all over the interior of my microwave whilst the other egg besides it was cooked to perfection it got me thinking along these spiritual lines. Both eggs looked the same on the outside and both were exposed to the same pressures, but one held its integrity and the other simply cracked up and went to pieces!
Just prior to this breakfast egg-splosion I had read a powerful article by Richard Wurmbrand on the horrific torture and persecution he, and many others, have endured simply for being a Christian.
I had also been pondering many other issues; one of which is, what should we believers be posting on our internet blogs at this point in history? Should we go for a full exposé of the wickedness of the times in which we live and what the Bible explains about future events, or on the other hand, should we remain silent and perhaps even take our writing off the internet and go into hiding now?
These are questions we must pray about and seek the Lord’s will for us individually. We certainly need the “fresh manna” from the Lord to direct our steps personally in this respect.
I have presently decided that so long as I seek the “fresh manna” from the Lord for myself, then I will not be afraid of men but will put my trust in the Lord God Almighty for His protection and strength to stand firm in the evil day.
I have just opened my bible at Luke 21 and read:
“And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived.
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’
Therefore do not go after them.
But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.” Luke 21:8-19
Then He said to them;
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore, settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.
And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.”
So, when Jesus taught His followers about the end days, He said that Christians would be hated due to His name, there would be great deceptions and persecutions, there would be betrayals from “friends” and family, and for some even death due to their faith in Him. But importantly He told us not to be terrified or afraid and also to;
“Watch and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 22:36)
I have recently read in the Release International magazine the story of a woman who was tortured terribly in Eritrea, but who tells of an amazing boldness to keep on witnessing to fellow prisoners and guards throughout the experience. I also have read about the situation in North Korea for believers and it is quite horrific. The article states:
“North Korea doesn’t just persecute Christians – it executes them!
Christianity is not punished as religion, but as sedition – conspiracy against the state…
About 30,000 Christians are in concentrations camps, where they are executed unceremoniously after the last little bit of labour has been wrung out of them… Our brothers and sisters there have faced these conditions for decades… It is the most persecuting country on earth.”
I have read books previously about Richard Wurmbrand’s experiences of being tortured under the communist regime. This extract of Richard’s writings on such matters.
“You might have the mightiest faith in the world, but if you are not prepared to suffer, then when you are taken by the police, you will get two slaps and you will declare anything. So, the preparation for suffering is one of the essentials of the preparation of underground work.
A Christian does not panic if he is put in prison. For the rank and file believer, prison is a new place to witness for Christ. For a pastor, prison is a new parish. It is a parish with no great income but with great opportunities for work.”
Prepared to suffer?
So, will we crack like my exploding egg, if we are persecuted for Christ, or will we be strengthened in our inner man, by Christ Himself?
We do not know for sure how we would react, but we can certainly prepare ourselves ahead of time.
Our preparation needs to be in putting down deep roots into a close, daily, real relationship to the Lord God Himself. Nothing else will substitute for this. There are no other short cuts, no easy routes at all. I fear that merely being “religious” or attending church services will probably not be enough to sustain you in the evil day.
Break out of your shell & be strengthened in your inner man.
You need to be a “truth-seeker” now.
You need to grow in your faith now.
You need to read (and even study) the Bible now.
You need to start using the internet to seek out others who have gone ahead of you in these matters now.
You need to beg the Lord to help you to stop being so worldly now.
You need to get to know Him, the Lord Jesus Christ now.
You can not merely rely on other people feeding you teaspoons of watered down truths; this level of feeding will not be enough if the persecution comes to your town, to your home, to you!
I beseech you to wake up and grow up in your faith; turn from all worldly pursuits and spend your time, effort and money on the things of eternal value. Seek the Lord whilst He can be found now.
He will meet you, feed you and teach you all that you need to know.
Fear – A Terrible Foe
Truth – A Faithful Friend
I know that many of us are afraid of the little things. Afraid of stopping going to church services, for instance, in case we are judged or in case we grow apart from the Lord if we do so.
Well let me ask you this question; does your church sustain your faith or does the Lord Jesus Christ do that for you? If it is the first, then you will be in trouble in the days ahead. You may very well crack up like my exploding egg! If it is the latter, then I can assure you that whatever happens to you in life or in death then He will NOT let you go. No sir! He loves you beyond measure and is crying out in His heart for you to trust Him more fully.
I believe that we are in a time of the Lord calling to His beloved flock, calling for us to trust HIM more and trust the world and all of its systems and institutions less. We are living in days of great deceptions, the levels of which are shocking as you research and discover things for yourself. Some stuff has taken me years to get my head around, it is so wicked and crazy!
But ultimately the Lord has these days mapped out and He wants those “with ears to hear” to start listening to HIS voice.
Will you ask Him to start speaking to you and guiding you? Will you search your heart and ask Him to purge you of all your sinful ways so that you can draw closer to Him? Oh, that the answer from His people would be a resounding, “Yes”!
Let me quote again from Richard Wurmbrand, on the difference between the free and the imprisoned believers.
“Free parishioners look at their watch; “Already he has preached for thirty minutes. Will he never finish?”
When arrested, watches are taken away from you; you have the parishioners with you the whole week and can preach to them from morning to night! They have no choice.”
Then he wrote:
“How much each one of us can suffer depends on how much he is bound up with a cause, how dear this cause is to him, and how much it means for him.
In this respect, we have had in Communist countries very big surprises.
There have been gifted preachers and writers of Christian books who have become traitors. The composer of the best hymnal of Romania became the composer of the best communist hymnal of Romania! Everything depends on whether we have remained in the sphere of words or if we are merged with the divine realities.
God is the Truth.
The Bible is the truth about the Truth.
Theology and sermons are the truth about the truth about the Truth. They are not the Truth.
The Truth is God alone.
Around this Truth there is a scaffolding of words, of theologies, and of exposition. None of these is of any help in times of suffering. It is only the Truth Himself Who is of help, and we have to penetrate through sermons, through theological books, through everything which is ‘words’ and be bound up with the reality of God Himself.”
So, of course, we must read the Bible now, but ultimately it will be our true love connection with the Lord that will hold us steady in times of persecution. He is The Truth, as Richard explains so wonderfully above.
The Lord Jesus Christ will be the one who stops you cracking up in times of trouble, if you allow Him to feed you with living bread, manna from heaven, both now, and in an ongoing fashion.
You will then rejoice to find that He, the Head of the Body, will lead you and guide you through life’s difficulties. You will discover that He alone is enough sustenance for all your faith needs.
Remember that Jesus said;
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” John 6:51
For a little while I have been pondering on the Lord emphasising to me back in 2013, the Bible story of Gideon. At the time I did not know all the things I know now about the state of the world and the church. I no doubt have more levels of learning to do, more light to receive from the Lord, but I now know that He spoke to me back then, as He wants me to stand up for His truth, and not to let fear immobilize me.
The way that the Lord removed his fears for Gideon at the seemingly impossible, immense task of defeating the massive enemy armies, with only such a starving, fearful group of Israelites at his disposal, is certainly worth your time reading. It is a story of such power and glory of God that I would urge you to read my previous article about the things the Lord showed me from Judges Chapters 6-8, and of course, read it in your own Bible too.
It is a story of a remnant who are faithful, but albeit fearful, and how the Lord can transform such a people to be those of great faith in the power of their God. The battle belonged to the Lord in that story, and He just needed some people with believing ears to listen to His encouragements so that His will was done on earth.
I pray too that your faith will grow stronger as you seek a deeper relationship with the one who called Himself, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Back to April 2020
I find it very interesting that over the past few weeks the UK government (& many other countries governments) have decreed that there must be no gatherings in church services. For those whom such a situation is new, I wish to say that your faith can actually be strengthened as you read your Bible at home and pray and worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth. Such things have not been taken from you yet. Even if they do take your Bible in some future scenario, you still have His word treasured in your hearts, and you will ALWAYS have His Holy Spirit to remind you of His Words.
So on this strangest year of Passover and Easter I urge you to dig deep into the Word of God and to abide in Christ who is the one who nourishes and cherishes His body.
Blessings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
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