Preparing the Church for Persecution
A REALISTIC VIEW FOR TODAY
At least 15 years ago, the Lord began speaking through the pastors at Faith Harvest concerrning apostasy in the American church and an approaching rise of persecution of the church in the Western world. For years, the local body had supported awareness of persecution in other countries and then it became increasingly clear that American Christians have a false sense of security, believing that such opposition would never be an issue here.
Those early messages were met with mixed response. Very few were bringing this warning to the church at that time. But in the following years the message began to be more frequent among American ministers, though even today many still reject the idea that Christians in America will face persecution. However, those who watch current events through the lens of scripture and with spiritual eyes know that there is a rising tide of hostility towards Christians and Christianity.
Jesus said, “If they hate me they will hate you also” and we see a rising hatred towards Jesus and His followers. The internet is abundantly filled with atheistic sites which not only present atheism as a philosophy but do it with great animosity and vileness in their statements concerning Christians. In a multicultural society where supposedly all faiths are welcome and where tolerance is the watchword, Christianity is singled out for open bashing and is an acceptable target for intolerance.
What is our responsibility as Christians living in such a time of transition? Is it to proclaim a coming rapture and not raise a voice of warning? Are we to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that we are not seeing the trends? Even if one subscribes to pre-trib rapture theology, what makes American Christians think that we are somehow exempt from persecution…even if is not the Great Tribulation. The Bible makes it clear that “all who would live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer tribulation”.
What is our responsibility? In a time of megachurches and churches weighed down with mortgages and expensive overhead, who can say what form the church will take 10 years from now? Will it meet in private places?…in homes, warehouses and woodlands by cover of night? What will the average Christian do when faced with the choice between churches allowed by the government because they have agreed to drop their most cherished teachings in order to comply with the new religion of tolerance and churches which meet privately…where individual believers know that exposure could mean prison or worse?
At Faith Harvest we do not claim to have some private prophetic revelation concerning America…but we believe that when you look at the prophetic words and principles found in scripture, and look carefully at the trends within western culture today, you can clearly discern a storm of staggering proportions on the horizon.
We believe God is calling the church to wake up and prepare herself for difficult times. Most of all to repent and cry out for revival in the church. We believe that the church needs to operate as simply as possible and know how to “do church” and be the church, whether meeting in a permanent building, a warehouse or storefront, or in a home or park. God’s Spirit is not hindered by location; only by worldly trappings and compromise.
It is not our desire to focus solely on these things…our goal is to preach the full gospel and to disciple people to live full lives for Christ regardless of how long He tarries. But we also are called to be watchmen…and that means sounding the trumpet and warning compromised believers of the comimg storm.
If you are looking for a church that still preaches repentance, the power of the Spirit, and sounds a warning when necessary, we invite you to visit us and/or email us if you have questions.