Posts Tagged ‘persecution’

to speak or not to speak - LOON WATCHMAN BLOG

Why should we be surprised when we are persecuted or yelled at for speaking the truth?  Jesus said it would happen.  It happened to basically every real christian in the New Testament.  It has happened throughout the history of the church.  Currently about 200 million Christians globally are being persecuted.“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26)

“All men will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Mark 13:13)

Jesus did a perfect job of speaking the truth — He spoke with perfect wisdom and love — and they killed Him.  And 11 out of 12 apostles were killed as well.  And what these scriptures are saying is that even when we do it perfectly, there will still be persecution and controversy “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

But dude — don’t misunderstand me – I do not think the American church is anywhere close (in general) to doing it perfectly.  It dismays me to see much of the church slowly imploding spiritually before our very eyes.  And besides the hypocrisy in the Church, many have also settled for a powerless, miracle-less Gospel, so that often our words are not backed up by love or power.

But even though mistakes are being made, we cannot allow humanist, atheist and demonic pressure to silence or determine the prophetic voice of the church.  And it is easy to see that the enemy is in the midst of a very powerful, impacting campaign to silence this prophetic voice through cultural intimidation.  I call it cultural fascism.

What I am not saying is that we need to speak and not act.  We need to lay down our lives for the lost.  We need to pray.  We need to walk in holiness and kindness, seeking to serve and bless all those around us (and not scream at strangers on street corners that they are going to hell).  We need to love and forgive.  But we are not just called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  We are also called to share the truth of the whole gospel, which includes a call to holiness and obedience to true Biblical values — and this includes the reality of judgment for those who reject Jesus.

Jesus said that we would know the Truth and that the Truth would set us free — the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth.  And anyone who is a real friend of humanity will be willing to share this whole Truth, even when there is a risk of rejection and persecution.

“Better are the wounds of a friend, than the deceitful kisses of an enemy.”  (Proverbs 27:6)


OK…an interesting, improvisational Holy Ghost experience!…

I minister to the homeless population in Atlanta.  One day, I was at a shelter, waiting for a friend of mine to show up.  As I waited, I was poking around in my bible, looking for a topic for a bible study that I would be teaching at a different shelter later that night.  I did the old tried-and-true random bible opening and my eyes fell upon Jeremiah 17:7-8“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

This was how my thoughts flowed:  “That’s a powerful verse.  I think God wants me to teach on it tonight.  That will make a good message.”

I don’t usually think of my teaching topics as “messages”, but that word was clearly the one that came to my mind.  Then I suddenly remembered that I had had a dream earlier that week that was very similar to this scripture.  In the dream, I was looking at a bone-dry riverbed.  I noticed that there was a tree in the middle of the riverbed and it was green and healthy, and had beautiful leaves.  And as the wind blew, the leaves turned from green to blue and then back again to green.

I didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize that God was speaking to me.  As I waited for my friend, I pondered what the significance of this  “message” and dream were.  After a few more minutes, I decided to go over to another shelter to see if my friend might be hanging out there.  I walked out onto the street, and in a minute, a nicely-dressed business man (whom I had never met or seen before) came up to me and got right in my face and startled me by saying “WHAT IS THE MESSAGE?!”  Dude, this def took me by surprise!  I sort of stammered “Wha?…uh…”  Then he said, even more adamantly: “Your dream!  You had a dream!  What is the message?!”

OK – I’m a little thick-headed, but even I finally realized that this was a God moment.  So I opened my mouth and began to tell this business man from India about a drought (economic and spiritual) that was coming to America, and that his only hope was to get to know Jesus and abide in Him, just like a thirsty tree abides in hidden, underground streams in a time of severe dryness.  And that if he did this, then he would not only survive, but flourish.

Then God began to speak more to me about this revelation.  I asked Him why the leaves in the dream went back and forth from green to blue, as the wind blew.  He said that the Wind represented the Holy Spirit and that the color blue (in this dream) represented intimacy through revelation.  He said that a very dry time was coming to America, and that the Church needed to learn to abide more regularly in His Presence, and to set seeking intimacy with Him and revelation from Him as priorities.

And the clincher happened when I got home later that night and my wife told me that she had just come from a bible study where they studied Psalm 1, which says “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

In light of all this, I strongly encourage you to do some rearranging of your schedule and set intimacy with God as a priority.  Because a time is coming soon when we will need to be “abiding in the Vine” and “hidden under the shadow of His wings.”  And as we learn to abide in the Secret Place of intimacy with Him, we will not only survive, but we will actually have peace and joy, and will fruitfully flourish in all good ways!

So…what do you think about all this?  And what are you going to do?