I’m not going to walk around with a sandwich board reading “The End Is Near”…but we know from the authoritative Word that things will not get better and better for Christians. Not in this life. Paul wrote about it. He called it “the fellowship of his sufferings”.
I am speaking of real persecution. Not just being ostracized in the cafeteria at work, or receiving sideways glances when you choose to speak a word for the Savior, His word, or His kingdom.
I’m speaking of ominous things, dark deeds which many assume are a thing of the past…but believers in other countries could verify otherwise. I do believe this is coming again. The things we read of in “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” (I plan to study it free here).
I remember in college that we would sometimes have “Russian prayer meetings” at night. We’d sit in the dark, as if we were in hiding, and in hushed tones we’d quote scripture and hymn texts from memory. Largely, it was a game. I think the time is coming when it will not be.
Reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians, one which he wrote from jail (having been incarcerated for his faith), this captured my attention:
“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” (vv 12-14)
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.”