What is the definition of persecution in the Bible? The prophets, disciples, and Jesus were mocked, beaten, tortured, and killed for their faith. Can we claim the same in America? No, of course not.
American culture is shifting more and more towards secularism. We are seeing many Christians react in panic and anger. How dare our religious freedoms be taken away?! I’m not saying we shouldn’t fight for these things but we should keep the bigger picture in mind.
We enjoy more religious freedom today than most Christians have had throughout history. We are a long way from experiencing true biblical persecution. But even if we were experiencing this type of persecution would it be a bad thing? Let’s go back to the Bible.
“God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:10
“Persecution can be good because (1) it takes our eyes off of earthly rewards (2) it strips away superficial belief (3) it strengthens the faith of those who endure, and (4) our attitude through it serves as an example to others who follow. We can be comforted knowing that God’s greatest prophets were persecuted (Elijah, Jeremiag, Daniel). The fact that we are being persecuted proves that we have been faithful; faithless people would be unnoticed. In the future God will reward the faithful by receiving them into his eternal Kingsom, where there is no persecution.”-Life Application Study Bible
One of the big reasons nonbelievers are critical of Christians is their lukewarm faith. As the battle lines are drawn out in this country thank God for the oppurtunity to be tested in our faith. Let us not respond with anger and fear, but rather love and truth so that nonbelievers may see us reflecting God and not our own sinful flesh.
Where is Christianity growing the most? You might be surprised to learn that the top 20 countries are in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia where Christiand are being persecuted the most (https://discipleallnations.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/the-top-20-countries-where-christianity-is-growing-the-fastest/ which references global christianigy.org)
I believe God is preparing to seperate the wheat from the chaff in America (Matthew 3:12). Where will you stand? I know where I want to stand. I am striving to live in authentic Christianity. Let us pray that God continually reigns in our hearts and that we would embrace the trials in this life in order to grow in our dependence and faith in him.