“Yeah all that will live godly in Christ, shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV)
Recently my wife and I had a close call with a round of severe weather, which included a tornado. I will be the first to admit that I do not understand why some people and property are devastated and others escape the damage. I feel so badly every time there is loss of life, and/or property. I simply do not have a scriptural or human explanation. But all I am reporting is the miracle we experienced.
As we prayed and looked out the front door of our home, there was an ominous feeling, and the night was eerily quiet. It was still, humid and the air felt thick as the barometric pressure rapidly changed. The city’s warning sirens were blaring incessantly as the storm bore down upon us. I was monitoring the coverage being live streamed on my iPhone and we were ready to step into the safe place we had picked out. There was a debris field being detected by doplar radar, indicating the tornado was on the ground at some point. As the tornado barreled directly toward our city and our home, a strange thing happened. The meteorologists begin to announce that an unexpected rain storm suddenly came up from the south and intersected with the tornado. As the two merged, the tornado was weakened and destabilized. The tornado’s strength and intensity was diminished and it took a slight northward turn and skipped around us. The weather reporters were somewhat at a loss as to how to explain what had just happened. We were praying and asking God for mercy and protection, as I’m sure hundreds were. I don’t understand it, but we were very grateful when this happened and the severe weather threat was over. Having shared the details of our night, now let me move right into the spiritual application that is on my heart as I write this.
Suppose the meteorologists had been watching this severe weather, while casually drinking coffee and laughing about how dangerous it looked on radar. What if the emergency sirens were deliberately kept silent and many of us had not known it was headed our way? How would the public feel if there were no warnings or alarms of the imminent danger? How cruel it would be NOT to warn and sound the alarm! Can you tell where I’m headed with this? I suspect you can. I’m not politically correct or looking for votes, so here goes.
In my reading and study of the Old Testament Scripture for most of my adult life, I have learned how Israel had a very efficient system of audible communication. There were distinct sounds given, usually by a ram’s horn, (shophar in the Hebrew language). Skilled trumpeters would sound certain blasts for various tasks and warnings. For example, there was a clear sound given when Israel was to report for WORK. This was especially useful as they roamed for forty years in the wilderness prior to entering the promised land. Moving from one location to another required massive manpower and organization. There was a certain trumpet sound also, that indicated a time to WORSHIP. Another trumpet blast meant simply to WATCH, and be on high alert. At other times watchmen would sound the warning that meant WAR! Regardless of the occasion, the sounds had to be unmistakably clear and precise. It would be tragic for people to hear a sound and think it meant WORSHIP or WORK, and it was actually WAR time! If there has ever been a time that we need to send forth a clear, clarion call from God’s Word, it is now. Some wimpish preaching today is almost sent out with an apology! However, we never have to apologize for the infallible Word of God.
So consider this; we who are called by God to preach His Word, are often labeled as “gloom and doom” preachers. But we are charged by God to preach His Word as it is, to people, as they are. We are to sound the alarm and not be sleepily apathetic. Wouldn’t it be cruel if we saw impending doom and not say anything about it? That would be tantamount to knowing a bridge is out and not warning a bus load of gleeful young athletes and staff on the way home from a ballgame. Similarly, what if I came home one night from revival and saw smoke seeping out the attic of my neighbor’s house, but just went on inside and went to bed without saying a word? Medical professionals and social workers, among others, are mandated by law to report abuse if they see signs of it, especially concerning children. How much more are God’s men to warn this dark, wicked generation of judgment to come? I am an alarm-sounder and a spiritual watchman. I do not apologize for saying emphatically that there are some dark days ahead for America, and the world, for that matter. I believe with my deepest being, that this generation is in the beginning stages of the judgment of an Almighty God!
Finally, I believe the people of God better pray, buckle up and get ready for some tough times. I have a solid, Scriptural basis to believe and say this. The Bible is replete with examples that that proves we are in for some turbulent times, particularly in these last days. The enemies of the cross will keep the ‘heat’ turned up on Christians, especially Christians who dare believe ALL of God’s Word. Gird up and be ready if you consider yourself conservative in doctrine and deportment. All you have to do is dare to know something, be something, or do something for Jesus, and you will be persecuted.
One verse, for example, states “Yeah all that will live godly in Christ, shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV). Not maybe, or possibly or might suffer persecution, but SHALL suffer persecution! A major news network recently reported that in 2016, 90,000 Christians were killed worldwide simply because they were just that, CHRISTIAN! Notice also, the two key words . . . “live godly”. Of course if someone chooses to get along and go along, they will have to be a compromiser. Compromise might be considered useful protocol in governmental diplomacy, but compromise is a dirty word to Bible-believing Christians. Sadly, so many are caving in to this liberal, casual and backslapping “churchianity” that is so popular today. So if you live godly, look for it (persecution) and don’t be surprised when it happens. It’s not a matter of if, but when. This fallen world hated Jesus who was perfect in every way, long before we came along. This world and its political system is our natural and eternal enemy.
I challenge every preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to boldly proclaim all the Word without caving in to liberalism, fear and compromise! I pray that we all like the Apostle Paul, will fight a good fight, finish our course and keep the faith. (see 2 Timothy 4:7)