Get Ready, American Christians — Six Reasons Why Your Church Will Not Support You During Persecution
Counting time off for having to work on Saturdays at a Christian radio station, I was a sidewalk counselor on public property in front of abortion clinics, mostly in Texas, for about 23 years. This regular ministry ended on Jan. 16th, 2016 as I transitioned to my next ministry assignment of street preaching. Sometimes I was at other clinics in other states, but always handing out information in English and Spanish to customers about where they could go for free help. I have seen God move more in the pro-life movement than in churches, with Him doing things I didn’t expect to see outside the Bible. I saw four clinics permanently close and the directors of two of those clinics, one in Little Rock, Ark. and the other in Dallas, become Christians and leave the abortion industry. So I learned much in those years about how Christians publicly stand for what God wants, or to stand for righteousness.
If you count yourself as a born again Christian (and that’s the only kind Jesus recognizes, see John chapter 3) and if you have read the whole Bible and understand either God’s judgments or persecution is coming against America, then you’d better pay attention to this article for I’m going to give you six specific reasons why your church, where your good friends are, will give you little real support, or none at all when the going will get very rough.
With several arrests and serving months in jail in the pro-life movement for blocking abortion clinic doors, knowing others who have been there too plus their having been fired from jobs or sued all for protecting the unborn, I’ve seen what Christians are up against when they take Scripture seriously. But these are things your church wouldn’t dare to do because they think that standing for God is politics. What a copout!!! Folks, this article is real life information you may not find elsewhere. Your time to prepare is running out! Sure, America has recently elected a Christian-friendly President, Donald Trump, but things will change.
1. Absentee pastors – no, they’re still showing up to preach, teach, counsel, and for other duties but they are disengaged from society and sometimes even from God. From society because they are not moral leaders. Moral leadership is not just an annual sermon and slapping a bumper sticker on your car. It’s getting out in public, preaching God’s word, and confronting evil. And not for just a couple of days and then retreating back into the churches, but where you keep going back, enduring insults and perhaps more. If only 5% of our pastors would take a costly stand for God with their congregations, America would not be drowning in this tsunami of sin. But pastors refuse to do this.
Pastors, I know you can’t do everything. I was a full time pastor myself. But I’m just asking for 5% — which so far hasn’t happened — to take a faithful though unpopular stand for God. But oh, how you would grow spiritually! And how much closer your fellowship would be with your Savior!
Pastors are sometimes absent even from God because of internet porn. I remember Focus on the Family saying on a radio program several years ago that they estimated 25% of American pastors were regularly viewing pornography, something they would normally condemn from their pulpits. From a 2014 Expastors.com website story we read “ And of the 1,351 pastors that Rick Warren’s website, Pastors.com, surveyed on porn use, 54% said they had viewed internet pornography within the last year and 30% of those had visited within the last 30 days.” For those not familiar with Rick Warren, he pastors one of the largest churches in America and is quite influential.
People, this destroys ministries. You can’t hear from God or be led by Him if you are a slave to sin. Thus such a leader of a church cannot pastor as God wants. Or as a congregation needs.
Thus, disengaged pastors (who set the example for members to be disengaged) won’t know how to deal with the evil of persecution, and to stand faithful during God’s judgments, because they didn’t take a public, costly stand for anything. So if they didn’t stand when the cost was low, how will they stand when it’s high? They won’t. So don’t expect them to stand for you. You will be both an embarrassment and a danger to their security as they will not want to rock the boat with authorities. Don’t be surprised if they tell you to leave. And don’t be surprised if sermons suddenly avoid dealing with the sin of society or of the church.
2. The pre-tribulation interpretation of the Rapture. Non-Christians, this refers to a worldwide event where sometime in the future God will literally snatch Christians off the earth and take them directly to heaven. Yes, there are honest differences between genuine Christians on this issue. I take what is the minority position on this in America for about the last 200 years, that is, that Christians will go through the Great Tribulation. But many Americans instead believe that the Rapture will happen BEFORE the Great Tribulation, thus sparing them of a terrible time of suffering. Very much can be said here but please consider these three points:
a. the biblical witness: in both Matt. 24:29,30 and Mark 13:24 Jesus says the same thing: “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
Note the key word after in both passages. In both Matthew and Mark Jesus says this period of tribulation is greater than any other in history.
b. God uses only a cleansed, purged, and sanctified people for His special purposes. Before He let them enter the promised land of Canaan in the Old Testament, he first purged the Hebrews of their sin by 40 years of wilderness wanderings. Before He allowed the Jews to return to Israel from exile in Babylon, they had to undergo 70 years of being purged from idolatry.
When God sent first the Pilgrims and then the Puritans to America, both suffered much by many dying in their first year in this often harsh, new land. After making repentance a daily but sincere exercise with God and surrendering all to Him, then they were molded into a tested, proven people dedicated wholly to God to found a new nation for His glory.
I Timothy chapter 4 tells us that in later days the church will fall away from God. Why should God rapture and take into heaven such a disobedient church? No, like with the Hebrews in the wilderness, the Jews in Babylon, and the Pilgrims and Puritans in America, even His chosen people have to be purged and proven for His special work. But a church purified through the trials of the Great Tribulation will be a vessel worthy to bear His light.
c. Believing that the rapture could happen any moment fosters laziness and disobedience. Christians aren’t going to stand against homosexuality or defend the unborn if they believe they could be snatched up to heaven in the very next hour. But the commands to be holy and defend the unborn are open ended and not limited to any certain time and place. So instead of obeying God American Christians vote for Republican candidates who all too often abandon pledges and do nothing once elected.
So consider the fruit of this interpretation of this doctrine. Oh, there will be a rapture, but not until after the Great Tribulation, and Americans, who have never experienced persecution, don’t think they will pass through that fire. But when they do they will find they were totally unprepared to survive individually or able to trust God to support you who may take a costly stand. But people, much of Scripture has been specifically written and passed on to us to help us endure such times!
3. The acceptance of widespread biblical illiteracy means Christians won’t be able to recognize persecution until it’s too late and once it begins, they won’t know what to do. Most of you have never read the Bible completely through even once. Nothing, not even your favorite daily devotional guide you get in Sunday School, takes the place of reading it all the way through, which alone teaches you the unity of God’s purpose. You do not know how to deal with a variety of issues in life. That comes from reading the Bible through every year and applying it, or obtaining and living what is called a biblical world view. Start reading it through TODAY as part of a commitment to read it through every year.
And if you’re serious about being used by God, then THROW OUT YOUR TV NOW!!! Learning about what the Kardashians are wearing from watching TV is not going to give you biblical power in your life. I have never owned a television, and yes, you will survive. You will learn more from God without the deadly, seductive destruction of a TV in your home. Did you know that in the 1960’s you couldn’t even say the word “pregnant” on television? Look at it now! Nudity, blasphemy, rebellion, drugs and more. Reading the Bible through every year will show you how the effective Christian life, the life that survives judgments and persecution makes loving the brethren a priority. Indeed, there are commands to do so, but if you never read the Bible, how do you know what to do and that you can really trust God to help you obey? So those in your church will again not be ready to help.
4. Christians have become overly dependent on government to do what they should be doing. For example, I Timothy 5:9-11 tells church members how they should take in and care for widows. But today we leave that to Social Security and charity for widows with no money. Plus, though the command to be fruitful and have many children has never been rescinded, with our small families today of no more than two children, we are ill equipped to know how to do these things and have few people for the task.. I can hear some of you whining, “But we can’t afford more than two children!” Really? Will God not give you what you need to do what He wants? Ministry and survival in persecution takes people and that begins with having children. And the more dependent we become on government the more they can limit our activities.
I well remember a Ft. Worth pro-life leader saying “The only people who care about us is us.” How true that still is! Many New Testament passages tell us to love the brethren — that is, other church members. But we don’t know what that takes because we outsource compassion and obedience. Thus when persecution hits, we will be unprepared, and our witness will be dim because of neglected opportunities to care for others in ways the world would see nowhere else.
5. Related to the last point, few if any churches today are stockpiling basic necessities for life such as storable food, water, and tools to be given to members. Members could also be taught simple but vital home and car maintenance skills as well as how to garden. The average grocery store in America will run out of food in three days. Are you ready for no food in the stores? But an economic collapse will prevent churches from fast starting a relief plan.
6. American Christians do not have their house in order to endure hardships. Since no more than a very tiny, infintesimal handful of American Christians stand for righteousness, the majority will have no idea how to survive and stand once the evil that could have been defeated then turns on them. Many Christians have an inconsistent devotional lives, refuse to read their Bibles, and are not prepared to pay a financial, social, or legal cost to stand against evil today. Also, they have little or no life insurance, have no will or any current will, and have no arrangements for the care of their children should they go to prison or have to flee. In other words, their house is not in order. But they will absolutely need this to be a part of their lives when judgments and persecution comes against them. When judgment hits it’ll be too late to make the many, costly changes they should have made long before. Your Christian friends won’t have the time, resources, energy, or even faith to help you. I can tell you from standing out in front of abortion clinics well over 1,000 times and street preaching in small towns and cities in the U.S. and Mexico that there will be a price to pay for a sanctified life.
So you have two choices. You can keep being a pew potato, comfortable in your favorite pew on Sunday mornings as you hear another sugar water sermon and make no real difference in the world as you wait for either the Republican Party or the Rapture to excuse you from being salt and light. Or, you can believe that you can trust God to give what you really need, pay the price with His help to prepare, and be used perhaps even mightily for His Kingdom work. Which will you choose?
The Kingdom of God is never built by fence sitters. But if you choose to stand for God whatever the cost, it might mean it’s just you and Jesus and no one else. A distracted, impotent, fearful, and often irrelevant church won’t help you and indeed will shun you. But Jesus will guide and stick with you closer than a brother.