The Tipping Point
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
''Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.'' (2 Timothy 3:12). Whenever we think of Christian persecution our thoughts normally turn to those believers of yesteryear.
It seems today’s brand of American Christianity knows little if anything of persecution. But persecution is a reality in many places around the world. For example, on Sunday morning, November 4, 2012, suspected Muslim extremists hurled a grenade onto the roof of a Kenyan church, killing a chaplain and injuring several others. In Tanzania, Christians have lost churches, homes, cars, and livestock in recent attacks. In Iran, the ruling elite continues their crackdown on Christian churches.
All around the world many are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. Some are threatened, some are beaten, some are imprisoned, and some are slaughtered—all because they dare to name the name of Jesus. Little is reported in the secular media, and little is known, it seems, by the Christian church in America. But the persecution of Christians is a reality and it is a reality that may very well be fast approaching American Christianity—or to put it another way, true Christians in America.
Is persecution of Christians coming to America?
This is an important question to answer, especially as one considers the outcome of the most recent election. It is interesting to note that everywhere biblical values were on the line on November 6, they were overwhelmingly rejected. Maine, Maryland, and Washington voted to legalize so called ‘same-sex’ marriage (I say ‘so called’ because God does not recognize any such institution). Minnesota voted down an amendment that would have defined marriage as being a union solely between a man and a woman. Meanwhile, three states voted to legalize elicit drug use. And the country as a whole chose to return to Washington one who gives lip service to Christianity while embracing everything anti-Christian. Not only are these clear signs of rebellion against God but they also serve as an indication America has reached a tipping point.
In his book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcom Gladwell describes how trends are sparked and take hold. What he is really describing is the process that brings about a paradigm shift, which is a change from one way of thinking to another. We recently witnessed a paradigm shift take place. This shift, or tipping point, will pave the way for the persecution of true Christians in America. How long this process will take and when real persecution will arrive is anyone’s guess. But with policies set in place designed to challenge, among other things, religious freedom, one can only conclude it won’t be too long.
Hebrews 13:3 says,
“Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.”
Here we are commanded to remember those being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. Are you mindful of those currently being persecuted for their faith? Will they remember you and me when our time comes?
If we as a nation have reached, as I believe, the tipping point and the persecution of true believers in this country is a foregone conclusion—that is, a great storm is on the horizon, how then should we prepare?
Peter reminds us,
“Prepare your minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13).
First of all, I believe we must raise the bar in our walk with Christ. By this I mean we must give priority to our relationship with Christ. He can’t just be a part of my life but He must be my life. Everything about who I am and what I do must center in and exalt the person of Jesus Christ. I must love Him and His Word with all my being!
Secondly, I believe we must develop true fellowship with like-minded believers who also love Jesus above all else.
Thirdly, we must train our children well in the Scriptures. One of the primary reasons we recently witnessed a paradigm shift is because the left worked hard and succeeded at winning the minds and hearts of young people. Many of these young people are either un-churched or come from liberal churches who are, as Paul described to Timothy,
“holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:5).
These churches believe a social gospel but not the true gospel. They promote all sorts of ungodliness in the name of love. They are churches about which Christ said,
“because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:16).
Fourthly, we must proclaim the gospel. Like Paul, we must say,
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romands 1:16).
Finally, plant your eyes on Jesus and leave them there.
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
About Scott Savell
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