Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Bible says that persecution of Christians will escalate during end times. The groundwork for widespread persecution of Christians is being laid in our own country. Right now, there is a moral revolution in our country that is proceeding at warp speed, and with that moral revolution is coming a cultural rejection of Christians and what they believe. In America right now we are experiencing a moral revolution that will lead to the marginalization, and ultimately, to the criminalization of Christianity.
Al Mohler describes a three-stage process of how a moral revolution occurs in a culture. Remember, the Germans did not take the Jews to the crematorium immediately. Instead, they first marginalized the Jews in the culture. They made the Jewish people objects of disdain, contempt, and hatred. They said, “The Jews are different than we are. They are hurting our society.” Only after they had marginalized the Jewish people were they able to take away their rights, even their right to live. That is what is happening with Christianity. Right now, there is an effort to marginalize Christians. People say, “Those Christians are bigoted. They are not good for society.” This marginalization of Christians will lead to the criminalization of Christians. We see that especially in the debates over homosexual marriage and gender identity.
Let’s look at Mohler’s three-stage process. Step number one: what was condemned is now celebrated. Homosexual marriage did not appear on the scene until 2001 in the Netherlands. Until then it was routinely condemned. Everybody understood that marriage was between a man and a woman, not just evangelical Christians but Jews and Muslims, conservatives and liberals. Yet suddenly, what was condemned is now celebrated.
Step number two: what was celebrated is now condemned. The idea that marriage is between a man and a woman is being condemned routinely. Anybody who says marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman is marginalized as a homophobe, bigot, and hatemonger.
Step number three: those refusing to celebrate are condemned. If you don’t join in the celebration of homosexual marriage, then you are a marked person. You will be condemned. You will have your business taken away from you. That is going to happen more and more and more. And it’s not going to be just against businesses, but it is going to be against the church as well. Are you going to be ready? Jesus said that persecution is going to happen, and we must be ready for it.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Christians in the Crosshairs” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Al Mohler, “Biblical Theology and the Sexuality Crisis,” AlMohler.com, September 16, 2014, http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/09/16/biblical-theology-and-the-sexuality-crisis/.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.