THE SUFFERING SIDE OF CHRISTIANITY
When I came into the full gospel/charismatic understanding I learned the power of the name of Jesus. I learned that healing was the children’s bread. I learned that what I spoke would determine my life. I learned faith, and I learned who the real enemy is.
What I did not learn was the suffering side of Christianity. If we take a look at scripture, we see that every saint in the New Testament suffered persecution. Many lost everything they had because they had to go into hiding. Some were stoned. Some were crucified, and many suffered the effects of those that opposed Christianity.
Much of the suffering came from “religious people” that hated that they might lose control over the Jewish population because of Christianity. There was much money in the hierarchy, and the scriptures tell us that the love of money is the root of all evil. The Jews thought Messiah would come and set up a kingdom. They did not look for a suffering Messiah.
In Ephesians 6 it teaches us about the armor of God. Well, my friends, you do not wear armor unless you are going into a battle. Each piece of the armor represents Jesus, and when we put him into every aspect of our lives we win the battle, even if we lose our lives.
Persecution, suffering, lack of food, lack of clothing, all were part of the daily walk of the New Testament saints, but they did not quit. They pressed through regardless of the suffering. They knew that they had to communicate the gospel to the lost and dying world, no matter if it cost them their lives.
It is amazing how easily offended people get even in the Church. There are fights over buildings, and how to set up the church. There are fights over who should lead this and who should lead that. All of this is truly nonsense because we are losing our focus. The true church is not a building, it is the people. It is made up of every person that is born again. The church is not a hotel for the saints. It is a hospital for the sinner where he comes and receives the healing spiritually that he needs through the preaching of the word that builds his faith.
Suffering will increase the closer we get to the Lord’s return. I truly believe that America has seen its last great days as a nation. We have sent more missionaries overseas than any other country, but sadly we have produced pulpits with hirelings that preach that which opposes scripture. We have turned our back on Israel, by dividing their land. We can be sure that God will turn his back on our nation because of how we treated Israel. Just in case you did not know this, Israel’s true boundaries go all the way to above Jordan and to the Euphrates River.
Yes, there is a remnant that has stood with Israel, and will stand strong through what is coming, but they will suffer severe persecution. Are you ready for the suffering? Are you strong in the Lord and the power of His might? If not, then there will be a rude awakening. Many will deny their faith because they thought that once they were saved everything would be easy. The exact opposite is true. Satan hates believers and will persecute them until he destroys them. Be prepared for war spiritually and naturally. It is coming sooner than you can imagine. Hold fast to your faith and be determined that no matter what you will stand for Jesus, even unto death.
Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb, (salvation) and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Being a Christian is a death sentence. Death to the old life and alive to Christ. May you stand strong for Jesus.
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