Storm clouds are on the horizon for practicing, confessing Christians – What to do? How to live?

persecution-of-christiansStorm clouds are on the horizon!  The broader culture seems to be less and less tolerant of those who share an unapologetic witness, embrace Biblical values, and live by Christian ethics.  Biblical prophecy seems to indicate that as the end of time draws near, persecution of Christians will increase and the broader culture will become less and less tolerant of those who openly practice Biblical Christianity…

It will seem like the 1st century revisited!  Apostle Peter cautioned his readers, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”  (1 Peter 4:12-13 ESV)

Peter, in writing to believers who lived out their Christianity in a context like that, urged them to live in the following way…

He said, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.  Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ! To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”  (From 1 Peter 4:7–11 ESV)

We should not wait until the crisis comes (and the Bible indicates it surely will)!  We should get into the habit of living this way now!  Five things as the end draws near and persecution increases…

  1. Prioritize and practice prayer ministry (for one another and the situation at hand)
  2. Love fellow Christians deeply – don’t just mouth your love for one another, exhibit it!
  3. Practice hospitality without grumbling (there may be times in the future when fellow Christians may knock on your door in the middle of the night needing help).
  4. Serve one another with the gifts and abilities God has given you – whatever those gifts are.
  5. In everything you do, be sure to glorify God!

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