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Wednesday: A Call to Faithfulness — 10 Comments

  1. Our picture of final events often includes persecution based on medieval times. We think of torture, being hunted, and hiding in the rocks. There are few descriptions that take into account how the modern world works with its modern technologies. I don't really know how final events will play out, but I suspect that it could be quite different.

    I remember a scene from the old film, "A Night to Remember". (It is all right - I saw it in a Seventh-day Adventist Church hall as a social event when I was about 10 years old) It depicts a scene where the Titanic had just been scraped along the side by the deadly iceberg and some people knew it had happened and that the ship was doomed. Unfortunately, nobody would listen to them and they were ignored and even chastised for spreading alarm on an unsinkable ship. It was a practical joke. Can you imagine their agony of being ignored?

    I submit that the persecution of being ignored is potentially very real. We will be seen as flat-earthers, arguing a silly argument that is quaint and out of touch with reality. We may even be tolerated like the Amish and treated as a sort of tourist curiosity, but our message will be regarded as an anachronism of an old era. An example of how some people cannot change and continue to live in the past.

    I am not trying to suggest that I have a new theology of the apocalypse; just exploring a few ideas that fit the Biblical picture of the unexpectedness of Jesus' return and at the same time challenge our call to faithfulness.

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    • Brother Maurice, while I understand your point about being ignored and viewed as crazy, let’s be careful not to water down the idea of persecution. I live in the United States where many Christians whine about being persecuted simply because the prevailing culture is contrary to faith in one God who is our Creator. It may make our life uncomfortable but that is not real persecution. We do not live in fear that the police will arrest us when we go to church. There are people in our modern world who do suffer real persecution where they are hunted, tortured, etc. for being a Christian. Such things will soon happen to the rest of us.

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    • I agree. I am more of a people pleaser than I wish I was and for me the hardest thing is for people to think bad things about me. It's not the scorn of strangers that is hard, but that of people that I respect. Sometimes when I think of what's coming, it scares me because I'm not sure I'm strong enough.

      I also think that social media is likely to play a large part in persecution. It is so easy for someone to attack someone online and it goes all over the place. I remember the story of the dentist who killed the protected lion a number of years ago and had to go into hiding for a time because so many people wanted to hurt him. We've also seen people lose their jobs over something they posted, even in the past. The government will play their part in persecution but I think it will be driven by the people.

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      • Hi, Christina. I see that you wrote:

        "The government will play their part in persecution but I think it will be driven by the people."

        I couldn't let this pass without a mention. All of the evidence points to the truth of this statement, and yet needless distrust of government seems to have become such a snare for us, as a people!

        We seem to have forgotten Romans 13, and its call to humble submission to the civil authorities, as ordained by God, provided of course that we are not required to violate God's law. As a rule, as the text indicates, I have found that those who do good, not evil, have nothing to fear from the authorities.

        When the restraining power of the Spirit of God has been withdrawn from the impenitent (i.e. the vast majority of earth's inhabitants), then of course they will control the reigns of government, and we'll be looking at a very different story. I trust that God's grace will be sufficient at that time, to sustain every humble, believing soul.

        Be blessed!

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        • I would ask a careful, prayerful study of Revelation 20:4:

          “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev 20:4, KJV)

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  2. My wish today for everyone is that God sends us His wisdom, so we can be guided into all He wants for us, and although with challenges ahead, we feel at peace and achieve true inner happiness! Love to all!

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  3. The call to faithfulness is serious. It’s so easy to look back at the Bible and criticize the Israelites for doing their own thing while implying that we would of course have remained faithful. But Ezekiel 20:7 reminds the modern Christian that the struggle is just as real.

    “…Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”

    We live in a culture surrounded by the enticements of the world and the idols of Egypt. It is only by constantly looking to God as our Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, and everything else will we be protected.

    We are called to be a peculiar people who seriously don’t fit into this world; however, one of the greatest temptations is to fit in, especially for the youth. My prayer is for all of us, but especially for the young.

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    • In whatever you do, be it you are eating or drinking, do it to the glory of God. 1st Corinthians 10:31

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  4. I consider that it will be all the independent states/nations throughout the world that unite and give a religious body/entity the right to legislate morality/conscience through the law – Rev.17:12-18; it will be a worldwide effort to deceive the leaders of the nations into giving their powers to the beast for the ultimate deception of mankind when it trusts in its own powers.

    Ezekiel 20:1-20 lays out God’s plan so simply, so straight forward, that no one can claim not to understand its message. Especially Ezekiel 20:18-20 expresses the pleadings of our Creator Father to reveal to us ‘that it is HE that is to be our LORD and God, that we are to walk in His statutes and keep His judgements and do them, and that the Sabbath is a sign between Him and those who believe Him, 'that we may know that HE is the LORD our God'.’

    Matt.16:15-20 records a conversation between Jesus and Peter. Jesus asks Peter: 'But whom say ye that I am, and Peter answered that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.' Flesh did not reveal this to Peter nor to anyone who truly believes, and Jesus states that He will build His church on the Holy Spirit’s powers to reveal this Truth – “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    No room for error or miscommunication; the only true God to be worshipped can only be worshipped in His Spirit and Truth. It is the Spirit of the Creator who established heaven and earth and all life found within it. It is He who holds the creation powers in His hands and His laws govern all things visible and invisible.

    Man is unable to know this truth unless it is revealed to him through the mercy and grace of Him who created all things. Amen

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