person standing before a cross at sunrise (preparing for persecution for our faith)

The Bible promises that believers in Christ will experience persecution if we want to live for the Lord. In America, we have largely been sheltered from significant persecution for our faith in the past. But that is quickly changing. So it’s a good time to think about preparing for persecution now.

  • Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Tim. 3:12

For many of us in the West, the thought of facing persecution for our faith is a pretty new thing. Despite the fact that believers throughout history and even around the world today have experienced intense persecution.

I think it is helpful to take this issue to the Lord and invite Him to prepare and equip us so that we might stand firmly for Him no matter what may come.

5 Ways to Think About Christian Persecution Rightly

1. Never allow yourself to be persecuted for doing what is wrong in God’s eyes.

We are to do good to all people and to overcome evil with good. We should never be obnoxious or lash out sinfully at others and then count people reacting to our misdeeds and wrong attitudes as persecution for the sake of Christ.

  • Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Luke 6:27-28
  • A servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, and forbearing. He must gently reprove those who oppose him, in the hope that God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Tim. 2:24-25
  • Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Pet. 4:19

2. Receive the truth that persecution for Jesus’ sake and for doing good is a great blessing.

This goes totally against our human wisdom. We don’t like preparing for persecution or facing persecution. We want things to be easy. But the truth is that persecution strengthens individual believers and the church. This is why we are to rejoice when it happens to us.

Persecution brings about much fruitfulness as we learn to depend on Christ more than ever and allow Him to work powerfully in and through us, laying down our will and our lives for His glory.

  • Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt. 5:10-12
  • But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled. 1 Pet. 3:14

3. Have a healthy, reverential fear and awe of God. Seek His approval above all else.

We must remember how dangerous it is to be afraid of people or to seek their approval first, that is a type of idolatry that deeply offends the Lord.

Persecution tempts us to compromise our convictions and God’s Word. It tempts us to be afraid of people and what they may do to us. We may lose our jobs, our bank accounts, our freedom of speech, our ability to assemble to worship. We may be mocked, silenced, imprisoned, tortured, or even killed.

Jesus instructs all who would follow Him to count the cost of discipleship. This means preparing for persecution for our faith is normal for believers. Persecution for following Jesus and doing what is right is always a possibility for us.

  • “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” Luke 12:4-5
  • So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Heb. 13:6
  • For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10
  • It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. Ps. 118:8

In preparing for persecution, remember that a spirit of fear of people is not of God.

  • For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Tim. 1:7
  • There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

4. Remember that the world hated Jesus first, so they will hate us, too. He promised this.

We are not to be surprised that the world hates us. We belong to a heavenly kingdom, not the kingdom of this world. We are at odds and are incompatible. Those who follow Satan and are spiritually dead and blind always persecute those who follow the Lord. They are ensnared and need Jesus and the gospel. They are potential fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. John 15:18
  • And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matt. 10:22
  • Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:13-15

5. Die to self, picking up your cross each day.

A huge part of following Jesus is that we lay down our lives for His sake in every way. We are living sacrifices for Him (Rom 12:1-2). We lay down our will and our desires and seek to follow and obey Him, whatever the cost because He is worthy of our all.

We seek to hold loosely to the things of this world and cling tightly to Jesus and things that matter in eternity.

  • Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:25
  • I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20

How to Prepare for Persecution

Scripture is full of ways we can strengthen our faith and trust in God. It’s also full of examples of heroes of the faith who stood strong in the face of adversity and persecution.

  1. Stay in the Word. Stand on the truths and promises of Scripture more than ever.
  2. Know who you are in Christ and cling to Him.
  3. Continue to meet together with other believers.
  4. Pray and invite God to draw you to Himself, to refine and purify you and to equip and prepare you for what is ahead.
  5. Decide in advance that you will follow Jesus no matter what may come. Ask God to empower you to be faithful to Him.
  6. Don’t compromise the Word of God for the world. Cultivate sound doctrine and ask God to help you rightly discern false teaching so you can reject it. False teaching is rampant and will become even more widespread the closer we get to the end.
  7. Diligently teach your children to have a biblical worldview.
  8. Develop a habit of praising and thanking God in all things.
  9. Ask God to bless His people and to bring about His will and His kingdom on earth.
  10. Pray for those who mistreat you and the Body of Christ.
  11. Continually repent of any known sin in your own life. Ask God to empower you to live a holy life by His Spirit.
  12. Develop a sense of total dependence on God.
  13. Study the lives of believers who have been faithful, unwavering, and bold for Christ, even in the face of persecution. People like Corrie Ten Boom, the apostles, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, Andrew Brunson, and many others. Read Hebrews 11, the Hall of Fame of Faith. And read the stories of all of the people mentioned there for inspiration and encouragement.
  14. Study Bible prophecy and be familiar with what the last days will look like and what we can expect, trusting God and His plan and sovereignty.
  15. Share the gospel and Life-giving truth of Scripture with urgency. Shine brightly for Jesus, making the most of the time.

Pray with Me

Lord,

We thank You that You are in full control over this world and the nations. We thank and praise You that You will never leave us or forsake us. We invite You to prepare and equip us, our families, our children, and Your people for what is ahead.

Let us be bold, strong, and courageous. Let us have great faith in You, shining with joy, peace, and cheerfulness for Your kingdom. Let us be fruitful for you and Spirit-filled.

We lay down our will and our lives for You, Lord. You alone are worthy of any sacrifice we can give. Your Kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Let us not give way to fear or panic. Thank You that You are refining us. We bless you and trust You with all our hearts. Be glorified in our lives, our families, and Your church. Be glorified in America and every nation around the world.

Let us be faithful to You. For You are always faithful to us.

Amen!

Related

Got Questions’ posts about persecution

Ready for Salvation? Please Click Here!

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

My Morning Quiet Time Process

What Is Your Strong Foundation for 2021? 13 Truths from the Bible to Build Your Life Upon

Share

If you have experienced persecution and would like to share godly wisdom with us, we would love to hear about your experiences.

If you would like to pray for all of us in the comments, you are also welcome to do so.

Note: Let’s focus on Christ and His Word and on our faith in Him and the spiritual battle ahead. This is not a political battle, but one in the spiritual realm. We will need spiritual weapons and preparation. So I would ask that we not comment on the political right now, but on the spiritual.

Let’s commit to praying for all of our leaders in our nation and around the world. And let’s avoid foolish arguments that only produce quarrels. Seeking instead to know Christ and the power of His gospel and the unity He desires us to have that we can only experience in His Body as we align ourselves with His truth alone.

32 thoughts on “Preparing for Persecution for Our Faith in Jesus

  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts April! I’m currently reading Sabina Wurmbrand’s book ‘The Pastor’s wife’ and her courage in the face of persecution in Communist prisons in Romania in the 1950s I believe. One is tempted to think, ‘I could never do what she did’, but I feel it is never good to compare, God knows us individually and how we are made, and someone once said, ‘God doesn’t give us grace for our imaginations!’. One thing I do think is important is daily forgiveness and prayer towards those that treat you badly, remembering that Jesus died on the cross for them and that he loves them too and longs for them to repent and turn to Him.

    1. alisonjoyforever,

      Hello, friend! It’s so great to hear from you! I bet that book is amazing. I heard a US pastor who grew up in Romania speak a few weeks ago about his experience. It was very sobering. He sees so many things happening here now just like they happened in Romania.

      Yes, I think it is easy to assume we could never have that level of faith and strength. And yet, I believe God strengthens believers as they face the trial and that He will empower us and carry us through if we must face such persecution—if we will trust Him.

      He gives us the grace that is needed in that moment and for that day. And, He so graciously prepares us in advance.

      Yes, remembering to forgive is critical. I think Jesus’ example on the cross is very helpful. The men who crucified Him didn’t realize they were crucifying Deity. They didn’t know what they were doing. They were pawns in Satan’s hands. And all that evil they intended, God turned and used for the salvation of millions!

      When we face people full of hatred at us for our faith, they are deceived. They think they know best and are doing what is right. In some cases, like Saul (before his conversion), they even think they are doing God a favor. Or the planet a favor. By trying to destroy us.

      What an amazing God we have that He can give us His supernatural power to forgive those who persecute us. And to witness to them. And to pray for them. And maybe, to get to lead them to Christ.

      God has been shaking things and giving a major worldwide spiritual wakeup call for a year now. He has been refining His people. He has been calling unbelievers to Himself. Things are going to be shaken more this year, I believe. The church will be refined to a much greater degree. (I am not a prophet, I am just watching the signs of the times and I believe the rapture and tribulation are very near.) I also know that America’s sins are extremely great and that we have had a long time to repent – as the church and as a nation. Many churches are involved in blatant apostasy. Our nation has spit in God’s face and defiantly turned its back on God. So even if we are not close to the Tribulation, we are close to God’s righteous judgment falling on America.

      But God promises to be with those who fear Him. This thing looks scary. But we are not to be afraid because He will lead us through it. He will never leave us or forsake us. And He is using all things to bring about His good purposes in the end.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Much love!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing all of this wisdom, April. The list on how to be prepared spiritually was very helpful. Sometimes our biggest foes are in our homes (Matthew 10:34-36), especially when we stand for truth, and hence the urgency and importance of fervently praying for the conversion of loved ones.

    1. A.M.,
      Yes, many believers face persecution in their own families. There is great urgency for us to pray for those who don’t yet know the Lord. Time may be short. None of us know how much longer the window of grace will be extended to us.

      Blessings!

  3. Such good reminders! I’m not sure exactly how to word this, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on a healthy balance between knowing what’s going on (ie reading the news, etc) vs it just breeding anxiety and/or being lies. Also, checking out, laying low and continuing our own lives vs knowing what’s going on “in the world.” Certainly the things you’ve listed are our best actions. Thank you for all you do!

    1. NS,

      That is a really great question. I don’t know that I can say I have handled it perfectly. Especially since I am also experiencing the craziness of peri-menopause and fluctuating emotions on top of all of this. There are times I just weep. Over America. The world. The sin in our nation. The sin in the church. Our future. My children’s freedoms.

      But I think it is important to mourn when a nation turns its back on the Lord. And to pray for repentance and God’s healing. It is very painful to see where we are today. I don’t like it. It’s not where I want us to be. But I know God is at work.

      And I think it is necessary and appropriate to mourn over all that we are losing. We are human. We will have emotions and grief to process.

      Here is what I try to do. And maybe I should write a post about this. I’ll pray about it!

      1. I try to seek God first. And spend lots of time with Him and His Word and prayer. That has to be my foundation.
      2. There are certain news outlets I know are very biased and anti-God. I avoid those.
      3. If I find myself feeling overwhelmed with fear or getting upset by news I read, I stop. Sometimes I even take a break for a few days or longer and focus on the Lord.
      4. I especially look to certain people I trust who share about current events in light of Scripture and who provide the hope of the Bible, encouraging faith and courage, not fear.
      5. I recognize that I may not be able to trust any news sources or even pastors/Christian teachers completely. Humans are fallible.
      6. I avoid Christian sites that I believe are pushing unbiblical teachings or emphasizing “prophets” whose words don’t come true. I look to the Bible as my ultimate source not a particular teacher. I avoid NAR-leaning sites.
      7. I write down Scripture passages, promises, and truth. A LOT. And I meditate on it. When I feel tempted to be afraid, I go back to the Word. I go back to the verses I have hidden in my heart. And I remind myself of the truth of God and choose to believe Him and His Word over my feelings. I “take my thoughts captive for Christ.”
      8. I repent as soon as I see doubt, fear, unbelief, worry, idols, etc… in my heart. I invite God to refine me.
      9. I ask God to build my faith and strengthen me for what is ahead because I realize I need to be a lot stronger in Him. I invite Him to teach me and to do anything in me that He wants to do because He knows how to get me ready.
      10. I try to let go of my dreams and my will. Even for my children and for America. I would love to hold onto good things in this world. I would love for my children to always have freedom and the Constitution, for example. But I also realize that I could make idols of those things in my heart. So I need to be careful and be willing to lay down all my hopes, dreams, and desires, to make room for what God wants to do.
      11. I realize that it may be time for God’s judgment to come. I realize it may be time for the Tribulation to come. I realize that the rapture may be very soon and my time to work in the Kingdom very short. So I seek to have God’s eternal perspective.
      12. I pray for our leaders and our nation and the world.
      13. I focus on God’s character and sovereignty.
      14. I write down all of the miracles God has done in the past in the Bible and in my life and remember His goodness.
      15. I sing praise songs to God and songs of hope and trust in Him.
      16. I write down all the things I am thankful for.
      17. I seek to rejoice in trials and suffering, eyes open for the spiritual treasures God has for me in those times.
      18. I seek to be an encouragement to my family and sisters in Christ to spur others on toward love and good deeds and greater faith.
      19. When I stumble and fall into fear, I go running into God’s arms for His comfort and love. As I look at Him intently, “the things of this earth grow strangely dim.”
      20. We are reading Eric Metaxas’ book about Bonhoeffer as a family. I seek to find inspiration from the heroes of the faith in the past.
      21. I find great comfort and encouragement in Psalms.
      22. I seek to be cheerful and to overcome evil with good.
      23. I try to savor each day and the precious time I have with loved ones and make the most of it.
      24. I try to listen to my husband’s leading and perspective a lot. He is very calming.
      25. Talk and pray with a godly wife friend if I need extra encouragement.

      I still have a lot of growing to do. The past year has shown me that in many ways! But I am excited for the chance to grow so much in my faith. I know God is bringing much good from this that will last forever.

      Much love to you, precious sister!

  4. Thank you for such a timely message and the tools to prepare. Our loving Father God is alerting us, thank again for hearing and sharing the Word of God. I believe.

    1. Thanks you for being a willing servant of God! You really are strengthening the body of Christ!! I know you going to get a reward for helping me with my walk.
      God continued Blessings on you and your Family.

    2. Arlette,
      Yes, we should all be wide awake now and watching Him, trusting Him, seeking Him, and ready. As we see the things of this world be shaken, it helps us to see areas where we are trusting things and people in this world more than we are trusting God. It is quite a time of faith-stretching. May we allow the Lord to do all the refining He desires to do in us.

      Much love in Christ, sweet sister!

  5. This past week, I read much of Ezekiel. In chapter 8, the glory of God left the Temple in Jerusalem in preparation for the judgement of God to fall on Judah and Jerusalem. God was bringing Babylon against His people to judge them for their blatant and massive sin against Him. Idolatry, child sacrifice, immorality, turning away from God, rebellion, injustice, oppression of the innocent and poor, etc…

    One of the things that is the scariest of all to me is the thought of our nation undergoing the righteous wrath of God. I don’t want to see us do that. I want to see us repent. It is very sobering to see what happens to nations who blaspheme God and who sin greatly against Him and refuse to repent in their stubbornness.

    But there is some comfort. God knows those who are His. In Ezekiel 9, God gives his angels instruction about marking the heads of all those who mourn over the sin of the city and of Judah. He spared them from death.

    We may experience the wrath of Satan and of people. We may experience persecution and trials. But we will not experience God’s wrath against sin because Jesus experienced that for us on the cross!

    Ezekiel 9

    Execution of the Idolaters

    1Then I heard Him call out in a loud voice, saying, “Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with a weapon of destruction in hand.”

    2And I saw six men coming from the direction of the Upper Gate, which faces north, each with a weapon of slaughter in his hand. With them was another man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. And they came in and stood beside the bronze altar.

    3Then the glory of the God of Israel rose from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side. 4“Go throughout the city of Jerusalem,” said the LORD, “and put a mark on the foreheads of the men sighing and groaning over all the abominations committed there.”

    5And as I listened, He said to the others, “Follow him through the city and start killing; do not show pity or spare anyone! 6Slaughter the old men, the young men and maidens, the women and children; but do not go near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.”

    So they began with the elders who were before the temple.

    7Then He told them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go forth!”

    So they went out and began killing throughout the city.

    8While they were killing, I was left alone. And I fell facedown and cried out, “Oh, Lord GOD, when You pour out Your wrath on Jerusalem, will You destroy the entire remnant of Israel?”

    9He replied, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of bloodshed, and the city is full of perversity. For they say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.’ 10But as for Me, I will not look on them with pity, nor will I spare them. I will bring their deeds down upon their own heads.”

    11Then the man clothed in linen with the writing kit at his side reported back, “I have done as You commanded.”

    1. Wow!! Thanks for sharing that scripture. It isn’t good news for the others, and I don’t rejoice in it, but I do take comfort in the fact that God marks those that are His. This was also an encouraging post by the way, thank you so much for sharing it.

      1. Amber W,

        God spared Noah and his family, Lot and his family, and other righteous people at other times in history from His wrath. Sometimes, it meant they went into captivity, like Daniel and others. But the Lord was with them. God knows those who love Him. He will not abandon us. We may face the wrath of Satan or of people and persecution for our faith, but God will not pour out His wrath directly on those who are His. Anything He allows us to walk through will be a refining fire for our ultimate good and His eternal glory.

        Much love to you!

    2. Thank you so much for all the helpfull Scriptures, ways to be prepared and the list of things you do to stay focused on God and His will. Very helpfull! A faith-boost!!
      My thoughts on Ezekiel 9:4 (not to discourage anyone…)
      If God would spare every believer (everyone who has His mark), there would be no such thing as persecution. He spared them from death…
      I read books from Richard Wurmbrand, also the above mentioned book of his wife, Sabina Wurmbrand. Richard spent 14 years in communist prison and was tortured beyond description. I don’t know if ‘being spared from death’ is such a blessing, when you face persecution like that. In that respect this verse in Ezekiel is not very comforting to me.
      However, Richard himself did everything to stay alive during his imprisonment, because he wanted to win as much people for Christ as he could, both fellow prisoners and torturers. He knew moments of despair but also moments of great comfort, when he was in isolation, knowing (experiencing) Jesus was there with Him. So, if God keeps us alive in horrible circumstances, He must have a good reason, right? He needs us to strengthen brothers and sisters, and he needs us to bring Christ to the lost. He will give us the strength we need, the moment we need it. He HAS to. Because right now, if I think about it too much, I’d prefer death over torture. I am praying for God to prepare me to be ready for HIS will in my life, wherever He may lead me…

      1. Aivlys,

        I believe God spares those who are His from His wrath. We may not be spared from the wrath of Satan and people (persecution).
        What a beautiful example the Wurmbrands provide for us. I can’t imagine what Richard went through.
        But what a beautiful example.

        Yes, a quick death could be preferable to years of torture. I believe God will give us strength and power to go through whatever He leads us through.

        Thank you for sharing!

        1. Of course, God spares us from His wrath after this life through Jesus’ death on our behalf.
          For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 1 Thess. 5:9-10.

          And I believe He spares believers from the wrath that is to come during the time of Jacob’s trouble. Those who belong to Christ will be raptured before the Tribulation time.

          But it is my understanding that He may also generally spare believers and the righteous from His wrath on earth. Although, I am certainly open to hear of passages where God pours out His wrath on those who have repented and those who are in fellowship with Him along with the rebellious.

          1. He told Abraham that if there were even 10 righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah, He would spare it for their sake.
          He could not find that many, but He did graciously spare Lot and his family, although his wife didn’t follow instructions and became a pillar of salt.

          2. He spared Noah and his sons and their wives from His wrath in the flood if they would obey and get in the ark.

          3. He spared the “good figs” in Judah by sending them into exile and not destroying them.

          4. He spared Jeremiah’s life and gave him favor with the foreign military power God sent to punish Israel.

          5. God spared Baruch’s life when He poured out His wrath on Judah:
          When Baruch son of Neriah wrote on a scroll the words Jeremiah the prophet dictated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, Jeremiah said this to Baruch: 2 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: 3 You said, ‘Woe to me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.’ 4 But the Lord has told me to say to you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the earth. 5 Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’” Jer. 45

          6. God spared Ninevah when the people repented and turned from their sin (until 80 years later when they rebelled against Him and wouldn’t repent).

          7. God spared his people, Israel, from (at last) the last 6 plagues against the Egyptians. (I don’t know if they were impacted by the first few.)

          8. God did cause the two faithful spies (Joshua and Caleb) to have to wait 40 years to enter the Promised Land until all the other men of that unbelieving generation died out. But He let them both go into the Promised Land and help conquer it and enjoy it because of their faith and faithfulness to Him.

          8. Jesus took on all of the wrath of God against our sin so that we may be spared.

          2 Peter 2:
          For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them deep into hell, placing them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, among the eight; 6if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes as an example of what is coming on the ungodly; 7 and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9if all this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

          Many of God’s faithful servants have suffered persecution from other people and from Satan. And God was with them through it. He will reward those who suffer patiently for Him and those who are martyred on behalf of righteousness and Jesus. Any trials believers go through are a refining process, not punishment, in my understanding. I believe He is just and does what is right for nations and for individuals.

          I don’t know of a reference in the Bible where God lumped the righteous in with the unrighteous for His wrath.
          If anyone does, please share it with us. I want very much to handle the Word rightly in all things.

          Every verse I can think of is about God being willing to relent if people will repent and turn to Him.

          Thank you!

          1. Good morning, dear sisters!

            I was reading in Jeremiah just now about God bringing judgment on Jerusalem and Judah soon.
            It is shocking to read what God said in Jer. 5:1:

            “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.”

            There was not one person. Not even one.

            May this not be the case for us in America today.
            Much love to each of you! <3

        2. All,
          I just thought of something that I should have thought of last week. My apologies!

          Jesus does talk about judging people who profess His Name who are part of local churches but who are living very sinful lives (of idolatry or sexual immorality, for example). I believe these are not His “sheep.” But are, rather, goats. But He gives them an opportunity to repent in Rev. 2-3.

          He says that He will judge and fight against those who profess His Name but are far from Him and involved in heresy or certain significant sins against Him. He even says He will remove their lampstand if they do not repent.

          And there is a passage about “judgement begins in the house of God.”

          Here is a great post about that…
          https://www.gotquestions.org/judgment-begins-house-God.html

  6. God is certainly awakening many Christians or so it seems to me. Thankyou April for obeying God’s call on your life. Have you any tips for engaging children or tweens on the word of God or missionary stories when there seems to be so much other ‘exciting’ things calling for their attention. I don’t believe I am to just ban the things they like and cause friction. I also don’t want to put them off by demanding they do ‘bible stuff’. I do try to talk about God often and encourage them but this is something I know ai can’t control and its a bit of a stumbling block for me. Thanks x

    1. Mrs. Beth McLaughlin,

      Hello! Yes, I believe He is waking up many people. Which is a very good thing.

      That is my deepest prayer, to walk in obedience to the Lord.

      We have a 19 year old son and 14 year old daughter. What we have found seems to work best for our kids are things like this:

      1. Reading a daily devotional together after supper while allowing them to draw in their sketch books.
      2. Reading a biography of a hero of the faith together after that, again allowing them to sketch and listen at the same time.
      3. When the kids are younger, even with my daughter now, I read a chapter of the Bible to her in the morning and we talk about it.
      4. When topics come up about worldview or truth/lies in the news or throughout the day, I talk about it and we have discussions. I try not to do too much news because they can feel overwhelmed about it, especially in the past year. But we talk about things here and there during the day or while we are on a walk.
      5. When the kids were much younger, I had them fall asleep listening to a Bible app every night.
      6. If there are Christian movies, especially about real life things, we watch them together and talk about them.
      7. If we are watching secular movies or things, we stop and talk about biblical truth or about the consequences of people’s wrong thinking or sin.
      8. We had the kids watch all of the Answers in Genesis DVDs on a road trip a number of years ago after we went to the Creation Museum. They loved it and watched one after the other.
      9. We take the kids places, when we can, like The Creation Museum, and to see historical places and talk about the scriptural basis for the Constitution and founding documents.

      Much love!

  7. Thank you so much for this encouragement April. I live in Australia and I am a teacher. I have been feeling that this year will be very testing and I am praying constantly for The Lord’s wisdom and love so that I can do my job well and be strong.

    I too have been thinking a lot about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and about how many similarities our society seems to have with the early Third Reich and with Ancient Rome. This can all be very scary and honestly, my spirit quakes sometimes with thoughts of persecution, but However things unfold, I will lift up my eyes to our beautiful Jesus, and believe that he will strengthen me and help me remain faithful to him.

    I praise him for allowing things to happen that make us run to him, because then we are reminded of the truth of His grace. I am praying for you and your family and other Christians in America because it seems that you might face the pointy end of things sooner than we will here, even though we are not far behind.

    1. Sherrie,

      Yes, I, too, believe that this year will be a more significant time of testing than last year. I’m so glad you are seeking the Lord!

      This is sure waking many people up and showing us that we can only trust in God. He alone is unshakable!

      Thank you for your prayers. We will all need to pray for each other around the world and be united as the Body of Christ. So thankful He is with us and we can stand firmly on His promises!

  8. Thank you so much for this reminder! The first part of Matthew five is emblazed on my heart! Jehovah Nissi is so GOOD! I knew years ago the persecution or bros and sis in the faith were experiencing overseas would reach America one day it seems these times are soon upon us. But “to die is gain” Amen? It is the Christ who they are against not us! We SHALL OVERCOME the world. If God be for us who can be against us? (ROMANS 8)

    May He strengthen you to continue to fight the GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH.

    1. RoyalButterfly8,

      Yes, the persecution of our brothers and sisters in many places has intensified greatly in recent years. It was a matter of time before it came here, too.

      May the Lord empower us to be strong, bold, and courageous and to act obediently and faithfully to Him. May we stand firm and not give way to fear.

      Thank you for your prayers!

  9. April,

    I see a lot of indications from you that the world’s sinfulness is looking like it is getting “worse” for 2021.

    I don’t see that. I see the world as always very sinful. In fact there has been so much sin perpetrated over the ages by every nation and every political view. Please don’t suggest that sin is suddenly magnifying for 2021. People of all sorts have been suffering under maltreatment for ages and ages. Suffering as a slave was was worse than what we are “suffering” through. If you think it’s getting worse, I think you may need to read through the abominations that the “best” nations of the world have perpetrated over the recent centuries. Then go back even further and see more, and more of the same.

    The only thing we can control is our behavior. We can pray for this country and minister to the needy. We can fight against what leads to permanent death. What leads to permanent death according to the New Testament Bible?

    unrepentant pride
    unrepentant sexual immorality
    unrepentant boastfulness
    unrepentant vulgarity
    unrepentant factiousness
    unrepentant persecution of the poor

    Let’s stay away from these things.

    1. Jamie,
      Thanks so much for your comment!

      In my post today, you’ll hopefully be able to see that I don’t believe that sin is a new problem to America in 2021. It has been around since the Garden of Eden, sadly. And we can see the damage it has caused all throughout history.

      America has been racking up sin for a long time. No nation I know of has escaped this. But there does come a point where the sin is “ripe” and where the time for repentance comes to an end and judgment begins. I believe we are reaching a “critical mass” stage.

      Yes, we are each responsible to the Lord for our own sin. There is a very long list of ways we can sin. Sin is simply anything that deviates from God’s holy standard of perfection, truth, and love. We are also responsible, as the salt and light of the earth, to help preserve the world by helping to avoid the progressive decay of sin by our godly influence, our sharing the gospel, our sharing God’s love and truth with others, and being conduits of the Holy Spirit to work through, bringing the Kingdom here on earth.

      The truth is that every person is a sinner who has fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). On our own, our best attempts at righteousness and goodness look like “filthy, bloody, menstrual rags” to God (Isa. 64:6).

      We all desperately need the saving power of Jesus as individuals. We all need His power to do be able to do anything good in God’s sight. He alone is perfect. He alone lived a life that perfectly pleased God. Amazingly, He offers His life to us. He is willing to substitute His goodness for our sinfulness. That is the most amazing Good News ever!

      And we all, as nations and communities, need the power of the Holy Spirit to be at work to help us be people who treat God and others well.

      Blessings!

  10. April,

    I just don’t see that sin is any more “ripe” than any other time in history. I guess it’s just my viewpoint.

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