Thursday, June 7, 2018

Spiritual Preparedness / Prepping for Persecution

Ironically, I had already written the rough draft of this article a few days ago before this headline came out: Muslim Disrupts Pennsylvania Church Service, Tells Congregation They’re Going to Hell. Thankfully, he only interrupted the service with insults and verbal abuse, and not weapons. 
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Modern society is growing increasingly hostile to traditional, Bible-believing Christianity. I could give example after example of traditional Christianity being disparaged in the media (both news and entertainment), banned from our schools and public squares, being kicked off of social media, etc. Individuals daring to expose their faith publicly increasingly face ridicule and even open hostility. Even our churches have literally become targets, as seen with the mass shootings at churches in Charleston, SC and Sutherland Springs, Texas. It is past time that Christians and Churches to prepare, spiritually and physically, for serious persecution.

I.)  Spiritual Preparedness

1- Figure out your relationship with God... Not Sure About God? Talk to a Bible-believing pastor or priest about your doubts. Make sure they don't compromise on the Bible being the inerrant Word of God. Too many modern (read: liberal) "pastors" and other "Christians" try to compromise with Worldly Ways by deciding that certain passages (the ones that make them uncomfortable) are irrelevant today. Run far from these fake believers.

2-  Pray daily. "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." -- Colossians 4:2

3- Read/study the Bible daily. "It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’" – Matthew 4:4 (Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 8:3) 

4- Keep the Sabbath. Join with others in worship on a regular basis. Christianity isn't meant to be a "do-it-yourself" religion. Christians are meant to be a part of The Church.

5- Men, be the spiritual leader of your family. Set the example of regular Church attendance,  daily prayer and Bible reading. and living by God's Ways instead of Worldly Ways. Institute daily family devotionals. Pray for your family. Pray with your family. Read the Bible to your family. Better yet, read the Bible with your family. Take responsibility for raising your children to be godly men and women.

5- Commit to live God's way, rather than by the world's standards. Learn and obey His commandments and teachings.  Don't compromise with modern world.  It won't be easy, but will be worth it!

Quick, can you name all Ten Commandments without looking them up? Do you know how Jesus' answer regarding the most important commandment fits in with the Ten Commandments? Hint: the first five tell us how to love God, the second five tell us how to love others.  

II.)  Prepping for Persecution 
 
1- Future crackdowns on Bible-believing churches by the government and other activists are likely in the coming years. The excuse will be stopping "hate" speech, which is whatever government decides is "hate" speech. Consider forming or joining a home church, even as you continue to participate in your larger church.  Alternately, having a small group Bible study that meets in private homes could become a worship group (home church) may be very useful should the Church in America ever be forced underground. Your church could & should work on such a "break up into smaller private house churches" plan that would be implemented under certain circumstances. 

2- Activists and others may infiltrate our churches to both spy on the "hate speech" and other disapproved activities within the church, as well as to sow discord among members. I suggest your church plan now for how to spot and deal with such individuals. "Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning, knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned." -- Titus 3:10-11

3- A local gay-rights activist comes to your church and demands that your pastor/priest performs his gay marriage at your church. How do you deal with his demand without violating his "civil rights?"  A suggestion (not original with me): Before this happens, put in your church's official charter or by-laws that marriages are only performed for church members. In order to qualify, he must first join your church. Also in the by-laws, define how one becomes a church member. 

Example: he must get baptized after first attending a series of classes, he must make an honest confession of faith, he must be a regular church attendee for an established period of time, he must attend a series of confirmation classes, then make another public profession of faith to actually join the church, then must agree to a series of marriage counseling sessions before you can marry him...  The whole process could be designed to drag on for a year or more, and be very inconvenient for the gay couple. No way they'll go through all that, and if they do, maybe all that exposure to Biblical teachings will change them. God works miracles. Talk to a Bible-believing attorney about the wording, and do it now. You won't get away with doing it after-the-fact.

If your church is finally forced to perform a gay marriage, then dissolve the church before it performing the ceremony. You can then privately implement your house church plan. Figure out the details of how to dissolve the church now. Again, talk to a bible-believing lawyer.

4- Be diligent about church security. Direct attacks are already starting to happen (SC, TX) and likely will increase in the future. Self-defense is absolutely a Biblical concept. Persecution is coming. Jesus has told us it is coming and has warned us to prepare for it both spiritually and physically. (See my article Jesus, Self-Defense, and the Pajama Boy for a study on Luke 22:35-38. Also my article Self-Defense and the Use of Force.)

Got more suggestions? Great. Please leave them in the comments section!
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