1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

2 CHRONICLES - Against the Crowd

Sometime in the future?

Judge: "Does the jury have a verdict?"

Jury Foreman: "Yes, your honor."

Judge: "Proceed."

Jury Foreman: "We, the jury, in the aforementioned case, do find the defendant guilty of being a Christian. We further find him/her guilty of three counts of illegal possession of a Bible, unlawful assembly with other Christians, and the forbidden proclamation of their message in public. For the high crime of treason, in this case the willful expression of allegiance to a higher authority than the government, we do hereby pronounce the death penalty."

In many areas of the world, being a Christian puts your life at risk.

It hasn’t happened in this country…yet.

But there is a much subtler persecution going on.

It’s very apparent that our country is being flooded with anti-Christian messages. Especially in the media. It is no longer "politically correct" to be a believer. We are considered"exclusive" and "hateful" and "narrow-minded." Those are some of the kinder names.

Have you faced this persecution?

Sometimes I find myself a bit isolated from it. Not intentionally, I am mostly surrounded by other believers. At church, in my Bible Study, in my small group. The Body of Christ is alive and well even in Blog Land.

All of my close friends are Christians.

But my sons, in their 20’s, experience a different world. Many of their friends are not. And they often find themselves on the "other" side of the fence when it comes to entertainment, and money, and socializing, and values.

It’s been this way for a while –

Even when my kids were in elementary school, we had to change Easter Break to Spring Break, and the Christmas Program magically morphed into the Holiday Program. My nephew, who’s in high school, only said the Pledge of Allegiance on Mondays last year – the rest of the week they read a "patriotic" piece.

It’s the whole mention of GOD that is so offensive these days.

Today’s "Bible Pick ‘Ems" reminded me of this sinful shift that is occurring in America – this move away from its Biblical beginnings, and its Christian values.

It takes place right before the fall of Jerusalem, during the reign of King Zedekiah. Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man. He was one of the kings who "did evil in the sight of the Lord."

And disaster was looming on the horizon…

"The LORD, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people…But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the LORD’S anger could no longer be restrained…" (2 Chronicles 36:15-16)

The next verse is the frightening conclusion to this willful turning away from God.

"So the LORD brought the king of Babylon against them."

Friends, I never want to be a purveyor of doom and gloom. It’s not my style. But when I read these verses, I took them as a good "wake-up call."

Persecution is real. We will be mocked, and our words will be despised. People will scoff at us...

It’s what happens when you stand up for the Lord.

And things may get worse. I pray not – I pray for a revival in this country. A changing in the hearts of its people. I pray for God to move mightily.

But in the meantime, we're going to suffer – for our message, for our values, for our Lord.

It’s OK – He has a great promise for us.

"God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven." (Matthew 5:11)

Are you feeling any persecution in your life? Are you willing to stand against it?

For me to live is Christ…

(Join me at Spiritual Sundays with Charlotte and Ginger, and Super Sunday with Peggy. And please feel free to visit my other blog, Sharon Sharing God!)

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. Being Jewish....I've had some extended family say some pretty hateful things b/c of my faith and what you said is so right on Sharon...my dgt's school won't put on a Christmas play anymore...now it's a winter holiday story and the city hall in the town next to us is no longer allowed to put up a Christmas tree...And b/c of what He did for me....I am willing to stand up.....

  2. I'm with you, Sharon. I fear what may happen to our country if we don't turn back to Christ. Revival is needed. "To live is Christ, to die is gain" should be the attitude of every Christian, however that isn't easy to say.

  3. Glory to the King of kings! Blessings Sharon...

    I thought when I started reading that you were sharing the "Left Behind" series, which I just found out has another book "Kingdom Come"...

    but with knowing "persecution" will come... I am learning to stand firm, but you are so right, the younger generations have it much more difficult. Great thought provoking post and once again style to intrigue and capture us to want to read on...

    Yes, our persecution may not be like the many that are suffering for Christ's sakes worldwide for their beliefs but we are so in need of a Revival and making a stand now, knowing what is to come... We need to be strong in the Lord and far too many of us are weak. All the attacks we face are just a sliver of what may become. Are we ready to stand? Are our swords drawn? Are we fearful of our shadow? Do we fear the Lord and the release of His restrained anger? Hmmmmmmm

    Doom and gloom. Definitely we need to WAKE UP.
    Be stirred! Change hearts and minds from the top of our government all the way down to our kids.
    Question not just accept. Be bold and courageous! Keep eternity clear and near to our vision at all times.

    I read that 75% of religious persecution is against Christians...(though that term is being broadened to include some groups that are not).
    "Religious persecution is something we read about. It is a part of church history. Or it happens in other countries. It is not supposed to happen in America! However, for Christians, religious freedom may be quickly vanishing in America! In the last two decades we’ve seen too many denials of religious freedom to assume that in the future we will have religious freedom as we once had.
    For those unfamiliar with recent denials of religious freedom in America, it may prove helpful to list some cases where religious freedoms were denied. Religious freedoms may be denied in many ways. Especially significant are those religious freedoms denied in occupational employment, education, and in government regulations of churches and their ministries through bureaucratic licensing and zoning ordinances...
    Because you may not be persecuted when others are, and because you may think yourself strongly fortified, you may think you need not fight alongside other Christians in the battle for religious freedoms. That’s what the enemy wants you to think. That kind of thinking leads to defeat for Christians."

    Sorry for getting too doom and gloom and sharing more info than we want today. The Persecuted Church is a topic that strikes a cord in me.

    But this is a little too deep for early on a beautiful SONday morning, however the TIME HAS COME! The enemy attacks (and he is on the prowl) weak places first, as we well know, that when we are weak, he is trying his best to get at us, to weaken us more, to discourage us, to sway us, to convince us of our failures and weaknesses and unworthiness or whatever lie he can use, so we must remain girded up... not let our weakness show, and trust, "when we are weak, HE is strong".

    When persecutions come - and they will - then may our attitudes be as was the apostles and those before us. May we rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:41). And God help us and have mercy.

    Love, peace and a SUPER SONday in Jesus Christ, who is and was and is to come... in Glory,

  4. Hi Sharon,
    Very good post. I hate to see it, but persecution in increasing against the church here in the USA. Jesus told us these things would happen, and He was right. But I take great comfort in the fact I have read the end of the book and I know who wins! Also this verse,

    Mat 16:18 NKJV
    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

    Satan will try to destroy the church but he will fail because Jesus is the messiah, the Son of God who defeated Satan when He went to the cross, died and rose again. Thank you Jesus!

    God bless,

  5. History tells us that Christianity florishes during persecution. Oh for a revival to sweep the world.

    Praying for revival,

  6. Here's another article that I just came across today not that this needed any examples, I found it interesting that I would read this today after reading yours:

    A Brave Servant of Christ Pays the Ultimate Price for His Courage

    Also a quick note, not that it means anything, but you suggested that I share my prayer that I shared today that I wrote in one of your comments and look who are the only participants in Super SONSunday... you and I... so I guess God meant this just for us... (lol) the song(s) still good one(s)...

    God's very best REST and blessings on you Sharon
    Love & hugs,

  7. I have been concerned about this trend in our country for many years now. It is beyond sad. I pray God will have mercy on us. Thank you for sharing this informative post.

  8. To an extent, yes, I'm feeling some persecution. But it's more of the silent variety rather than the spoken kind. Sometimes silence yields a greater blow than an overt punch.

    That being said, my heart is with those who are persecuted in their flesh because of their faith. Voice of the Martyrs is an organization that highlights many of these atrocities. We are firm supporters of their work.


  9. Sarah - Couldn't have said it any better. Because of what He did for me - I am willing to stand up for Him. And yes, with your Jewish background, I'm sure you've had your share of persecution. The infiltration into our children's schools is very subtle, isn't it? That's why we have to be so aware of it.

    Joan - It isn't easy to say. I hope that I am one of those people who would be willing to stand for Christ, even if it meant dying for Him. I'm really a scaredy-cat at heart. I pray for the Spirit's empowerment.

    Peggy - Loved this: "Keep eternity near and clear to our vision at all times." That was a great way of putting it! Again, what you have said here in your comment would make a powerful post. I think we need to be aware of the subtle persecution that takes place in our country and in our hearts. Sometimes the "subtle" is much harder to fight against because we don't realize its infiltration. May we be counted worthy to suffer... (p.s. I still loved that prayer, Peggy - even if it was just between you, me, and God - it was still very special!)

    Ken - Yes, what you have said is so very encouraging. I love that verse from Matthew. We do indeed know how the story ends, and we know the Victor. He is the only One who can arm us to fight the overt, and sometimes subtly covert, persecution that comes against us.

    Pamela - You are so right. Somewhere I read that Christianity is growing fastest in China - where they face terrible persecution. Perhaps that is why America is moving away - we have it too easy. We think we're just fine with God because we're such a "good" nation. Our country needs revival that starts in our prideful hearts.

    Charlotte - It is terribly sad. It reminds me of the Israelites, who had God's favor and His very presence with their nation. They still rebelled against Him, they still wandered away from worship. I see the same thing in our country - praying for a revival before it's too late.

    Elaine - Silent persecution is the worst. I agree - it's almost like the old saying, "Sticks and stones will break my bones..." Not true!! It's the subtle, sometimes wordless, persecution by the enemy that really gets to the soul. Does he do to you what he does to me - use the incessant battering ram of lies? Voice of the Martyrs - I'll have to check that out.

    GOD BLESS, everyone - stand tall, stand firm, STAND IN HIS STRENGTH!


"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!