Hated For His Sake

By Hal Lindsey
As the time of Christ’s return draws nearer, both Christians and Jews will face increasing persecution and hate. Any fair reading of Bible prophecy makes these two points plain. Since October 7th of last year, the world has seen a staggering increase in hatred toward all things Jewish. This fact has been covered extensively in western media. Without for a moment forgetting the hatred being faced by Jews, we should also remember that they are not alone in their persecutions.
Few if any of the 100,000 Christians forced to flee their homes this year in Mozambique will attend a high-profile university. TV news channels gave little or no attention to the six Christians slaughtered in Somalia on Good Friday. Thankfully, there is no known loss of life in the present persecution faced by American Jewish students. But many Christians are dying for their faith in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and elsewhere.
In Russia on March 22nd, Muslim extremists using automatic weapons slaughtered 145 people in a town near Moscow. More than 500 were injured and another 100 were still missing according to the last report I heard. ISIS claimed responsibility, bragging that they were “killing Christians.”
We must pay attention to the unfair treatment of Jews and of the nation of Israel. I have been doing that, and plan to continue. But we must also remember the rest of the world. The media favor stories about those who have wealth, such as students at Ivy League Universities. But the horrors striking Christians for their faith right now — often in the most obscure places — cause pain that is just as real as that of wealthy Americans. God is not a respecter of persons, and we should not be either. (See Acts 10:34-35).
In various nations around the world, Christians are being tortured, murdered, and discriminated against in dozens of ways. They are the despised minority in China, Yemen, Pakistan, and many other areas. Despicable evil is done to them regularly in those places. But Christians also face increasing violence even in countries where they are the majority, such as Uganda, Kenya, and Russia.
And then we come to America. It seems impossible that open discrimination against Christians could happen in the United States I grew up in. But this is not that United States. It has changed. And the further it gets from respect for the Bible, the worse it gets. American Christians see their faith mocked and belittled throughout the media. Whether in made-up television dramas or in news reports, the media shine spotlights on the weirdest or most violent people who claim to be Christians. They present these people not only as real followers of Jesus, but as typical.
Here in the US, we “have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood” (Hebrews 12:4). But already, Bible prophecy is being fulfilled. Persecution is not something reserved for the future. It is happening now in an increasing number of places around the world. Precious brothers and sisters in Christ are at this moment caught in its searing grip. Pray for them, but don’t be surprised. 1 John 3:13 says, “Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you.”
Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
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