The Increase of Intolerance

The Increase of Intolerance

America was once a place where Christians were free to worship and live according to their consciences.

OVERVIEW of CHAPTER 3*

In fact, our country was built upon the principles of religious tolerance, individual liberty, and the right to dissent. In our founding documents, the source of these rights and freedoms is clearly acknowledged as God, not the government. Yet, the moral sea change we have experienced in the past century has so turned our culture on its head that to exercise those rights and freedoms means that a Christian risks marginalization, repression, and even outright persecution.

In the media, those who adhere to Christian values are portrayed as bigoted and backward, anti-woman and anti-gay, willfully ignorant and woefully out of touch. Government mandates seek to force Christians to act against their consciences and support practices the Bible calls sin. People are dragged to court for praying in schools or posting about their personal religious beliefs on their own private social media accounts. Jobs are lost, businesses are bankrupted, relationships are severed.

How are American Christians responding? Often with anger, bitterness, and withdrawal from the public square.

But how did the first Christians respond to persecution? When believers were being flogged, stoned, burned alive, and thrown to wild beasts in the arena, were they surprised? Incensed? Litigious? What about the millions of believers all across the globe today who suffer daily humiliation and violence as a result of their faith? What do they know about oppression that American Christians have yet to learn?

The Increase of Intolerance gives us biblical insight about what Jesus meant when He advised His would-be followers to count the cost before taking up their crosses. We’ll discover what suffering has to teach us about ourselves and our God. And we will be confronted with the unsettling question: Will I have the courage to stand against the persecution that is coming?

This message was also intended to encourage God’s chosen people while they were captives in Babylon. God wanted to show them that there was much more to their future than they could see.

It was God, not Nebuchadnezzar, who held the key to their future and the future of all humankind.

* Excerpt from: People Are Asking…Is This the End?

Jesus told us what to expect when we confess our sins,  repent at the foot of the Cross, and invite Him to dwell in our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit.

He told us that when we are born again in Him, we are “not of this world” any longer. He warned us that we would be “persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” He told us that we would be reviled and persecuted. He told us that they will “say all kind of evil against” us…FALSELY…for His sake. He told us that we will be blessed, because our REAL home is in the kingdom of heaven!

Mat 5:10

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

 

Mat 5:12

“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Mat 5:13

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

Mat 5:14

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Mat 5:15

“Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

Mat 5:16

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Hat tips: DavidJeremiah.org, Blue Letter Bible, and graphics links.

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