I haven't written much lately, but this must be shared:
ARE WE READY FOR PERSECUTION?.
by Dirk A Schnarr on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 6:49am.
The note below was written in June 2003. Please notice that if anything, the world is FAR WORSE and American seems to be finally on the receiving end of these birth pains. I personally do not believe we have much more time before the darkness falls. Those who believe in a rapture of the church, you will be sadly disappointed. Just don't let that disappointment deter you from following Jesus. Recognize how you were deceived and move on in a far deeper commitment to HIS ABSOLUTE TRUTH!
All others, if you are not ready for REAL PERSECUTION RIGHT NOW; well, I know the hammer is falling now. How soon it will strike and the persecution begins in earnest is in the mind of God. Carefully; PRAYERFULLY read this note and ask the LORD where you are!
ARE WE READY FOR PERSECUTION? 6/14/2003
I received an email the other day that greatly disturbed me. It was all about what is happening in the world regarding the "free" practice of Christianity. Several countries have made it illegal to even speak in private against homosexuality. In the midst of this article, a reference was made to the quite good possibility of evangelism made to be a hate-crime!
Brothers and Sisters, the time is almost upon us! WE MUST stop all this talk! Going to the polls to attempt to change the laws is an effort in futility. Oh it may slow down the process, but unless other action is taken, even the legal system will be working DIRECTLY against Christian ideology. (it already is in many avenues, but I refer to making Christianity itself illegal!)
Getting upset or being shocked about what the world allows and will allow is foolishness. It WILL allow anything that the traffic will bear; one look at the movie industry will prove that to anyone. It is coming to the place where the world is making it illegal to even speak against sins listed in the Bible.
We are quickly moving into the time of the birth pains that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24. It WILL soon progress into the Great Tribulation. Are we ready for that? It is coming whether we think so or not. AND it WILL catch many of us unawares, just as the flood caught many in the midst of their living and breathing and working and relaxing, and committing all sorts of horrific sins! DO not think that we will all fly away and escape the coming time. Just as the people of Noah's time was surprised, so too will the people of our day be caught, including many Christians!
Many years ago, the Lord gave me a vision of what was to happen. I saw a fence going across our country from north to south, but not straight. Instead it was zigzagging back and forth and curving around, including wide sweeps of east and west. The Lord showed me this fence was the dividing line between true Christianity and the world. Many people ON BOTH SIDES of that fence were trying to get as close as possible to it. Of course, no one can sit on the fence because no one can be both a Christian and unsaved at the same time. Because of the zigzag in the fence, there were some unsaved who looked MORE like the church than some of the saved people and many Christians who looked more like the world than some unsaved people! Many people ON BOTH SIDES of the fence, were trying to get as close as possible to that fence.
Then what happened shocked me. A great earthquake occurred along this fence line. It started as a deep rumble, shaking a few things loose and causing some people to switch their positions, some closer and others further away from the fence on both sides. Then the earth really began to move. The earth divided along the line of that fence. This caused a great cry of horror and grief for all of those, ON BOTH SIDES of the fence were dragged in the chasm created by the earthquake, saved and unsaved alike!
When it was all over, EVERYBODY on both sides of that NEW GRAND CANYON, knew on which side they, and everybody else was on! This is actually beginning to happen this day. The earth is actually beginning to crack and will soon cause a great destruction to all of those who cling to that fence without a true commitment to the Lord.
We cannot afford to be lukewarm Christians any longer. No matter what I say, I know that many will NOT listen to this and continue on in the same manner they have until it is too late. We must face the facts that just like the first-century Christians faced death and dismemberment in the coliseum and the lion’s den, so too will we face a similar fate. The First-century Christians and the Last-century Christians will have many things in common.
We will both have faced great opposition. We will have learned to walk JUST LIKE JESUS on the earth. We will be taken captive, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death JUST because we live like Jesus did. When we are taken prisoner, we will either become weak and whimpering babies or be like Paul and Silas in the stocks, singing praises to God that we were considered worthy of suffering in Jesus name!
Some of us Will be delivered, but there will be those of us who, in order to gain a BETTER resurrection, will not accept deliverance but will face death head-on praising God. It will confound our persecutors. Just like in the first century, the world will look at us and NOT DARE to be close to us because they will recognize that something strange and powerful is at work in our midst. The world will fear us greatly and so they will persecute us even more than Rome did the first-century Christians.
BUT, none of this will happen for the individual unless we get over ourselves, stop promoting a victory on this earth, lay down our lives, deny ourselves, take up our crosses and TRULY follow Jesus.
1Jo 2:3 And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commandments.
1Jo 2:4 He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jo 2:5 But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.
1Jo 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked.
Do we see these words? Do we understand them? They tell us that we are NOT abiding in Christ Jesus UNLESS we are walking JUST LIKE JESUS!!! If we do walk like Jesus, them we should expect to overcome in the same manner that He overcame, through defeat! The greatest victory EVER, was when Jesus died! Yet He was all alone, His disciples had basically all left Him. He was naked, torn, beaten, bruised, and unrecognizable as Jesus of Nazareth, abandoned, ridiculed, and in all ways rejected as being any kind of blessing to anyone! This was Victory in the eyes of God!
Christians, we MUST get it out of our heads that victory MEANS what WE think it is!!!! Go to Hebrews 11 and see the who’s who in the faith Hall of Fame as far as God is concerned! What were their lives like, how many of them were well off and had “the life of Riley?” (for those of us who know what that means!) Oh, how I wish I could convey to you what is in my heart. How I wish that ALL of us had just an INKLING of how our Lord feels, what His heart is all about, and how MUCH He wants the best for us! YET, our ideas of what is best and His ideas of what is best, Most of the time, do NOT match!
It was God’s best for Paul to face beatings, whippings, chains, a thorn in the flesh, and even death. It was God’s BEST for one of the founding fathers of the church, Polycarp, to be taken captive in his old age (like over 60) and brought to Rome. All the soldiers involved hated to do it him, because when they got to his house, he fed them and took care of them. He was a grandfather and EVERYONE loved him. He was taken to Rome and finally, burned at the stake! When he was in the flames, those flames did NOT touch him, but he declared the Love of Jesus to all around him. He was NOT in pain, his clothes did NOT burn, and he spoke of the love of God to his captors. Finally, in order to shut him up, one of the guards stabbed him with his sword, and THEN and only then, did his body burn!
There is a reliable story that John of the Bible was on Patmos, because Rome had attempted to kill him TWICE by boiling him in oil, but it did NOT touch him! We do NOT KNOW what it is that God has prepared for us. We do NOT comprehend how He can and WILL use ANYTHING that might happen to us, INCLUDING our deaths, to reach others. There is another story about Nero who had sent many Christians to their deaths in the coliseum, at first from gladiators then from the lions. The story goes that Nero could NOT fathom how these Christians would not recant their beliefs in Jesus Christ and bow before Nero himself. SO, Nero went to the coliseum after the lions had finished their meals. Occasionally, there would be the face of a believer left intact. In every case of these faces, Nero saw the people were smiling and at PEACE! They were NOT terrified, not in pain when they died. BUT this only occurred with the Christians. All others who died in this manner were terrified and begging for mercy, the Christians just sang their ways into eternity.
People, God did NOT put us on this earth to acquire great material possessions and live lives of ease! God does NOT allow us to remain on this earth to be just like the Gentiles, seeking always for material gain and success! God allows us to remain in order to show the world His power thru the way we face all of the terrible circumstances we ALL face. How we face loss, material and familial. How we face pain, agony, persecution, ridicule, unfair treatment, and even death. Has any among the readers here ever read of Pastor Wurmbrand? He was imprisoned for over 14 years in Eastern Europe because he preached the Gospel. He had salt poured down his throat, he was beaten many times, left in the cold to die, many times even left nearly naked in winter, etc, etc.
God Does NOT promise us an easy time, yet we often act like He does. We hear some of the preachers talk about prosperity, and forget that I Timothy 6 tells us to avoid those who think that godliness results in monetary gain!
We all have to be prepared for whatever is coming. Perhaps our personal theology does NOT believe we will be here during the Great Tribulation. Ok, but we WILL be here during the birth pains and Jesus promised us that it would be terrible. Have we paid attention to what is happening across the world with our brothers and sisters? Linda & I know a dear brother from Nepal, Jit. He used to take a month and make rounds of the “churches” he had started across the country. It took him that long to WALK to them all! Then Jit would just turn around and do the same thing again, leaving his wife and kids back at his home! Several people attempted to kill him. One story he told us, someone tried to shoot him, but the gun didn’t work when it was aimed at Jit. Another story was about how a Tibetan monk invited him to dinner, so he went and talked at length about the Lord. The monk looked at him strange all through the meal and then Jit left. After some time, the monk confessed to having poisoned Jit and was Jit feeling any ill effects from the poison? Jit, of course was NOT, and the monk was amazed.
Yet, even our friend here has had many instances of beatings, being left for dead, and other terrible treatment. We in this country of America have been isolated from the terrible persecution that is sweeping our world. We often think we are God’s gift to Christianity (or at least talk like we are), yet we are not willing to face any persecution, any hardship, any pain, especially when it comes to our walk with God. We have become a nation of arrogant, backbiting, children (and I refer only to the Christians here) thinking we are so great, when in reality; we are JUST like the Church at Laodicea!
Perhaps I am venting here, and forgive me if that is what it appears to be. I am quite sick. Sick of myself, sick of the way we treat each other, sick of the way our congregations fight each other, sick of the way the world looks at us, thinking they are justified to ignore us, because our actions do NOT agree with our words!
My dear friends, we all need to get over ourselves! We all need to just STOP and take a True Godly assessment of our walk in the light of the way Jesus walked. NOT in the light of how we see our brothers and sisters. Was it Truman or Roosevelt who said, “The buck stops here!”? Well, my friends, my dear brothers and sisters, in God’s sight, the buck stops at each one of us. We have to choose how we will face the coming darkness, and IT IS coming. It is even coming to America! SOON!! Because of this, I am reassessing my own personal walk with the Lord. I cannot do this for you, it is an individual thing. Perhaps, I am speaking ONLY to myself in this letter, if that is so, then so be it! Maybe I am the only one who needs to be asked the questions I have asked here, so God opened my eyes to see and hear what I have seen and heard.
Forgive my rambling. Forgive my calling attention to anything that might seem to be less than Godly in any of our lives. It is probably only what the Lord has shown me about myself anyway. Forgive me if I have offended you, it was NOT my intention. I have only love for all of you. It is NOT my place to correct anyone, especially not publicly. That is NOT what I am attempting to do here. I only asked some questions and related those things that the Lord has shown me are true.
Know this, the end is soon coming. What that end will be, we may THINK we know, but the Lord in His wisdom has shown me that it will NOT be like any of us think. Do we think we have it all together? That is the time that, as Jesus said, we should be on highest watch for the enemy. What is that saying, pride goes before a fall and a lofty spirit before destruction? Oh yeah, that is in the Bible, isn’t it?
God Bless you all,
A bondslave in Christ Jesus, Dirk