“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time, many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.” – Matthew 24: 9-10
What will the End Times look like? When will it happen? Jesus answered these questions by highlighting certain signs which will point to the His second coming. One such sign is an increase in persecution towards believers.
We know that Jesus’ disciples would go on to face severe persecution for preaching the Gospel. All but one would be martyred for their faith. But persecution didn’t end in the first century. From ancient Rome to today, Christians have been persecuted to the point of death around the world. In fact, scholars believe that more Christians were martyred in the 20th century than all previous centuries combined!
So how does the Western Christian, whose life isn’t often on the line for their beliefs, respond when ridiculed or rejected for their faith? First, don’t take it personally. It’s not you they hate, but Jesus. Second, remember that it’s a sign of the times. Persecution will only increase as we move closer towards Jesus’ second coming. Finally, pray for the global persecuted Church to remain strong in their faith. To be a faithful witness amidst persecution is the number one prayer request of the persecuted church to Western Christians. Increased persecution is another sign that we are living in the End Times.
Have more questions about the End Times and recognizing the signs of which Jesus spoke? Key insights to these questions and more are available in Bryant’s latest book, The Stage is Set, available in paperback, Kindle, and CD at www.amazon.com or anywhere books or e-books are sold.