Sunday, November 10, 2013

Freedom and Religion

Revelation 2:8-11
Today we recognize our veterans who bought our freedom with their sacrifice.  We gather together for worship and join with other believers in public places to praise and worship our Lord.  It is sometimes hard for us as American Christians to realize the extent of persecution that is going on in this world. 
persecute”: to treat someone cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs;
Just last year, 100 million Christians faced some form of discrimination or persecution because of their faith. 
75% of all religious persecution in the world today is directed towards Christians.
To be persecuted for faith is so foreign to our thoughts we cannot truly empathize with the daily lives of our Christian family around the world.
The Persecuted Church  Revelation 2:8-9

Persecution has always been a part of the history of Christianity.

With peace and prosperity often come pride and indulgence. 

For a Christian, the power to stand in the midst of persecution comes not from what a person believes but from who they believe in.

One good thing has happened in America…Christians have been declared radicals.

The workplace has been declared off limits to Christians.
The military has been declared off limits to Christians
The schools have been declared off limits to Christians.
Politics have been declared off limits to Christians.

The Victorious Church  Revelation 2:10

Persecution has been one of Satan's biggest weapons in his war against the church.  I wonder when he will learn that it is also one of God’s greatest tools to grow the church.

The Eternal Church  Revelation 2:11

Every person will one day die and leave their earthly body behind. 
But only non-Christians will suffer the second death which is eternal separation from God.

In eternity those beaten down for Jesus’ sake will be raised up to reign with Him.  Revelation 20:6 

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