The church is under attack in every way imaginable right now, both literally and figuratively. We are still reeling from the horrific attack on the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, where nine Christians were murdered earlier this year. But the church is also under attack around the world. Christians are being slaughtered today in the Middle East. Because they are followers of Jesus Christ. Then we look at our own country and see the persecution of Christians getting stronger here as well. This is a sign of the times. The Bible says that the persecution of believers would be one of the signs alerting us to the soon return of Jesus Christ. Speaking to his disciples in Matthew 24, Jesus said, “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers” (verse 9 NIV).
Every Christian will face persecution in some way, shape, or form. It may show itself physically. But it also can show itself verbally. Believers have all faced it in some way. People have laughed at us. They have mocked us. They have ostracized us. If that has happened to you, congratulations. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11–12 NKJV). This is a badge of honor for the believer. In fact, the Bible tells us, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). FULL REPORT