The coming persecution


By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

Prophecy is a popular topic. People seem enthralled by the Biblical accounts of the end times. Whenever there is news of saber-rattling with nations involved in end-time prophecies, my mailbox fills with questions and predictions. Large earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, blizzards, hurricanes, and other natural events that are Biblical signs of the times also spark increased interest. But, I rarely receive any correspondence regarding the coming persecution.

If you are thinking that persecution of Christians has occurred since Christ, you are correct. You may also be thinking, “Is persecution of Christians really a thing anymore?”

Well, The Open Door, an advocacy group that provides Bibles and support to persecuted Christians in over 70 nations, reports that 20 percent of Christians in Africa and 40 percent in Asia suffer from persecution. They also note that in the last 30 years, the number of countries outwardly persecuting Christians has nearly doubled to 76.

On Christmas weekend this year, 160 people were killed and over 500 wounded by Jihadists in Nigeria. The area attacked has a sizeable Christian population. The Jihadists were not there just to kill anyone. They were there to wipe out as many Christians as possible. This bloodshed is not anything new, as Nigerian Christians have been under attack for decades.

However, here in the United States, Christians are not persecuted. Please, before you send me an email about the removal of prayer before a football game or the missing nativity on the town square, talk to one of the 500 in Nigeria or a family member of one of the 160 and ask them about persecution.

Getting back to prophesy. Matthew 24 is the most critical chapter about prophecy in the New Testament.

In Matthew 24:5-7 Jesus gives us signs to watch for – false Christs, wars and rumors of war, famine, disease, and earthquakes. As these things increase in number and intensity, we know we are progressing toward the end. The Scripture tells us as much in Matthew 24:8, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

Then Jesus talks to us about persecution. From the wording of the passage, it is clear that Matthew 24:9 takes place in the Tribulation Period. However, as I compare the world today with the wording of Matthew 24:10-12, there is a ramping up of the mindset that will be present during the future Tribulation today. We are no longer talking decades before the Second Coming.

Matthew 24:9, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”

Verse nine has been the situation since the days of Christ. It is worse at certain times in specific places, but the killing of Christians is a historical fact. Those saved after the rapture will face a holocaust degree of persecution. As with all things during the Tribulation, a build-up will occur before the rapture.

Matthew 24:10, “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”

This attitude of offense has grown over the last few decades. Remember when people could disagree and still be friends? That is how it used to be, but somewhere along the way, the world got the idea that “if you disagree with me, you must not like me.” Over time, that thought became, “If you disagree with me, you must hate me.” We now see signs that this philosophy has grown: “If you disagree with me you must be silenced.” What is the next step in this line of thinking? Will it be – if you disagree, you will be imprisoned? The next step after that? Well, you are intelligent enough to figure that out.

Christian, do not be surprised when the Bible is deemed a book of hate. It is the Bible that speaks against homosexuality. It is the Bible that proclaims that everyone is either male or female. The Bible disagrees with society on many topics. Remember, society is beginning to believe, “If you disagree with me, you must be silenced.” The only way to silence the Bible is to either remove objectional passages or ban the book altogether. Banning the Bible is probably closer than we realize.

The action of banning the Bible will make the preaching of it illegal. This brings us to Matthew 24:11, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”

This verse is already in full swing. The church is full of ministers who lead a pep rally instead of a church service. Much of today’s church centers on people’s feelings and entertainment instead of places of wrenched hearts, changed lives, and spiritual growth.

The number of false teachers will explode once the Bible is banned as the world moves to worshipping the Antichrist (Revelation 13:1-9).

Lastly, Matthew 24:12 says, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

This lack of love already exists and will only grow larger. On the world stage, October 7, 2023, is an example enough. In the American political scene, does anyone think there is any love flowing across the aisle in Congress?

In the home, well, let’s put it this way – my dad told me never to hit a woman. In an attempt to be smart, I said, “What if she has a gun? Do I just stand there and let her shoot me?”

He told me, “In that case, just start running and pray she don’t shoot you in the back.”

Dad made his point: never raise my hand to a woman.

Dad also taught me to love my mom and sister and to respect all women. The abuse that many men put women through these days, physical and emotional, is an example of how love has waxed cold. Other examples of loved waxed cold are:

· The crime and violence in our streets.

· The general lack of courtesy.

· People being jerks in general.

The world has never been a utopia, but when America was a nation of Christian morals and values, the world was a better place. Love has waxed cold.

The persecution is coming, just as sure as the sun coming up tomorrow. But unlike the sun coming up tomorrow, we do not know when the persecution will come or how intense it will be before the rapture. Be ready.

Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website:; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: All Scripture KJV.

No posts to display