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"...everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted." (II Timothy 3:12)
This is the time of year for graduation. Students are proudly walking across the stage and receiving their well deserved diplomas. Hours of studying, writing, taking tests, and surviving the rigors of modern education have finally paid off.
As Christians, we all attend an additional school. Its called Persecution University, a highly honored institution that has been around for thousands of years.
Jesus graduated from this school with honors. The apostles followed His lead. As a matter of fact, in the last 2,000 years thousands of committed Christians have put on the spiritual cap and gown and walked the aisle to become part of the prestigious tradition that comes with being honored graduates of Persecution University.
Did you know that all but one of the apostles died a martyr's death? The only one who died of old age was the Apostle John. The only reason he lived so long was because he endured being boiled in oil without dying.
Through the centuries many Christians have refused to refuse Christ. As a result they have been imprisoned, beaten, hung, burned to death, stoned, dismembered, decapitated, impaled, whipped, strangled and a host of other cruel and torturous persecutions.
Many Christians don't believe that that sort of thing is happening today; that the school has closed down. I'm here to tell you that Persecution University is alive and well on planet earth. According to Dan Hodel, president of the Christian Coalition, "More than 160,000 Christians were martyred in the last 5 years in a monumental escalation of religious persecution..." As a matter of fact, more Christians have been killed for their faith in the 20th Century than the first nineteen centuries combined!
Now you may be thinking to yourself that these statistics have nothing to do with you. Think again, soldier of the cross, they have everything to do with you. Many spiritual forecasters believe a religious persecution will soon be coming to a country near you. The storm clouds of demonic oppression are gathering on the American horizon even as I write. Increasingly as our country moves away from Christian values, we'll see the signs of a full-out persecution in America. Increasingly in the biology, history, sociology and philosophy classes of the public schools and secular universities, Christians are directly and indirectly mocked. Someday the mocking may escalate into a full on physical harassment. For some strange reason, our "tolerant" society does not tolerate Christians.
So what should your response be? Do you fight back? Do you clench your fists in fury? Absolutely not! If you are being persecuted for being a Christian by being mocked, laughed at or made fun of, then carry out the same philosophy as the disciples in Acts 5:41. When they were severely beaten they "left... rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name [of Christ]" The disciples counted it an honor to be graduates from PU! So should we!
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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