Facing Our Roman Empire

“Everyone who wants to live a godly life in  Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
2 Timothy 3:12

The Roman Empire is alive and well in our country. The philosophies, the policies, the promises, the politics, and the persecutions that made the Roman Empire so powerful and persuasive in the 1st Century are the same philosophies, policies, promises, politics, and persecutions that we are now facing in the Roman Empire of the United States of America.

If the early Christians had been prepared to have Jesus included in the Roman pantheon of the 1st century, then they would have avoided persecution. But why didn’t they? Because they were starting to understand that every knee would one day bow to Christ and not Caesar. And so there was a radical difference in the way they viewed the culture in just a few years after Christ resurrection.

First century Rome said to those bold believers, “Just don’t make a fuss. We’re happy to have a place for Jesus. Hey, look, we already have a place for your Jesus; just put a bust of Him next to the rest of our deities, and we can call Him ‘the unknown god.’” But that first church stood out courageously because their conviction concerning Jesus Christ was beyond incredible! We need that conviction and courage today!

Here’s a huge fact to consider: the big difference in the Jesus of the 1st century Roman Empire and the Jesus in the 21st century Roman Empire comes down to one word – tolerance! Rome would have tolerated Jesus as a part of the pantheon of gods and all the apostles probably would have never died a martyrs’ death.

Things are very different today! Today our culture won’t even tolerate Jesus among all the other gods.

Persecution may not be a physical experience for most of us in America, but it certainly is intellectual and spiritual persecution. And the prevailing mood in our media, government, courts, and schools won’t tolerate Jesus and His believers outside of the 4 walls of this church. I believe we are living in the growing shadows of the last days. And one of the marks of the last days is the persecution of God’s people world-wide.

You may be thinking, “But Pastor Dave, aren’t you exaggerating this persecution thing?” No I don’t! Education, employment, environment, and entertainment are the big 4 E’s that are creating, what I call, low scale persecution in America today! And then throw in the LBGTQ issue over gender, bathrooms, and marriage! Now you’ve got an even bigger fire to deal with!

For the last 12 months just think about some of the headlines from around this country regarding what I consider the persecution of believers…

“California Pastor Arrested for Opening His Church” – The Christian Examiner, 2021

“Christian Minister Arrested For Praying Near Gay Festival” – Free Republic

“Christians Arrested For Sharing Gospel Near Muslim Gathering in Michigan” – Politico

“Islam, Buddhism In At Local School, Christianity Is Out” – The Reporter

“Arizona Pastor Arrested, Jailed for Holding Bible Study in Home, fined $12, 180” – Baptist Press

“Gays Storm Church, Attack Members” – Onenewsnow.com

“California University Policy Handbook Defines Christianity as Oppressors” – Fox News

“Burritos OK, Bibles Not in Oklahoma School District” – Washington Examiner

“Pastor Risks Arrest, $2 Million Fine Over Mask-Free Services” – Fox News

“Texas School Punishes Boy For Opposing Homosexuality” – Foxnews.com

“Military Chaplain Banned From Praying In ‘Jesus’ Name” – USA Today

Standing up to the Roman Empire of the United States is dangerous and costly!

Four years before Billy Graham’s death, and less than ten years before the COVID pandemic, he wrote in the Christian Post, “That veil of protection around the American church is about to lift. As a whole, our nation does not know what hardship is. We do not know what sacrifice is. We do not know what suffering is. Today our nation ranks as the greatest power on the face of the Earth. But if we put our trust in armed might instead of Almighty God, the coming conflict could conceivably go against us. History and the Bible indicate that mechanical and material might are insufficient in times of great crisis.”

Thomas Horn wrote his article in 2019, Persecution of Christians In The United States, (a year before COVID-19), “According to some experts a pattern is emerging in America reminiscent of Jewish persecution in post war Germany. Isolation of, and discrimination against Christians is growing almost geometrically. This is the way it started in Germany against the Jews. As they became more isolated and marginalized by the Nazi propaganda machine, as popular hatred and prejudice against the Jews increased among the German people, wholesale persecution followed. Could this be where the growing anti-Christian consensus in America is taking us?”

While there are a host of problems that I have with the Roman Empire of the United States, one of the biggest issues I have is the fact that, in this country, man determines sexuality, and not God – so we pretty much don’t need God for anything now!

Folks, America has gone mad with so called tolerance and political correctness! Tolerance might be the highest virtue in our modern culture, but it doesn’t get extended to Christians these days!

George Barna wrote Furturecast 10 years before COVID-19, get these stirring words, “America is undergoing significant changes, and the nature of those changes is both complex and chaotic. The historical foundations on which our society was developed are facing some severe challenges. It’s not easy to be the kind of Christian that Jesus longs to have as His ambassadors in this place, in this time.”

And all this change we are facing in the 21st century is accelerating at high speed. Technology is a huge factor to the rate of speed that’s influencing the changes we are facing socially, spiritually, and morally. No society has ever embraced change technologically as we have. And no culture has ever been more impacted by technology like we have, and this is a big part of the rapped rise of persecution in our country!

Researcher Ray Kurzweil puts it this way, “An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological changes are increasing…We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate.”

New technology does not change a culture’s direction; it simply accelerates the culture changing. It all comes down to the culture’s morality and its use of technology. A perfect example of this is the invention of the printing press in the 14th century! How did that culture’s morality dictate the technology? It sparked the Protestant Reformation and the massive spread of the gospel by way of printing the Bible for the culture.

40 years ago, could we have ever imagined the use of technology to kill unborn babies and then sell their body part? Could we have ever imagined the internet pedaling porn and hurling racial hatred at an alarming rate through Critical Race Theory, the Woke culture, and Black Lives Matter? Could we have ever imagined the use of technology to potentially clone human beings? Could we have ever imagined the use of technology to promote a cashless society and track our every move, setting the world up for the Anti-christ’s mark?

50 years ago could you ever imagine that mankind would create a deadly virus in a lab located in Wuhan China, and then purposely released it into the world? Now, that virus from hell, has killed almost 4 million people in one year!

And to top that off, the research done in China was partially funded by millions of American tax dollars under the leadership Dr. Anthony Fauci! The ex-Catholic, said in an interview back in 2015, “I look upon myself as a humanist. I have faith in the goodness of mankind, not in any religion."

I think I have more confidence in Dr. Pepper than I do Dr. Fauci!

This demonic virus has taken persecution to whole new level in America! And I said on Sunday night, the America church is not prepared for persecution, largely because of its milk-toast prosperity gospel, and its spineless social gospel, so it will be forced to shut up and sit down as the Roman Empire of the United States fundamentally changes Christianity.

God bless America,

Pastor Dave

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