Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sellout (05/26/11)
TITLE: One Question: Sold Out or Sellout?
By Dee Washington
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Would you dare say, “That could never happen in this nation. This land is free and we have laws which say we are free to do these things. In this nation, it can never be a crime to be called Christian.”?
In Chapter 24 of Matthew, Jesus said many things “shall” happen prior to His return. So, knowing these things in advance, shouldn’t we fully trust Him to deliver us from it all and joyously endure; boldly going and preaching His gospel until He comes?
He promises that, not only will there be false Christs, wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes (vss. 3-8)but, there must be the persecution of his followers (vs. 9):
“Ye shall be delivered up to councils and be beaten in synagogues, and ye shall stand before governors and kings for my name's sake; delivered to councils, as Peter and John, Acts 4:5, brought before rulers and kings, as Paul before Gallio, Acts 18:12, before Felix, Acts 24, before Festus and Agrippa, Acts 25; imprisoned, as Peter and John, Acts 4:3; beaten, as Paul and Silas, Acts 16:23; put to death, as Stephen, Acts 7:59, and James the brother of John, Acts 12:2.” 1
Great is our hope in His returning, but He promises that preceding His coming there will be a time when, no matter where they are, those who worship Him will be hated of all men for his Name’s sake. Not only hated by non-believers, but there 'shall be' a period of apostasy - turncoats, and traitors, “Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another (vs. 10),” as well as the false prophets (vs. 11), deceitful workers who will gather among us and teach in His name, but only pretend to be followers of Christ (2 Cor. 11:13).
“By reason of these trials and persecutions from without, and those apostasies and false prophets from within, the love of many to Christ and his doctrine, and to one another, shall grow cold. Some openly deserting the faith, as Matthew 24:10; others corrupting it, as Matthew 24:11; and others growing indifferent about it; 24:12.” 2
There may come a time, even in this land, when members will gather in a place where they will not be discovered by the law in this land. It may soon be illegal to be in possession of a Bible, to gather together to worship, or teach in His name. We could risk losing everything, including our cherished freedom. But still we would meet, wouldn’t we? But in secret, lest we risk it all.
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