Where it began is where it will finish.
In places like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, India and many other nations around the planet those whom the Lord God has chosen for Himself are meeting in secret, behind closed doors. They meet to study the Word of God, to lift up the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, to encourage each other to continue in faith in His name.
In these places large churches are not being built, they are rarely if ever allowed, in these places more than being ostracized awaits the born-again believer, imprisonment, torture and death are not uncommon and we who still have the freedom to worship openly are to recall Hebrews 13:3, “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
I use the analogy here of dying leaves falling off the tree, while green buds are beginning to form on another, these brothers and sisters in Christ in these places are the green buds, the promise of the Lord being fulfilled that His Word would reach into every nation, that thousands have been commanded to go, and have gone, and brought the message of salvation to the lost.
In those nations of dry leaves, where one can still serve the Lord openly, curt looks and foul language are most usually the worst tribulations they face, but that also is changing, and as those who place unwanted posts and comments online are being hounded by certain authoritarian figures, so will we soon.
The name of Jesus Christ is hated by the world, for it brings a form of conviction upon the soul even to the most regenerate of them. Sadly though, that conviction rarely turns a man’s heart toward the Almighty in repentance, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14)
Why do so many who profess the name of the Lord in these open nations fear persecution, while those in nations who are truly suffering do not pray for the persecutions to end, but for the strength to endure them for the glory of God? Why do so many who claim the name “Christian” hide from the possibility of being oppressed for the glory of God in places where they can still worship openly, while those who meet in secret are willing to give their lives for Him?
Dead leaves are of no value, save to kindle a fire, there is hope in the budding branch.
There is a love that is missing in the hearts of who live in those nations that are still free to serve the Lord, a type of callousness has entered into them, one that at this moment I can only compare with Matthew 3:9, “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”
It is breeding self-righteousness, and the love of many has grown cold because of it.
The old saying is true in this respect, “You don’t know what you have until you lose it.” Many I fear do not realize that they never had it in the first place, that salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ was not actually real for them, their lips speak of Him, but their hearts are far from Him.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Tim. 3:12)
If you believe that a few curse words, a sideways glance or a sneering, mocking laugh is the fulfillment of this verse, I pity you, for what is approaching will prove to you that you were no more than the chaff. There is a great difference in dying on your knees offering praise to the Most High, and on your knees begging for mercy.
The church is returning to where it started, in hiding, in places where it will not be seen, but it is spreading like a wildfire in those places.
The dry leaves are ready for the fire.
Prepare yourself accordingly.
“For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:31)