I would like to address a subject here that may be a contention point to some of you, for it is deeply ingrained among the vast majority of people around the planet, in fact, it is written in one form or another in the declarations of many nations statements on the rights of the populations within them, although of course, there are exceptions, and those that live in these places of exceptions, especially your brothers and sisters in Christ, are in need of your prayers each and every day.
The main topic of this letter to you is on the freedom of religion, the rights of the people within any sovereign nation to choose their religious principles for themselves, and to participate freely, though of course within some very limited boundaries, in these beliefs, either individually or in groups. Persecution of these beliefs by the recognized governmental entity is not allowed, save in extreme cases, and of course in certain countries. This persecution can take on many forms, from disallowing certain religious organizations a tax-exempt status, when applicable, to the right of purchasing land or other real estate, the right of assembly for fear of repercussions from possible violent extremist, and even to imprisonment or death.
There are countries in this world that have set up a type of human theocracy, claiming that the leader of that country is all-knowing, all-seeing, and not to be questioned, and whether this leader is living or long dead, and only their writings still exist, they are in complete control, most generally by force, of all those within their borders. Other religious organizations have a much further reach, extending sometimes around the globe, and are in control, as it were, of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, and though imprisonment or death may not be the penalty for not adhering to their precepts and prescribed religious laws, being ostracized from these institutions can seem just as perilous to those who have been deceived by them, for in the hands of those at the top, they are told, rests the assurance of their entrance into whatever they have deemed as eternal bliss.
My thoughts here today though are not on these organizations or the leaders within them, but on those nations that profess religious freedom and how it has given much pause to at least this one follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. To broach this subject with nearly anyone within one of these countries is to almost immediately be brought into a debate of national pride, and sometimes a very heated debate at that, for we are discussing part of the very core of some of these nations beliefs, the right to choose and serve the god of your choice.
Are you beginning to see were this is heading, my brothers and sisters in Christ?
O, how subtle the adversary is, and how easily we are mislead into believing his lies. This freedom of religion around the globe has led to hundreds of denominations that are sub-categorized within themselves in the hundreds, and few are able to agree on even the most basic tenants. There are ‘churches,’ who though they use different titles for their deities, and are most probably not even aware of it, that worship demons whose names can be found in the Scriptures, those that seek the things of this world within a religious pretense are not called prosperity religions, but none the less, this is the god they have chosen to serve, the god of materialism, and they have the right to do so, and we will not begin a discussion here on all the quasi-religious groups, for there are far too many to be numbered.
This freedom of religion does not only mean the right to serve ‘God’ as you see fit, but allows the individual the right to make up a god if they so desire, choosing everything from his, or her, laws and precepts to the way they look. The twisting of the Word of God is no new feat of Satan, neither is his ability to coerce humans to decide for themselves who God is, so it is absolutely no problem for him to assist these individuals in making up any god they would like, as long as it keeps their eyes off Christ, then the goal has been attained.
One of Satan’s very first recorded statements in Scripture is “I will be like the most High.” (Isa. 14:14) Now, I do not mean to express humor here in a way that would make our Lord seem to be as we are, but I can envision Him thinking, “You really don’t believe that, do You?” but what I truly think is that when iniquity was found in Lucifer, (Ezek. 28:15) there was a sadness in our Lord that we cannot begin to fathom, perhaps we shall know someday. I do know one thing though, for the Scriptures do not lie, Satan will have the desire that he has always wanted, to a degree and then only for a short time, he will receive worship, and all who refuse to worship him will receive penalties that are so horrific that we will not discuss them here. There will be no freedom of religion on earth while he reigns, of this you can be assured, you serve, and you serve completely, or you die. He will claim himself to be God, worldwide, for he knows that he will not reign in hell, he will be tormented eternally just as everyone else there will be, perhaps more, only God knows.
But think now if you will on what is known in the Scriptures as the thousand-year reign of Christ, (Rev. 20:4) what we call the millennial period. The Lord Jesus Christ will sit on His throne in those days in perfect justice and judgement, it will be what is known as a theocracy, a God-ruled, God-governed society, worldwide, Christ will be the supreme ruling authority.
Can you see now where this is leading, my friends, that’s right, there will be no freedom of religion. Christ will be served, and rightfully so, no gods of wood or stone, no made up religious icons, no deviation whatsoever from the Holy ordained laws of our Lord, none. There will be no factions within religious organizations, in fact, there will be no organizations at all, He will rule with a rod of iron, (Rev. 2:27) and all that He speaks will be unquestionable and followed perfectly. For those who will not, those who would be foolish enough to think that they can place their will above His, the repercussions are harsh, no rain, (Zech. 14:17) nations utterly wasted, (Isa. 60:12) and more that has yet to be revealed. Understand this please though in a spiritual, Christ-centered way, and not in the terminology of the world today, the Lord Jesus Christ is going to be a dictator, His authority will be absolute, no one will be able to question Him in anything that He sees fit to do. If anyone willingly opposes the sovereignty of Christ, or by their own free will violates His laws, there will be no jury of their peers, no lawyer to assist them in court, there will be no courts, the truth of what the individual has done in their transgression will be dealt with by the only one who has ever had the true authority, the one by whom all things were created, and His judgements will be true, righteous and final, there will be no appeals.
Freedom of religion, no matter how good it sounds, no matter the reason that it had its beginnings in any country on this earth, is a lie of Satan, one of his best ones, for it sounds so very good, so very fair. I do not believe you will be able to find anywhere in the Old Testament where God said, go ahead and serve other gods if you like, in fact, make some up, it’s your choice, I really don’t mind.
I have imagined Satan either thinking to himself, or perhaps standing in front of God and saying, “If I can’t get them to worship me, I’ll get them to worship something else, anything, as long as it’s not you.” Perhaps our gracious and longsuffering heavenly Father felt yet another twinge of deep sadness as He looked at this being that He had created perfect in his ways, (Ezek. 28:15) before he mercifully dismissed him from His presence.