“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11)
We must trust His plans, as the world dives deeper into blatant sin, we must believe fully that the Almighty is in control and always has been. I realize that it’s not as easy as that, we are concerned, not fearful, but concerned for those we love, we do not want to see them suffer, but suffering is approaching, how much for each of us personally I cannot say, but some form of suffering has always been placed upon those who have called upon the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of their soul, it is a promise.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2nd Tim. 3:12)
Pay attention to that verse, that word persecution speaks of those who profess His name to others, who stand for Christ no matter the personal consequences to themselves, it is not referencing the common cold, an injury caused by an “accident,” it does not mean your back hurts because you lifted something the wrong way. It is persecution because you stood for Christ.
“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26)
It is difficult to envision one who sat in the pews for decades, who sang the songs and even prayed, who will open their eyes in hell a few moments after their last breath here, but it happens many times every day. It is even more disconcerting to think of that happening to those that Matthew 15:8 speaks of. “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” But again, every day the mouth of hell opens wide to accept these as well.
The plans the Almighty has for us are for a good end, we are expected to accept whatever He brings into our lives as His will, but that persecution my friends will never occur in your life if you are not willing to stand on that Rock when the storms arrive, and they have arrived.
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34)
How else did you think this would happen, and has happened since He spoke those words?
The wicked hate us because we will not agree with them, they want us to be punished for attempting to hinder them from what they desire, the complete free will to live their lives as they please, and you must remember this, they have the ability to choose their own path. Our responsibility is to inform them of their expected end.
If you want to tell a thief that he is going to hell because he steals, an adulterer that they will suffer throughout all eternity because of their sin, a sodomite because of their lifestyle, you should know this, you are wrong. The kindest little old lady who bakes cookies for the neighborhood children, who volunteers at the animal shelter, who has sat in that same pew for decades, but has never truly given her life to the Lord Jesus Christ will also know the pain of eternal suffering.
Expect the wicked to behave wickedly, expect this world to suffer, but do not expect that nice people are going to go to heaven.
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)
How much chaff can be around a single piece of grain? How many people do you know that are expecting to enter into the Kingdom of the Living God because they are “good” people? And how many have you been too embarrassed to say to, “Who do you say Jesus Christ is?”
Are you sure? Are you positive without a doubt that you have been born-again, can you look back on your life and say, “Here is where I was crucified with Him?”
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2nd Cor. 13:5)