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The Persecuted and Eschatology

January 10, 2009

Four days of Revelation and talk of the last days really moves the topic under your skin. It starts to permeate your worldview, which I guess was kind of the point.

vomA few days after OneThing ended our monthly Voice of the Martyrs newsletter showed up in the mail. The January issue is always an overview instead of a focus on one country like the other 11 months every year. They include a global prayer map to pull out of the center. It’s good stuff.

Husband was out on an errand when I tore the thing open. I spread the map open on the floor and started to read/pray through the newsletter.

novianaThe stories are always so despressing, but at the same time so inspiring. The things that believers endure all over the world is so unreal to me as I sit on the carpet in 65 degrees of manufactured heat while it snows outside. I’ve never had  my fingernails torn out, never been hung upside-down so someone could whip the bottoms of my feet, never been so much as threatened with discomfort for refusing to deny my belief that Jesus is the Son of God and soon-coming King.

As I sat and prayed for the Church in Nigeria I suddenly got the connection.

Misty made a comment during her message that we don’t understand why the judgements outlined in Revelation have to be so severe because we’re not under oppression right now. Months ago, after we got home from a prayer meeting focused on the persecuted church, Husband said he realized we need to pray for the persecuted church so we know how to pray for ourselves in the last days.

Praying for, sending help to, and standing with persecuted believers is key to studying and preparing for the days before Jesus’ return. As our hearts connect with Christians who are suffering all over the world, we can pray more fervently to hasten the Day of the Lord.

We tend to faction pieces of the gospel. Some people study the end times. Some people like prophesy. Some people are into missions. Some people really focus on the persecuted church. They’re all gospel, of course, but some are maybe closer aligned than others. Eschatology and the persecuted Church – I think – are inseperable.

So study Revelation, study Daniel, study Ezekiel. Keep an eye on world events and strain them through Biblical prophecy of the last days. At the same time, though, and in the same spirit, align yourself with the plight of persecuted Christians worldwide. It’s not a separate study, or another “part” of Christianity to be into: it’s part of preparing yourself and the world for His return.

You can start with Voice of the Martyrs. Their monthly newsletter is free. Why wouldn’t you?

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