If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep your’s also. John 15:20.
Persecution in its varied forms is the development of a principle which will exist as long as Satan exists and Christianity has vital power. No man can serve God without enlisting against himself the opposition of the hosts of darkness. Evil angels will assail him, alarmed that his influence is taking the prey from their hands. Evil men, rebuked by his example, will unite with them in seeking to separate him from God by alluring temptations. When these do not succeed, then a compelling power is employed to force the conscience.
But so long as Jesus remains man’s intercessor in the sanctuary above, the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit is felt by rulers and people. It still controls to some extent the laws of the land. Were it not for these laws, the condition of the world would be much worse than it now is. While many of our rulers are active agents of Satan, God also has His agents among the leading men of the nation. The enemy moves upon his servants to propose measures that would greatly impede the work of God; but statesmen who fear the Lord are influenced by holy angels to oppose such propositions with unanswerable arguments. Thus a few men will hold in check a powerful current of evil. The opposition of the enemies of truth will be restrained that the third angel’s message may do its work. When the final warning shall be given, it will arrest the attention of these leading men through whom the Lord is now working, and some of them will accept it, and will stand with the people of God through the time of trouble. . . .
“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God. . . .” Joel 2:23. “In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.” “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:17, 21.
The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening.
Maranatha p. 31
—–My cousin Harold is about 15 miles from a wildfire. It sounds like a long ways but fire can move quickly. Please pray for him and his family that the fire will not come any nearer.
A few years ago, the toilet in our front bathroom had been giving signs of needing repairs. We bought the needed parts fully intending on fixing it before it got any worse, however, we put off fixing it right away. Things were really busy for us right then, so fixing that “little problem” got put at the bottom of our “to do right away” list. One night a few weeks later, about bedtime, our “little problem” needed immediate attention. Water suddenly began spurting out of the back of the toilet like a geyser “washing” our walls and flooding the floor. It was totally out of control! Until Ron was able to get the water turned off and the needed repairs made, it was a very exciting few minutes at our house.
How often we neglect our spiritual life like we had neglected that minor repair. How many times the things of this world get our attention and before we know it, days or weeks have passed before we open the Word of God. We don’t consciously intend on neglecting God’s Word, we just get too busy with the affairs of life. How our forgetfulness must break the Heart of God, for He loves us with an everlasting love. (Jer 31:3)
There will be some who put off accepting Jesus until it is too late. They will think back on all the missed opportunities, all the time they wasted on the non-essential, all the times they said as did Felix when he said to Paul, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Acts 24:25 That convenient time never came for him, and a more convenient time will not come for us. We must not neglect the needed preparation for eternity. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Josh 24:15 “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor 6:2
May we never be like the foolish virgins, who, although they believed in and were looking for the Bridegroom to come, neglected the extra oil they needed to keep their lamps burning. (Matt 25:1-13) May we never say those dreadful words, “the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer 8:20 “Wherefore the rather, brethren, [may we] give diligence to make [our] calling and election sure: for if [we] do these things, [we] shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10, 11