This week, we have learned that a town clerk refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple because it violated her religious beliefs. As a result, she is now in jail. She isn't a criminal. She isn't dangerous to society. She is a Christian woman, exercising her faith. And we have already heard that there are a few Christian bakeries who have been sued so heavily over not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings for the same reason, that they are now forced out of business. It used to be that in America, people had a right to worship where they want, how they want, without punishment or limitations. And that included having the freedom to refuse to do certain things that violated their beliefs.
Is this fair? After all, surgeons are allowed to refuse to abort babies without penalties. Will women sue their doctors for refusing to perform abortions? Where is this issue of the freedom of committing to one's own beliefs leading us in our society? Why is it that the law of the land now insists that one belief system can impose itself on other belief systems? It is interesting to note that Muslims are against the practice of homosexuality, but aren't dealing with these issues as Christians are.
It's all in the Bible. Jesus said that in the last days there will be a form of lawlessness. Wrong will become right. People will turn against each other for their faith in Jesus Christ. Many may be imprisoned, or even killed, as we've already seen happening with the movement of ISIS. Up until now, we haven't really seen these things happen here in America to the magnitude that it is in the Middle East and Europe. But it is coming.
Christians over there are being persecuted, and their faith is made strong. Here, Christians are soft and lazy because we haven't had to endure resistance to the practice of our faith. Too many people believe that following Christ is cozy and comfortable. How very wrong we are!
God calls His true followers to stand strong for their faith in Jesus Christ. Even if it means losing their freedoms here, being imprisoned, and/or being killed. The time is coming when our faith will be tested.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful
trial you are suffering, as though something
strange were happening to you.
But rejoice that you participated in
the sufferings of Christ,
so you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.
If you are insulted because of the Name of Christ,
you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory
and of God rests on you.
If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief
or any other kind of criminal,
or even as a meddler.
However, if you suffer as a Christian,
do not be ashamed,
but praise God that you bear that name.
For it is time for judgment
to begin with the family of God,
and if it begins with us,
what will be the outcome for those
who do not obey the gospel of God?
And, if it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and sinner?
So then, those who suffer according to God's will
should commit themselves
to their faithful Creator
and continue to do good.
- 1 Peter 4:12-19
If you declare yourself to be a follower of Jesus Christ, you can guarantee you will have troubles. But Jesus has overcome them with His death on the cross and the power of His resurrection. If and when the time comes when you will need to defend your faith, the Holy Spirit will be with you, instructing you what to say.
Jesus is coming soon. In fact, He is at the threshold to welcome His pure and spotless Bride.