It's tough to be a Christian today, and will get tougher. With the advancement of technology, persecution has taken many forms, which didn't exist in the days of God's people before phones, cars, and the many kinds of listening and spying devices.
People's lives can be destroyed today by the underhanded ways people use the technology to get information they can exploit, twist, and achieve their goal-to undermine you as a person, and whatever endeavor your working toward. This includes ministries, businesses, and all forms of public inter-action. I know something about this firsthand.
If you stand on the word of God without compromise, you will get a variety of reactions, and find yourself shunned, ridiculed and mocked, just like Jesus said we would. You'll get some measure of respect if you follow the "just get along", and "no judging" that the world dictates, because they want their lifestyles to be excused. The mega churches follow this road-because it sells. If you preach against sin, and the need for repentance, you'll see the people's backs as they leave, one by one.
Millions of people, both Christian and non-Christians are finding out what persecution is, and that's going to get worse. The lockdowns, businesses ruined, people losing their jobs, livelihoods are suffering right along with pastor's being put in jail for refusing to give in to these inhuman restrictions.
The "you must wear a mask" nonsense today, gives the same results-shaming the person into compliance. As a Christian, I've developed a thick skin, and a backbone-I walk in without a mask, and am ready to face whatever happens. If the store won't allow me in-I'll leave.
People who like this world's crooked system, and hate God will use the technology as a weapon against you and stick together to reinforce their agenda's and protect themselves. We watch it played out every day in the politics, media and entertainment. Everyone knows their role, and plays it. Scripture tells me "love not the world", but most in it today-do love it. If you don't go with the script, you'll find yourself the outsider. I've been an outsider for a long time, and don't regret it. Jesus said the path is narrow, I'm following that path. I may fall, and fail at times, but when I get back up, I'm staying on the same narrow way-it's the only way that leads to eternal life.
Do Not Love the World
1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Suffering as a Christian
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
God's Everlasting Love
Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yes, verse 37 says it-we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Let's expand on this:
1. We are conquerors over sin and Satan, and this world-by His power, and His shed blood, which covers our sins.
2. We overcome Satan's schemes and attacks by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony.
3. Jesus' victory when he rose from the dead, is our victory-it is through Him we are able to stand against all enemies, and puts Satan where he belongs, under our feet.
Rom 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.