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How Bad Will it Really Get? – Part 1

How Bad Will it Really Get? – Part 1

 

Not Every Christian Will Suffer Persecution.  Will You?

If you’re alarmed and concerned about how bad the persecution of Christians and the church will get in America in the very near future, you’re showing yourself to be far more astute in understanding the “signs of the time” than most of the professing church today (Matt. 6:33).  Why?  Because it seems, at least in America, that we have adopted a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” mindset regarding current events and how they may interrupt what we hold most dear:  our vacations, our retirement, our free-time, our video games, and our false sense of security in our immature relationship with Christ.

Oh, I’m sorry.  Did that last phrase sting a bit?  Did it seem somewhat unloving, maybe a little unkind?  Good.  It shows you’re not completely anesthetized to what is happening all around us.  And that’s a good thing.  A real good thing.

But to your question:  How bad will the persecution really get?  Well, that all depends on what kind of Christian you are and what kind of church you attend.

Let me explain.


We Will Not All Be Treated Equally

Not everyone will suffer the same under the coming persecution, just like they didn’t all suffer the same under Nero’s reign of terror during the first century of the church.  Nor did all Christians suffer the same under the persecution of the Third Reich.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, for example, was martyred for his faith on Monday, April 9, 1945.  But just six days later churches all throughout Germany met in their own church buildings unmolested by the Nazis who murdered Bonhoeffer earlier that week.

How could that be?  How could one group of professing Believers suffer persecution at the hands of the Nazis yet another group freely worship with the permission and approval of the persecuting State?  How is that possible?
 

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More than a Pithy Saying

More than a Pithy Saying

Today, we look at the word proverb to discover what it means and why Solomon used this form of teaching to communicate God’s wisdom to us.

As we learned yesterday, Solomon wrote over 3,000 proverbs during his lifetime but the Holy Spirit decided to only use the ones found in this book to reveal His unchanging truth to us.  It doesn’t mean the other sayings of Solomon aren’t important.  It just means they aren’t inspired.  They’re not “God breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16).  They’re simply the sayings of a wise man and not the infallible, inerrant words of our sovereign God.¹

And the wise sayings of Solomon aren’t the only ones the Lord considered inspired.  In the Proverbs we find sayings from “Agur the son of Jakeh” and someone known as “King Lemuel” (Prov. 30:1; 31:1), although many feel King Lemuel was another name for King Solomon.  That may, or may not be the case, but we’ll look into that matter in more detail at another time.

Suffice it to say, the Book of Proverbs is a collection of… well, proverbs.  God-inspired proverbs.  And since most of them are from the lips and pen of Solomon, the book is rightly known as the Proverbs of Solomon.  But for me, a better title would be:  The Proverbs of God Given to Solomon to Give to Us.  But that’s just my opinion.


What’s a Proverb?

Which begs the question, “What’s a proverb?”  A proverb is defined as a “short, pithy saying in general use stating a truth or piece of advice.”²   Biblically speaking, a proverb can be defined as “a short saying that expresses a general truth about God for practical, Godly living.”  For us, the Proverbs of Solomon contain the wisdom of God that shows how to live above the sin and degradation of our society and how to understand and fully embrace the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).  The Proverbs give clear, practical examples on how to “walk in the Spirit” and not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).  They teach us how to live everyday as an “overcomer” (1 John 5:5) and reveal to us that the “abundant life” Jesus promised is truly obtainable and not just beyond our grasp (John 10:10).  And they present us with a vivid, in-your-face contrast between the painful consequences of choosing the path of the foolish or the wondrous blessings that come with walking in the way of the wise.

But there’s so much more.
 

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Finishing Dead Last

Finishing Dead Last

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. Proverbs 1:1 The book of Proverbs contains some of the over 3,000 sayings of Solomon, who is known as the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 4:30).  Unfortunately, Solomon didn't always heed his own advice and...

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Proverbs 1:8-19 – The Danger of Bad Company

Proverbs 1:8-19 – The Danger of Bad Company

The Danger of Bad Company One of the most overlooked and ignored warnings in all of Scripture is found in 1 Corinthians 15:33.  Here the Lord tells us to not be deceived.  But deceived about what? 1 Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be deceived:  "Evil company corrupts good...

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Day One:  From Proverbs 1

Day One: From Proverbs 1

But Fools Today, Day One, we are looking at the first Proverb.  And, as often happens, I am arrested by the simplicity of the Lord's words: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Prov. 1:7). First, let's see...

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Day Twenty-One:  From Proverbs 21

Day Twenty-One: From Proverbs 21

Some truths for today from Proverbs 21. Proverbs 21:2 - Every way (or, path, journey, pattern of life) of a man is right (or, just, straight, upright, correct, ethically or morally pleasing) in his own eyes, but (contrast) the LORD weighs (or, measures, ponders,...

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Day Nineteen:  From Proverbs 19

Day Nineteen: From Proverbs 19

The following are a few passages that specifically spoke to me this morning.  Two great truths and a prayer. First, the prayer: Lord, help me listen to only Your voice and not blindly forge ahead in my own so-called wisdom. Proverbs 19:21 - There are many plans (or,...

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Mistreating the Holy Spirit

Mistreating the Holy Spirit

Prayer of Forgiveness to the Holy Spirit My Lord, I have mistreated You all my Christian life.  I have treated You like a servant.  When I wanted You, when I was about to engage in some work, I beckoned You to come and help me perform my task.  I have sought to use...

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The Neglected Member of the Godhead

The Neglected Member of the Godhead

When I pray, I usually pray to Jesus. "Why?" you ask.  It's because I can clearly see Jesus in my mind's eye when I pray.  I can see Him as a person with a personality, someone with whom I can relate.  I've seen all the Jesus movies and have read the Gospel accounts...

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