Most people think of persecution as coming from some anti-God an Anti-Christ religion, but among Christian circles the persecution comes in a different form. It comes as the Pharisees against Christ and His followers. The Pharisees of His time on earth are the modern religious leaders of today.
When Christians who simply love others are condemned because they don't succumb to the Pharisee screaming "Sinner!!!" as they did to the woman taken in adultery. The modern day Disciple will not condemn, they eat with one another and share love. Do I think they hang out at the drug houses while the cooks create their meth? NO of course not! But when they see a tweaker at the store they don't snub them either. A modern day Disciple of Christ will smile and have a warm presence of love within them.
When a religious leaders enters a homosexual community event screaming "SINNER! You MUST repent or burn!" the modern day Disciple stands and says "Christ loves you and says come as you are and Christ will do the cleansing for you."
When a religious leader points out sin in your life, that quite possibly doesn't even exist to begin with, but insists on attacking you until he can find SOMETHING wrong with you, but the modern day Disciple says, "Let establish a matter by living out Matthew 18 in love".
When a religious leader points his finger with condemnation, but calls it conviction and says you MUST receive this 'conviction' in order to respond to God. But the modern day Disciple will say, "Worship Christ in the Spirit of love and truth and He will clean your heart and renew your mind."
When the religious leader says "You are MY people and you MUST stay with ME and THIS group or you won't be protected by God." but the modern day Disciple says, "Christ is our great King and Priest and Holy Spirit is our Teacher. The building does not keep you safe, Christ our Lord does."
Then the people make up their own minds who they will assemble with. If they choose to assemble with the modern day Disciples, then the religious leader persecutes them. This religious leaders harbors bitterness and resentment because he can no longer control the people. Which by the way are NOT "HIS" people, they are GOD's people.
The modern day Disciple does not seek to control or force the people into his fellowship. They are all free to go where they want to go. When the religious leaders persecute, it's in a sophisticated manner. When the religious leaders persecute, it's abuse and you don't have to put up with it.
This gives me a whole new perspective on Matthew 24: 15-16, " 15When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains"
I used to think this meant, "..when we see the Anti-Christ standing the holy place" as if to say the Anti-Christ will stand in a holy place, but today I saw it as, "when you see the abomination of desolation...stand in the holy place." Meaning that we are to stand in the holy place when we see the abomination of desolation.
The holy place, in my opinion, is in direct worship of Christ our Lord, for that is where we find our protection. (Psalm 91 and Psalm 142) The abomination of desolation being those who 'speak in the name of Christ' really aren't in Christ and it is revealed to us that they are not really sheep, but wolves.
Matthew 24:9-12," 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.This is already happening. Delivered up to be afflicted, hated, reputations in your communities are being slaughtered by slander, 'Christians' are betraying one another to protect themselves, they are hating each other, claiming to be 'leaders of God', deceiving others, their iniquity is abounding, and the love has waxed cold. Where has the beauty of Matthew 18 gone?
10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
While our brethren in China and other countries are suffering physical persecution from anti-God religions, the rest of us here in America are seeing sophisticated persecution from modern day Pharisees on a social, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. It's spiritual abuse and you have the freedom to flee.
Proverbs 4:14-27, "14Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
16For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
20My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
24Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
25Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."
There will be times when God has instructed you to flee and there may be times when he asks that you stand and be bold. (coming soon)