Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's Time to Hold Our Heads Up

Luke 21:28 KJV
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

I am not sure I want to go on record as believing there was ever a time when a Christian could not or should not have held his head up. I am sure that there have been times in history when holding ones head up as a Christian might well have meant getting it lopped off!

Consider early Christian history
Every one of the Apostles died for his faith. The persecution of believers in that era was so bad that Jesus, Paul and Peter all gave encouraging words meant to bolster the faith of the persecuted.

Consider the history of Catholic persecution
Catholics would not have been considered Christians by a number of Christians in the fourth-seventeenth centuries. When the Catholic Church was formed in the fourth century, genuine Christians refused to unite with it. Thus began the most intense persecutions Christians have ever faced. Catholic cruelty was not against Islam. It was against Christians who refused to worship the Catholic way.

Consider the quasi-Christian history of England
Protestant persecution of Christians who would not align with whatever particular Protestant Church was in charge of a region's government existed throughout Europe. Nowhere, however, was it more intense than in England. The Brutality of the Catholic Church in England, then the Protestant Church in England, then the Catholic Church in England and then the Protestant Church in England again, is infamous.

Consider Christian history in early America
Believers of many faiths fled to this continent for refuge and freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. Truth is, it wasn't any better here. Doing the only thing many of them knew, they each chartered their own governments providing in that government that only their personal brand of Christianity could be worshiped. They persecuted those who disagreed with them every bit as harshly as they had been persecuted in England and Europe.

Baptist faired the worst in each of these environments because, though they refused to establish their own state supported church, their faith was despised and persecuted by every for or state controlled church. It was not until the Bill of Right was ratified that Baptists had any rest - even here in the United States.

There have been plenty of reasons to keep your Christian (Baptist) head down through the centuries. But, even if it were justified then, it certainly isn't now. The signs of the times point to the soon return of Jesus Christ. The liberties we have experienced (and have practically thrown away now) have given us no reason to hang our heads. The urgency of this hour demands that every born again Christian rise up, look and lift up our heads, making our voices be heard for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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