Freedom of religion in America is being slowly eroded rather than removed en masse. However, the Bible encourages us in such times.
Persecution and martyrdom are not popular topics among Christians, but they are facts. The fifth seal shows the cry of the martyrs and God's response.
Ronny Graham, citing statistics from the non-profit organization Open Doors, asserts that persecution against Christians is rampant and dramatic, escalating in many parts of the world in which professing Christians suffer governmental harassment, torture, and death. In North Korea, owning a Bible is a capital offence, bringing …
Although many have gone through sore trials, virtually no one has gone through the nightmarish persecutions suffered by the early Christians in Imperial Rome.
The letter to Smyrna contains a rarity among the seven churches: no criticism! What's so good about the Smyrnans?
Miraculously, each attempt to destroy the Scriptures resulted in the printers doubling their production. Christ has always supplied the means to spread the Word.
Under the best of times, God's people are not immune to persecution. Persecution for righteousness' sake is evidence that God's people have Christ's Spirit.
The fifth seal is symbolic of the coming Great Tribulation. Revelation 6 reveals an event to take place on the earth just before Christ's return.
Persecution is a fact of life for a Christian. Jesus Christ says we are blessed if we are persecuted for righteousness' sake — here's why.
How do we, as modern Christians, bear our cross as Jesus commands? Christ meant far more than simply carrying a stake over our shoulders!
We often spend so much time engaged in our present-day trials that we fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past.
Christ's admonition to endure to the end is in itself a solemn prophecy that Christians will have difficult times. How can we make sure that we will endure?
Following the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse is the Fifth Seal, depicting souls under the altar crying out to God for vengeance. Here is what it means.
Martin Collins, asking why Christians must endure such horrendous persecution and struggle, asserts that Paul warned in Acts 5 that the church would always be in danger of deception from within and opposition from without. "Opposition from without" in Peter's time came from the evil oppression incited by the Pharisees …
John Ritenbaugh, continuing the traditional opening night Feast of Tabernacles "Handwriting on the Wall" message, focuses on the plaintive Psalm 94 in which the psalmist despairs of the crescendo of wicked men and institutions causing the righteous to move "underground" for safety purposes. The church is …
The biblical city of Smyrna may be one that many know the least about. The city's name reveals the themes that the Head of the church wants us to understand.
Faith from God will be required to endure and profit from trials, bringing about character and genuineness of faith, as well as patience and trust in God.
Christ prepared the members of Smyrna for martyrdom, promising them eternal glory for enduring a relatively short time, looking at things from a hopeful perspective.
Our challenge in the wake of the terrible things we witness now is to retain confidence that God is in control, even though our faith will be sorely tested.
Martin Collins, focusing on Paul's third trial before a secular ruler, following the inconclusive decisions before Felix and Festus, points out that King Agrippa was of a more decisive character. He sought to implement Paul's appeal to Caesar without delay. Speaking to the King, the Apostle stated his pre-conversion experience …
Christ says that we can show no greater love than in sacrificing our lives. We must come to the point where we are doing this daily, yet how do we do this?
Obsessing about the Place of Safety is a sure way to disqualify oneself from it. God calls some faithful, zealous ones for martyrdom during the Tribulation.
We, as God's spiritual Temple, will be a stumbling block and rock of offense to the world, leading to untimely martyrdom for many.
Martyrdom is not a penalty because a person has failed to qualify for the Place of Safety; rather, it is a badge of honor for those who have overcome.
Martin Collins, reflecting on the martyrdom of Stephen, affirms that his martyrdom indicated that this wholesale persecution on Christianity, from the leaders to the rank and file, indicated that Christianity was a revolutionary idea whose time had come. The institution feeling the greatest threat was Judaism, with the Pharisee …
The Arnoldists, Albigenses, Cathers, Waldensians, and the Lollards all had Sabbath-keepers in their ranks. Gradual syncretism is a pattern of church history.
Our best witness is often through our unspoken behavior; what we do speaks volumes. God gives us a charge to bear His name with dignity in all our actions.