Last Sunday, the Lord took me to teach on Luke 21:5-19 with an emphasis on the false teaching from false prophets Christ prophesied would precede his return. In our passage today, we find a parallel to the passage in Luke. Matthew actually shares in deeper detail the persecution of believers that will precede the Second Coming of Messiah. In our Tuesday morning prayer time this week, we had a visitor who came by the church and asked to be a part of the prayer time. She said her heart was burdened for persecuted Christians—our brothers and sisters. She felt compelled of the Spirit to gather our hearts and pray for believers worldwide. It was confirmation of what God had revealed to me last week.
You will probably not see this on the news, but did you know last year 245 million Christians in the world experienced high levels of persecution for making a choice to follow Jesus? Eleven Christians are killed everyday for their faith in third world countries due to Islamic, religious nationalist, or communist oppression. Actually, 1 out of 9 Christians worldwide experience some form of persecution for his or her faith. I pray for worldwide leaders to bow before Almighty God. I pray for our US leaders to wake up and see the need to protect our Christian heritage and people.
Matthew 23:9-14 Persecution of Believers
9 “You can expect to be persecuted, even killed; for you will be hated by all the nations because of your love for me. 10 Then many will stop following me and fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many lying prophets will arise, deceiving multitudes and leading them away from the path of truth. 12 There will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness that those whose hearts once burned with passion for God and others will grow cold. 13 But keep your hope to the end and you will experience life and deliverance.
14 “Yet through it all, this joyful assurance of the realm of heaven’s kingdom will be proclaimed all over the world, providing every nation with a demonstration of the reality of God. And after this the end of this age will arrive.”
Prayer: Lord, I pray for my heart to be burdened for all my brothers and sisters who face persecution because of their choice to follow Jesus. May that burden lead me to pray and intercede for them each day. Please set your angels around your children. Protect us Lord. Bring a powerful demonstration of the reality of your sovereign presence to the world. May your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.