It is not a stretch to say that should the Biden-Harris ticket win in November, a Christ-follower may very well be subject to genuine persecution by the government. One article (June 24, 2020) at the 2020 Conservative website entitled ”Biden Called for Christians to be Added to Terror Watch List” (link: http://2020conservative.com/joe-biden-called-for-christians-to-be-added-to-terror-watch-list-for-opposing-lgbt-abuse-of-children-2-2-2/?utm_source=Mailer-TIA&utm_medium=email&utm_content=subscriber_id:1325922&utm_cam%E2%80%9Dwhite%E2%80%9Dpaign=6-18%202020 ) reads [in part]:
In Biden’s view, unless you vigorously support the transgender mafia in its effort to “transition” all children into something other than their natural biological sex, then you’re a terrorist who deserves to be marginalized from society, and possibly even shipped off to Guantanamo. Biden’s antichrist position stems from a suggestion put forth by the radical, far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) hate group, which is pushing for all opposition to the Cult of LGBTQ to be designated as “terrorism,” which under George W. Bush’s “Patriot Act” means that an individual’s constitutional rights are nullified. … “What we had before to deal with hate crimes was we had a position in our administration, within both the Department of Justice as well as within Homeland Security, a provision to keep watch on these groups that we know are out there – like terrorist groups, they’re similar,” Biden stated, referring to the “danger” of Christians in American society.
Keeping in mind the potential for being included on the terror watch list, for the Day 174 reading the passage of Revelation 1:17–18 (ESV) stands out:
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
The reality of the risen glorified Lord Jesus Christ is awesome!! It is no surprise that the Apostle John fell at Jesus’ feet as though dead. The description of the appearance of the risen glorified Lord Jesus Christ as written in Revelation 1:12–16 (NET) is breathtaking:
12 I turned to see whose voice was speaking to me, and when I did so, I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands was one like a son of man. He was dressed in a robe extending down to his feet and he wore a wide golden belt around his chest. 14 His head and hair were as white as wool, even as white as snow, and his eyes were like a fiery flame. 15 His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword extended out of his mouth. His face shone like the sun shining at full strength.
We must remember that while on earth, Jesus’ mission was to seek and save the lost. For example, see Luke 19:10 (ESV), which reads:
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
But, when Jesus returns, His mission will be the judge the world. For example, see what Paul preached to the people in Athens as recorded in Acts 17:31 (ESV):
31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
There are at least four takeaways that I see from this text.
First, Jesus tells John to “fear not” and that same message is applicable for us. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:31 (ESV):
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
A 21st Century Christ-follower should take to heart Jesus’ comforting words to the Apostle John because Jesus will always be with a believer per Matthew 28:20b (ESV)
20b And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Second, Jesus is sovereign. A believer should keep in mind that Jesus said, “I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one.” We know that Jesus is the first and the last. He is the beginning and the end. Jesus has always been and always will be. Since Jesus is in control, we should not waiver or stutter in our boldness to preach biblical truth.
Third, the gospel message is true! Jesus is alive forevermore per what He said in verse 18a, “I died, and behold I am alive forevermore”. The gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ is authenticated by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ per 1 Corinthians 15:3–4 (ESV):
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
Fourth, Jesus is the One who has authority over life and death. Jesus said to John in verse 18b, “I have the keys of Death and Hades.” One commentator (Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moore, E., Craven, E. R., & Woods, J. H. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Revelation (p. 106). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software) writes, “The keys denote authority—exclusive authority. Christ can redeem men from death and Hades, and can cast men into them; and He alone is possessed of this power, ch. 3:7, 9:1, 20:1.”
No matter what the future holds, when we consider our risen glorified Lord Jesus Christ, we can have great courage that (1) Jesus tells us to “fear not”, (2) Jesus is sovereign, (3) the message of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and (4) Jesus is the One who has authority over life and death. A believer could not ask for anything more.
The Professor Grant Horner Bible Reading System is a great 500 day Bible reading plan. The following link presents a description of the plan ( https://sohmer.net/media/professor_grant_horners_bible_reading_system.pdf). My goal is to briefly share my thoughts on the passage that stands out the most for me each day. For Day 160, John 4:35-36 was the passage that stood out.
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change. Today can be the day of your salvation. Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved.
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