Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 4:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “All Through the Night.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Acts 9:1-2 (NIV).
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
This past Friday, November 18, 2016, there was a letter printed in the Akron news from the mayor of Akron (Ohio, USA), Daniel Horrigan. In the letter (1), he spoke much on the subject of division (nationally and locally). He talked about the results of our national election, in which Donald Trump was purportedly elected as our next president of the USA in a fair election. And, he verbalized some of the people’s concerns and fears with regard to what kind of leader Donald Trump will be for our nation.
As well, he addressed some of these concerns to the president-elect himself. He urged our new President to reach out to all Americans, and to “show them that there is no room in our United States for misogyny, racism, bigotry and hatred and every other ‘ism’ that attempts to divide us as a country.” He said, “We will never be able to improve our economic and social prospects if we value individualism and exclusion over shared responsibility and collective action.” And, he also said, “We must never forget that there is more that binds us than divides us.”
Collective Action (BusinessDictionary.com): “Behavior or actions of a group working toward a common goal. When individuals engage in collective action, the strength of the group’s resources, knowledge and efforts is combined to reach a goal shared by all parties.”
Does any of this sound familiar to you? It should, for President Obama and Pope Francis have been preaching the same message for multiple years now.
In fact, the first year Obama was in office he gave a major speech in Cairo, in which he expressed similar thoughts. The title of his speech was “A New Beginning,” (2) and it was very telling. In the speech he stated that our enemy is religious extremists, and that there was a partnering (collective action) of 46 countries to come against these religious extremists. He said, “So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end.”
He said that all of us have a responsibility to work for the day when “the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra — (applause) — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer.”
Continuing on with his speech he stated: “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance…” “This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive.” “In fact, faith should bring us together.”
“I know there are many — Muslim and non-Muslim — who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn’t worth the effort — that we are fated to disagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There’s so much fear, so much mistrust that has built up over the years. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith, in every country — you, more than anyone, have the ability to reimagine the world, to remake this world. All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort — a sustained effort — to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.”
“The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God’s vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth…”
And, in his UN Speech of 2016 (3), he said, “And so I believe that at this moment we all face a choice. We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration. Or we can retreat into a world sharply divided, and ultimately in conflict, along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion. I want to suggest to you today that we must go forward, and not backward.” “This leads me to the third thing we need to do: We must reject any forms of fundamentalism, or racism, or a belief in ethnic superiority that makes our traditional identities irreconcilable with modernity. Instead we need to embrace the tolerance that results from respect of all human beings.”
Tolerance: “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one’s own” (dictionary.com); “sympathy or indulgence (lenience) for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own” (merriam-webster.com).
Do you see where all this is leading to? This isn’t just about not treating badly those who are different from us. This isn’t just about being kind and loving towards others who have different beliefs or color of skin or national origin from us. This is about permitting and accepting all walks of life, all sinful behaviors, and all religions as viable (feasible, workable). And, if we don’t, then we are being tagged as “religious extremists” and as bigots, hate-mongers, intolerant, dividers, and as those who “value individualism and exclusion over shared responsibility and collective action.”
In other words, we are headed towards some serious religious persecution in our nation if we do not unify with and accept as viable all religions and all lifestyle choices, i.e. if we do not reject our Lord Jesus as the only way to heaven and to God Almighty, and if we do not reject the gospel of our salvation, as was taught by Jesus and by his NT apostles.
The Pope, in a recent talk said that he was against “hearts that tend to judge, divide, oppose and condemn” (4). This sounds good on the surface, but there is a catch to it all lying underneath. For, this includes the gospel of our salvation which judges sin, divides people by saved and unsaved, opposes evil, and condemns those who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives. We, who preach this gospel, are thus classified among those who judge, divide, oppose and condemn, because we confront sin, call for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and we warn of divine judgment, yet promise hope and healing for the repentant.
The pope’s goal (and Obama’s, and the goal of other political leaders in our nation and world, in collective action) is to bring the people of the world together as one, into a one-world religion under the authority of a one-world totalitarian government (See: Revelation 13). They all (in collective action) speak much about the necessity for all of us to embrace tolerance of all religions and all walks of life, as well as they speak much on the subject of removing all which divides us. Well, the gospel divides us.
So, this is about ridding the world of the gospel of Jesus Christ and of its messengers (religious extremists, i.e. fundamentalists). These leaders are working together (in collective action) to come against us (See: Psalm 2; Ac. 4:25-26). So, get ready for some serious persecution of Christians – of Christ’s servants and messengers – in the days to come here in America.
All Through the Night / An Original Work / December 7, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
Blessed are you when you’re persecuted
Because of your faith in Jesus Christ.
Blessed are you when people insult you,
And falsely say what leads folks to doubt.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is
Great in the heavens. You’re not alone.
When you are persecuted in one place,
Flee to another. God will be there.
You will be hated by all the nations
Because you testify of God’s grace.
Many will seize you and persecute you,
And put to death the foll’wers of Christ.
Yet, do not fear what humans may do to you,
For I’m with you all through the night.
I tell you, love your enemies with my love,
And forgive as I forgave you.
Pray for those who do evil against you.
Rest in my love and grace from above.