Everyday there are things happening that makes us ask in horror, “What kind of person would do that?” There are mothers who harm and murder their children on purpose, day care workers who do horrid things to the children, people who run over pedestrians at a parade on purpose, and the list goes on. In the same way, everyday there are those who afflict the followers of Jesus Christ on purpose because they despise His goodness, and the Holy Spirit poses the question, “And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?” 1 Peter 3:13 Peter knew the answer to that question because he too, a follower of good, was persecuted and eventually murdered for being a follower of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit encourages us, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 1 Peter 3:14
On top of the violent threats, which saturate communities everywhere, there are threats to our livelihood for simply following the teachings of the Bible. Our livelihood relates to employment, finances, housing, food stability, social approval, relationship with spouses, etc. It is terrifying and threatening to feel that the job is in jeopardy, or the marriage is falling apart, or there may be negative changes in housing, or income is nose-diving, or society has completely snubbed their noses at us etc. The threats are very real, and even come through verbal hostilities, unapproving looks, and every other imaginable tactic. Jesus says to us, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Matthew 5: 10-11
The threats we face are coming from those who govern by the mark of the beast, and they are forcibly mandating the mark of the beast. They expect us to live by the thing that has power over physiology and is able to form our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors. It requires us to discard the need for Jesus Christ and to trample on the Holy Spirit. Even so, it’s more important for us to set apart Christ as Lord God in our hearts, and to never allow our heart to be the seat of government for the mark of the beast. As the Holy spirit says through Peter, “But set apart Christ as Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15 The reason for the hope in me is because I see the fulfillment of Bible prophecy because the mark of the beast is here, which verifies the reality of our need for Jesus Christ. The beast, as in the mark of the beast, exists for “42 months.”(Revelation 13:5) which means we are within “42 months” of the return of Jesus.
Within my heart and mind, there is always a reason for the hope I hold in Jesus Christ. When the Christless people defame me, and they routinely belittle me, I have a good conscience, “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 The people who hurl their insults, mockery, and ridicule have no shame, their emotions and conscience are under the influence of the thing that has power over physiology. They are like a flesh and blood robot. There is a day when their shame will be revealed, it is when they appear face to face with the One they have scorned, Jesus Christ. As a human being who lives for Jesus Christ, my conscience is clear, and I prefer to suffer for being a Christian than to suffer for Christless actions, “…having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:16-17
“….to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets,“
‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’”
“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”
Revelation 2:24-25, 3:11