We often think of the early church or the later part of the End Times when we talk about persecution. But it wasn’t just the early Christians that were persecuted, and it isn’t just future Christians that will be persecuted. Many Christians the world over are currently being full-on persecuted, with the sanction of governments at that!
Even in places where persecution has never been a problem, at times it seems that we have gotten at least a taste of persecution and/or what the government may eventually have the power to do to us. There are Christians being persecuted and killed now, and there will be more of it everywhere in the future.
Sometimes this makes me worry about how things will be for us before Jesus calls us up and takes us away from this world, because no matter which part of the Tribulation you think Jesus will call Christians up (before, mid, or after), it’s going to get really bad for us before then. Jesus said we will be persecuted, and He wasn’t saying that just for His disciples (John 15:20). Paul told Timothy that everyone who strives to be like Jesus will be persecuted, and he wasn’t just talking about the early Christians (2 Timothy 3:12). Paul and Timothy told the church in Philippi that persecution is part of believing in Jesus (Philippians 1:29).
If you read other places in the Bible, especially in Revelation, you find that Christians will get a horrible time of it for a while. This could be in the distant future, or it could be within our future. But don’t despair! Jesus will still be with us! (Romans 8:35; 2 Corinthians 4:7-10; 1 Peter 4:14)
It’s easy to worry about persecution, but we don’t have to! God is still God. He always knows what’s going on, and He’s always there with us! I know that’s easy to say for someone who has never been persecuted, but it’s important to know that peace and decide on your belief in it before the hard times come. When you’ve decided and been convinced beforehand, it’s a little easier to hold on.
Whether you have time to decide beforehand or not, it’s important to remind yourself and let God remind you that it’s going to be okay, no matter how bad it gets! As the Holy Spirit would be with His disciples and early Christians, so He will be with us (Matthew 10:19-20; Hebrews 6:10, 10:32-35; Revelation 2:8-10). We don’t have to worry about persecution.
For more on persecution:
Is This Persecution?