There is no doubt that persecution is a stark reality of living the Christian life. Christian persecution is to be expected: the apostle Paul warned that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus said that, if they persecuted Him, they will also persecute His followers (John 15:20).
Christians must learn to recognize the value of persecution and even to rejoice in it, not in an ostentatious way but quietly and humbly because persecution has great spiritual value. First, the persecution of Christians allows them to share in a unique fellowship with the Lord. Paul outlined a number of things he had surrendered for the cause of Christ. Such losses, however, he viewed as “rubbish” (Philippians 3:8) or “dung” (KJV) that he might share in the “fellowship of [Christ’s] sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). The noble apostle even counted his chains as a grace (favor) that God had bestowed upon him (Philippians 1:7).
It’s worth noting that the spirit of Antichrist is already at work even now, and this growing Christian persecution is certainly an indicator of the nearness of the Lord’s return and may very well be setting the stage for end-time persecution that’s certainly coming. What you are witnessing now in the increased hostility toward true Christians here in the West is but a sampling of the all-out persecution that will take place as history comes to a close. John 15:18
Look at the trend in recent years: Florists, bakers, photographers, and other business owners being fined and made to attend sensitivity or diversity training as a result of standing firm in their faith. Then there is the squelching of the faith our children have in Jesus. There are numerous examples of how free speech and freedom of creative expression are just fine in the classroom and all subjects are on the table except one: Jesus.
What are your thoughts on this? How should Christians react or get organized to fight this growing trend?