Many people suffer from depression this time of year, and I believe it has a lot to do with memories of Christmases past, and maybe a little trepidation regarding what’s to come as our calendars turn over, yet again.
As Christians, we see the chaos in the world and continue looking up for the blessed hope of our Savior’s return. But still, He tarries, not willing that any should perish. The Great Harvest is coming, but God’s people have been asleep at their post. Instead of occupying until He returns, standing our ground and being the salt of the world, it seems the vast majority are only concerned about their own salvation, and instead of praying, sowing and reaping souls for the Kingdom, all we do is just “look up,” waiting for Jesus to come for US.
I’ve been a bit sad myself. You see, it’s been years since I have been able to spend Christmas with my parents. Both parents died from the same rare cancer although 8 years apart. I miss them all the time but especially at Christmas. I miss the noise and excitement of large family gatherings, the music, and discussions of religion and politics. Yes, we discussed religion and politics and still remained family.
While it is said they are gone and with them the joyous gatherings, but what is even sadder is the fact that I am glad they are not here to see what has become of our nation. The Lord, mercifully, took them home before the world succumbed to leftist ideals.
As the 2023 dawns, I can’t help but wonder what it will bring. Because we are God’s children, we can rejoice in the hope that we have in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But we also dread the coming persecution that Scripture clearly tells us is only going to get worse before that great and terrible day of the LORD.
By the way, if you find that in YOUR Christian walk, you are NOT currently enduring some sort of persecution, however large or small it may be, you should examine your heart and determine whether or not you are truly a good and faithful servant who not only takes a stand for the Word of God.
Christ tells us in Matthew 24 the signs we should recognize for His return – false pastors, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes in diverse places. These, he proclaimed ibn verse 8 are just the beginning of sorrows.
II Thessalonians reminds us that that Great and Terrible Day of the LORD will not come until AFTER there is a great falling away… a great falling away from God’s Word and truth. A great apostasy. And it is happening now. OW. If you’re involved in an apostate “church” — or even just an assembly where it’s forbidden to warn the wicked, to shine the light of God’s truth on the darkness and deception of the enemy, I urge you to “come out of her!” Be about your Father’s business, even if you must stand alone. As we read in Matthew 24, “he that shall endure until the end, the same shall be saved.”
I don’t know what the year 2023 will hold. But I can tell you things are not going to get better. TRUE Christ-followers are going to be persecuted like never before. And sadly, not just by the ungodly but by those who have that “FORM OF GODLINESS BUT DENY THE POWER THEREOF.” sadly, many so-called Christians will become your worst enemy as they align themselves with the ear-tickling false doctrines of demons.
As New Year’s Eve rolls around, many will gather in Times Square and other major cities around the world to celebrate. They will drink, they will sing and glorify the sins of this world. Our nation and our world are confused, deceived, lost, and perishing. And few there be that care enough to wash the scales from their eyes, wake from their stupor and claim the POWER that Christ gave His followers — the power to be soldiers of the cross, life-changers, soul-winners, Gospel-of-the-Kingdom preachers and teachers — and servant-hearted ministers.
source: Remaining Faithful through Persecution by Rob Pue, Sons of Liberty