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THE ICHTHUS CHURCH > CHAPTER 13

The Gathering Dark Clouds of End-Time Persecution

As we pointed out in our last chapter, the church, during its two thousand year history, has known times of persecution at the hands of the state, as well as times of prosperity under the state’s favor. Those times under the state’s favor have proven to be both a curse and a blessing to the church. For instance, as we proved in the previous chapter, government favor proved to be a positive curse during the Dark Ages, so much so that our present-day churches are still partially plagued by it. On the other hand, government favor proved a great blessing to the church during the historical heights of Western Civilization. 

 

The favor the church once enjoyed under Western Civilization gave birth to the greatest missionary era in the entire Church Age. The Gospel was taken far and wide throughout the world by a church cradled in countries founded upon the Judeo-Christian ethic. Among those countries, America arose to become “the shining city on the hill,” as the Puritan John Winthrop had envisioned it. More than any other nation in all of Christian history, America shined the Gospel light all over the world, even to some of the world’s darkest and remotest places.

 

Tragically, today’s America is no longer that shining city on a hill; neither are European countries cradles from which the Gospel is going out all over the earth. Instead, the once great bastions of the Christian Faith have now become arid, spiritual wastelands; nations that have abandoned the faith upon which they were founded in favor of secular humanism and democratic socialism. Whether we look at such pervasive ideologies as political correctness, cancel culture, or critical race theory, which are permeating America and all of Europe, or at atheistic communism, espoused by countries like Russia and China, or at Islamic States, within which the mere profession of Christianity is punishable as a capital offense, it is clear to see the dark clouds of unprecedented and biblically predicted end-time persecution gathering around the world against the church of Jesus Christ. Truly, to be devoid of such discernment beneath these gathering dark clouds is to prove oneself as spiritually blind as a bat.

 

Our world is obviously headed into the biblically predicted perilous times of the last days. There is unprecedented persecution on the horizon, persecution against the church that would have been unimaginable in these United States just a few years ago. We are already experiencing the forerunners of this Biblically foretold persecution. For instance, yesterday (February 25, 2021) the House of Representatives passed, for the second time, the "Equality Act," which our new president has called his top legislative priority and vowed to sign into law within his first one hundred days in office. If this anti-Christian law is now passed by our Democrat controlled Senate, so that it can be signed into law by our Democrat president, it will effectively outlaw Biblical beliefs and Christian convictions that are deemed by Democrats, like President Biden, as discriminatory toward the LGBT community. Make no mistake about it; this anti-Christian law will strip Bible believing Christians of their religious liberty and coerce them, under threat of civil litigation or criminal prosecution, to compromise their beliefs in order to conform to those of militant homosexuals.

 

Regrettably, our present perils are only the tip of the iceberg. They are only the foreshadowing of far more severe persecution ahead. In the coming dark days of impending and unprecedented persecution, the conventional, traditional, and denominational church will disappear from the American landscape. It will be impossible for it to exist and operate publicly in a culture diametrically opposed to it, not to mention hellbent on stamping out every semblance of the Christin Faith within it. The church in America, as well as throughout the world, will be forced underground.

Don Walton