An excerpt from Billy Graham: US Church Should Brace for Persecution (Thursday, October 29, 2015)
America’s best-known evangelist says the American church should prepare for persecution.
In an article in Decision Magazine, Billy Graham warns that the immunity to persecution that Christians in our country have enjoyed over the last few centuries is unusual.
Graham says there is no scriptural foundation for a belief that we can forever escape being persecuted for Christ’s sake. In fact, Christ strongly warns His followers that becoming His disciple would not be a popular decision.
So how will we respond when Christians here at home are pressured to deny Christ?
Graham list’s five ways to fortify yourself so that you are able to stand when that day comes.
- Make sure of your relationship to God.
Prepare to meet God. Have you been to the cross where Christ shed His blood for your sins? Have you had the past forgiven? Have you come by faith, confessing that you are a sinner and receiving Christ as your Savior?
- Walk with God in your daily life.
If you are walking with God now, when times of crisis come you will be prepared to meet them head on. God has not promised to deliver us from trouble, but He will walk with us through it.
- Assimilate Scripture.
Fortify yourself with the Word of God. Begin reading, studying and memorizing Scripture as never before. The Bible says, “Stand therefore, having your waist girded with truth” (Ephesians 6:14).
- Pray Always.
If Christianity is to survive in a world filled with materialism, the church must have a revival of prayer. As individuals, we must repent of prayerlessness. The prayer meeting must become the vital institution it was when evangelical Christianity was the mightiest force in the world.
- Meditate on Christ.
We must learn again to practice the presence of God. Christ must be vitally real to us if we are to prove loyal to Him in the hours of crisis.