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Continue the Reformation, Expect Only Persecution!

Christianity has never been the easy road. No, the moment you're truly saved then it means there's no easy path. There's going to be no such thing as a broad and easy road. Face it, you've entered the narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14). The road gets narrower and narrower. To become a Christian means to be called out of this world (John 15:18-19, James 4:4). For the Christian, there's no such thing as friendship with the world. Continuing the Reformation means expecting only persecution!

The start of the Reformation didn't start and end with Martin Luther. The Roman Catholic institution launched the Counter-Reformation. I believe this Counter-Reformation is still continuing but it's no longer exclusive to the Roman Catholic institution. Other examples of Counter-Reformation is not only attacking the Five Solas of the Reformation namely Scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone, in Christ alone and glory to God alone but also those who claim to be Christians but they teach Antinomianism in one way or another. If teaching salvation requires work in order to maintain it is wrong, it's also wrong to teach that a person can get saved and still remain the same. Others also teach the dangerous prosperity gospel, deny the sinfulness of man and teach the universal brotherhood of man as other measures towards the Counter-Reformation. 

If you're going to stand by the Bible then don't expect the applause of the world. The apostles suffered persecution. The early church suffered persecution for standing by the Gospel. Go ahead and read "The Foxe's Book of Martyrs". There's not one single page that showed Christians lived glamorous lives and were loved by the world. The prophets suffered. The apostles suffered. Believers in both the Old Testament and the New Testament suffered. The world today is full of people in constant rebellion against God. Preach the Gospel and expect only to be persecuted. Be a Jeremiah and the world will hate you. Be a Hananiah and the world will love you.

The history of the Reformation wasn't glamorous either. Martin Luther was always on the run. When John Calvin started Geneva's Reformation, he wasn't well-loved either. The Roman Catholic institution launched and continued the Counter-Reformation and had the support of almost everyone. The Protestant Christians continued the Reformation and had almost no support from the public. Like the pre-Reformation Christians before them, they were usually in hiding. Many unsaved people lived glamorous lives but those who fought for the Gospel suffered in persecution. So much for the whole "your best life now" theology by the prosperity gospel crowd.

There's one amazing fact that Christians can take comfort in persecution. It's not just in the blessing of Matthew 5:11-12. It's also in the fact that the more you persecute Christianity, the more it will grow stronger than before. You can't put Christianity down. The more Christianity is attacked the more God will display His power. Nero and the other Roman emperors couldn't stop it. The succession of Popes couldn't stop it. The Muslim governments couldn't stop it. You can definitely see that Christianity can't be crushed. Philippians 1:6-7 says that what God has begun He is going to finish it. True faith makes the Christian choose to do the good and reject the bad. The work of God can't be stopped. Even if the Christian dies the power of God is still at work. God is still in charge!

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