You may be shocked to learn that a certain segment of the American public has recently been labeled terrorists by the United States government: none other than evangelical Christians. That’s right my dear friends–according to an article written by Jack Minor on World Net Daily (WND.com) entitled “Military Warned Evangelicals No. 1 Threat” writes, that military personnel are being briefed that evangelicals pose the number one threat to America’s security ahead of the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaida, Hamas, and the KKK. Common descriptors being used to describe evangelicals by the U.S. military include “extremists” and “hate.”
Hate…now that’s a word that many well-versed Bible readers will be familiar with. Upon reading this alarming article, I was immediately reminded of that passage in Matthew 10:22 where our Savior, Yahoshua, briefed his band of disciples prior to sending them out to the Lost Tribes of Israel–and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Mat 10:22 ESV) καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι (hate, detest, abhor) ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου· ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος οὗτος σωθήσεται. (Mat 10:22 BGT)
The relevance of this passage certainly carries with it a more ominous tone than at any time in recent American history. Christians have enjoyed an unfettered ability to practice their faith with few exceptions. In fact, many Americans believe that this nation was built upon Christian principles and for all intents and purposes these principles still stand today. It is difficult to find any politician, entertainer, successful business-person, or even just a man or woman on the street who does not give some level of credence to God for their life successes. How often do we naturally invoke the phrase “thank God” when a critical situation goes the way we’d hoped it would go? Plain and simple: being a Christian in America is as commonplace as say–Ford vehicles are on American roads. Our nation’s cities are overflowing with Christian and Catholic churches on virtually every corner.
In many situations, claiming to be a Christian has its benefits. Recall the 2008 presidential elections when both presidential candidates Senators John McCain and Barack Obama claimed to be Christians who fully supported “Christian life principles.” As the election cycle progressed, we heard the christian salvation personal testimony of candidate Obama as he defend his ties to the Christian faith to secure the votes of evangelical Christians and swing votes among conservatives, to gain the competitive edge, when concerns began to surface about his alleged Islamic influenced childhood.
Until now, American Christians have had peaceful existence in this nation founded on christian principles and freedom of religion. However, it seems that the age of christian freedoms, freedom of religion, and freedom of the christian evangelist to preach the message of salvation is closing fast. The post christian age is upon us and now we expect Matthew 10:22 to be fulfilled against Christians in our christian nation. When was the last time you were hated for Yahoshua’s name sake? When was the last time your home was tee-peed or egged because the neighbors identified your family as followers of Yahoshua? When was the last time a member of your family was arrested and jailed for Yahoshua’s name sake? In this country, when was the last slaying or execution carried out on anyone for Yahoshua’s name sake? It hasn’t happened. Why hasn’t it happened, especially when Yahoshua Himself proclaimed to the twelve that they would be hated for His name sake.
History does in fact support that ten of the disciples with the exception of two, were martyred for Yahoshua’s name sake, except for Judas Iscariot who betrayed Yahoshua and committed suicide; and John–the disciple whom Yahoshua loved–died of old age but not before suffering in exile on the Island of Patmos where he received the prophecy revealed in the Book of Revelation. I would further point you to “Fox’s Book of Martyrs” for a more detailed and comprehensive recitation of the hundreds of believers who were “hated” for Yahoshua’s name sake and ultimately killed as a result of their Faith.
What is the difference between the first, second and third century Saints, whose demise was predicted in Matthew 10:22, and self-professing Christians in America today who’s day-to-day plight seems contrary to the prediction of this profound passage? Add to this confusion the U.S. government now labels evangelicals as terrorists, this issue is difficult to explain and fathom.
I submit to you that the difference is found in Acts 5:27-29: “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, saying, Did we not straitly command you that you should not teach in this name? and, behold you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men.” Those martyred Saints differed from today’s American Christians in their zeal: their boldness to stand for what is right and reject the evil imposed by government in all its forms; their readiness to obey God commands rather than government’s commands.
The Matthew Henry Commentary describes those hated for Yahoshua’s name sake as, those that truly bear the image of Yahoshua (John 15: 25); as those that are counted as the offscouring of all things because they reject that which is in opposition to the Word of Yahovah (I Corinthian 9:13): as those who speak out against evil and stand aside those who are wrongly treated and targeted–these are labeled as troublers of the land (I Kings 18:17) and tormentors of their neighbors (Revelations 11:10). Imagine what will happen to those believers who completely sell out to Yahovah’s way of living and who adopt fully the Laws of Yahovah and have the Testimony of Yahoshua (Revelation 12:17): these exceptional individuals by nature will be hated and society (currently run by the Enemy of this world–Ha Satan–Ephesians 6:12) will not tolerate them in their midst. Yahoshua was hated without cause because He was the real deal. Naturally Satan used the existing political-religious systems of the time to eliminate Him (which of course ultimately failed) as he will do in the coming years to those who mirror the life of the Savior. What a badge of honor to aspire to!!