Romans 8:35-36 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
The Apostles and early believers certainly lived by those words. Will we one day be given over to experiencing and thinking on these same words even as we right now do the other of Paul’s teachings?
Scripture tells us that there is a time and season for everything. When it is time to begin thinking on this passage as the early believers did; you and I will know it. For we are to know our own season.
It is strange — the translation that is used to begin the above passage. Paul’s word begins with “who” will separate us, not with “what”, as we might think would be a more proper rendering. These words he uses: like tribulation or persecution, in fact none of the things that Paul lists here for our thinking, are who’s, but they are what’s that need a who in order to succeed with their separation. So, no one of these things, which are listed as having potential to be separators (coming between us and Christ’s love) can actually occur in our lives without there being a “who”present to attempt to bring them about in our lives. Paul knew that. Somewhere either in the foreground or in the background there is a “who” — perhaps one or maybe many that will administer grief.
You and I have been living in what we have deemed the greatest country to ever have existed. We have for the most part never seen any number of these factors actually being set in motion within our country, and never have they impacted our entire community of believers as they do in some of the world. So, if these things begin to take place will we understand them to be a sign? And if so, a sign of what?
What might precede such happenings? The obvious answer is Who, not what.
So is there any indication that we Christian’s are within the sights of those “who’s” that are gaining in power in the US? One thing is certain concerning the timing for persecution and tribulation — this world cannot enter into these things against Jesus’ Church until The Who’s of America actually join those Who’s persecuting believers in other parts of our world. Is it reasonable then to think about just where The Who’s of our own country are in that pursuit.
I think we may already know at least some of the answer, and it is this answer that drives some of us to write so much about what most believers today want to hear very little about. Yet, it is now, in our day, that we are told that it is the Christian Right in the US that comprises the greatest terrorist threat to America and to the constitution of this country. We Christian’s make up the majority of the gun owners, we oppose the immigration policies. We more than not, stand firmly opposed to gender laws now being passed and carried out through our education system. We oppose a women’s right to choose abortion. We are thought to be haters of those holding to other faiths. We are considered terrorists by our own FBI.
What we see happening is some of what we should expect to see before Christ returns.
2 Thessalonians 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (KJV)
Paul says here that we basically should not get upset or excited about Christ coming back, at least not in a premature manner. Paul had made very clear that there would be an understanding of our times when he says:
1 Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (KJV)
So there will be some very obvious indicators that will alert us to our times and seasons. But there is yet one other “who” coming, and it is this who, who will make us fully understand the imminent events that we have been longing for since the time of our rebirth into this soon coming Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (KJV)
Paul tells us that there is one (“who”) yet to come, and that until we see him we certainly don’t have the right of expectation concerning Jesus’ own coming; because this Who’s coming brings us Great Tribulation just as Jesus taught it to occur. Antichrist is The “Who” that will ultimately make this time of coming persecution of all believers fully understood.
MUntil we see this one, we have no less obligation to do battle with the evil that lurks behind him, which even now is being waged in preparation for his coming. And when he comes and inflicts these things, we will defeat him with the blood of Christ (the Lamb) and with the word of our testimony.