Three hundred years ago those who loved the Lord and wanted to worship Him freely without persecution left the shores of England and Europe to make the dangerous trip to the New World. They cherished the opportunity to freely worship the God they loved, and they endured tremendous hardships to win this freedom. God blessed them and the new country they established.
Now at this very hour that freedom is being taken away by those who are repeating the same injustice and intolerance of the past. From the beginning of time there have been those who would persecute and kill those who sought to worship the true and living God. It started with Cain who slew his brother Abel for worshipping God in the way God had instructed him.
There have always been two groups in the world, one that is committed to worshipping God and one that is antagonistic to God and those who would worship Him.
We have recently learned about the city of Gilbert, Arizona and their demand that a group having a Bible study in their home must cease and desist claiming that they are violating zoning bylaws.
Now in Rancho Cucamonga California, the city has ordered a Friday night bible study involving a dozen people to shut down it's meetings. The members are faced with financial sanctions unless they buy a very expensive permit from the city. The city officials say they are not budging on the issue. There was also a similar issue last year in San Diego County.
Rancho Cucamonga officials are demanding that the small home Bible study group stop meeting – or apply to purchase a Conditional Use Permit that also would be required for a full church operation.
Dacus said, the study group has been meeting Friday nights and averages about 15 people. Members are affiliated with Shiloh Tabernacle, which rents a community center for Sunday services.
The city recently dispatched a letter to the homeowner insisting the study is not allowed because it is a "church," Dacus said. In the city, churches are required to obtain a "Conditional Use Permit" in residential areas.
"The city has also indicated that no Conditional Use Permit would be granted and the gatherings must cease by Good Friday, April 2," PJI said.
Dacus said, the city's stance is a significant problem because its definition of a church is so broad, according to their definition, a family praying over their dinner would qualify as a church," he told WND.
"This is no misunderstanding," he said. "In this case the city knows exactly what they're doing, exactly what the facts are, and they're not budging."
The city, however, has no similar restrictions for Monday night football parties or various other events that would be held in homes, PJI pointed out.(unquote)
Down over the long years this very same persecution of Christians has persisted. As we consider what is behind it we realize that the one ongoing common factor is the great enemy of God, Satan, he hates God and those who would worship and obey Him.
Today, Hindus, Muslims and Communists are denying Christians the right to worship God and are slaughtering many of them. In some cases, they are demanding that Christians recant their faith and convert to Islam or be put to death. This assault is occurring all around the world, with the nations raising little or no objections.
We have returned to the scenario of the first century. We have Israel back in the land, we have the revival of the Roman Empire taking place, and about to usurp authority over Israel. We have the nations around Israel awakening out of a 2,000 year sleep (they almost ceased to exist). We have also returned to the first century persecution of the Church. The stage is being set for the completion of the Church and it's rapture, after which the Lord will return to dealing again with Israel and the nations.
Today the age long battle between God and Satan is coming to a great climax. It is focusing on those who would dare to worship God, and it is also focusing Jerusalem and upon Israel and the land God has promised to her. The climax of the age will see the slaughter of millions of tribulation saints and the final great attempt to annihilate Israel. Satan and God are locked in a great last days showdown.
We have read the last chapter of the book and we know who the winning side is. We read in Revelation 22:14, "Blessed are they who do His commandments, that may have right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city (Heaven)."