As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience,
take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
This verse has popped up twice today: once in Jim Wetzel’s WFW post, and again in a new Herescope series entitled Preparations for Suffering. As I recently did my own post about suffering, I cannot ignore such a coincidence, so here’s a taste of today’s offerings. He who has ears, let him hear.
Jim concluded his post this way:
Since James wrote in the immediate context of ferocious persecution of believers, both by the Jewish religious establishment and by Roman authority, I would suppose that the particular suffering he had in mind has already taken place. Still, the Lord’s return [verse 8] was not consummated then [or since], and it won’t come without plenty of trouble. So, preparation for patient suffering is very much in order for today’s believer, too.
The introduction to the Herescope article follows.
The Discernment Research Group has been publishing warnings about heresies and the activities of leaders promoting heresies since 2005. Recently we have been repeatedly asked by many believers to delve into the issue of “how do I prepare for the coming persecution?” While the world faith leaders lead their flocks into an ecumenical global church of massive proportions, there is a tiny remnant within each historical tradition or evangelical group that maintains adherence to the Bible. Increasingly we are getting reports about these believers being censored, ostracized, mocked, ridiculed, slandered, shut down and shut out, threatened, and more. Every possible tactic of persecution, short of suffering in the flesh, is now rapidly coming upon those in America who truly stand on the Word of God.
There are those who still hold out that we can change America (legislation) back to a Christian nation, and that this will somehow change the Church at large. But this is a Dominionist pipe dream, born of the hope that by changing externals it will change the hearts of men. This is neither Scriptural nor facing reality. The truth is that religious leaders are rapidly taking the church into emerging spirituality, as we have so often documented in posts on this blog. In one sense these calls to change America are simply “bread and circus” for the people in the churches, giving them false hopes and entertaining them with something to do.
In contrast to this, and in the spirit of exhortation, the following are words of encouragement that tell us how to face the coming persecution without fear or dismay. Below is the first post in a series where we will excerpt, review, and summary discussing in our modern context the classic work of John Flavel “Preparations for Sufferings: or the Best Work in the Worst Times.” It is our hope and prayer that we will all stand firm in the days to come. May we be a light shining in darkness, living and preaching the true hope of the Gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ.