Two days ago at the Guardian UK newpapers http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/27/dying-for-christianity-millions-at-risk-amid-rise-in-persecution-across-the-globe it was reported that global persecution against Christians has become worse in recent years. In fact, almost half the world's nations place some form of restrictions against the practice of Christianity and there are at least 50 nations that persecute Christians simply for their faith. This astounding article from a respected English newspaper raises alarming questions of whether Christians around the world will suffer more persecutions in the coming years and decades. With the rise of religious extremism that singles out Jews and Christians as targets of hatred and murder, more and more Christians are killed everywhere simply because they believe in Jesus Christ. Last Saturday, I expounded on Jesus' warning of the end-time when Christians will be hated by all nations for Jesus' sake (Matt 24:9). Since the US Supreme Court's decision granting rights to gays and lesbians to marriage, this prophecy is fast becoming a reality.
You have on the one hand, the Western world captivated by its illusion of human progress and human rights that goes against centuries and millenia of human tradition and convention across cultures that defines marriage as between a man and a woman and on the other hand, you have the growing Islamic extremism and intolerance against anyone who does not subscribe to their creed and belief with Christians and Jews being singled out for hatred and persecution. Since President Obama's Presidency in January 2009 that promised hope for change in terms of religious tolerance, and if the Guardian article is right, then Obama's legacy in this regard has failed miserably. Ironically, Obama's shift in the promotion of gay rights has directly and indirectly led to the secular and nominal Christian world to hate genuine Christians who desire to live by the standard of God's Word in sexual ethics. According to Matthew 24, persecutions come in two stages, the first as one of the early signs, part of birthpangs or beginning of sorrows, then the Great Tribulation when all Christians have to run for their lives "let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains!" says Jesus (Matt 24:16).