The World’s Calamities
We are well aware of the persecution Christians are suffering around the world. As was mentioned, Christ said 2,000 years ago that these types of things would occur to those who take their stand for Christ in the face of ignorant and selfish peoples and authorities. And his words have proved true and continue to prove true down to this day.
Do not forget, however, that more Christians were slaughtered, impaled, crucified, burned at the stake, and thrown to the lions during the early Christian era than are being comparatively persecuted today. Do not forget that more Christians were subjected to inquisitions, beatings, burnings, beheading, and torture during the so-called Dark Ages than are being similarly persecuted today. And these latter atrocities were instigated and carried out by other Christians!!! Yet, the longed for ‘end’ did not come to save those faithful ones.
Christians are not the only ones who have been, and continue to be, persecuted as a result of religious intolerance. Historically Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and various tribal religions have been attacked, oppressed and/or suppressed as well. And, of course, we must acknowledge the terrible Holocaust.
So why, do you suppose, would our generation be more favored by God than all of the previous ones? Why would God bring an end now when He did not bring an end under far more devastating circumstances? Surely if it was God’s intent or purpose to prevent the unfair suffering of Christians, the ‘end’ would have come before the ink on the book of Revelation was dry!
We are not at all suggesting that God does not care or that there will not be an end to suffering. We are saying, rather candidly, that there is more to the story than the longed for ‘fairy tale’ ending of a knight on a white horse riding to our rescue. In order to see the larger picture, we must step back and take a realistic look at man’s history. We can no longer afford to indulge in the sentimentality characteristic of children. We must look through the mature eyes of spiritual men and women who truly want to know what is going on. We must intelligently ask, Why do we find ourselves in this position? What is going on? Is there hope for any relief? And when will that relief come? The answers to all of these questions are found within the pages of the Bible. But we cannot find those answers by picking at it and pulling out special verses, any more than we can view a forest by focusing on the trees. The Bible tells one great story from various points of view. This is where the book of Revelation comes in.