History is full of times that were difficult for believers — indeed many millions of Christians are being persecuted in our generation. But Christians in America have been living in a sort of bubble. Because of our constitutional rights, we have freedoms not enjoyed in other countries.
There have been terrible times before, but it seems God came through in answer to prayer. Fifty years ago in the hippie era, the Jesus Movement (which impacted me), brought millions of rebellious young people to faith in Christ. Then when America seemed at a low ebb during the Jimmy Carter administration, something seemed to shift when hundreds of thousands of Christians humbled themselves and prayed and repented of America's sins at the Washington for Jesus rally in 1980. Ronald Reagan was elected president later that year, and things seemed to shift politically and financially. The Berlin Wall even came down. But now, 40 years later, I wonder how much really changed.
There is a rise of anti-Christian culture that is permeating every sector of our lives. Just look at the actual graffiti on the walls of Catholic churches that oppose the pro-abortion agenda. As the hostility against Christians continues to grow in America, we have to be fully armed and equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit in order to survive these increasingly perilous times. As my good friend Mike Bickle explained, it is certain that persecution is heading for America.
How do we know this? If we believe the Bible, we know persecution will come. The question is whether we will see it in our lifetime. Christians over the millennia have been expecting Christ to return. Now the world is so upside-down it appears what Jesus prophesied about the end of time is happening before our eyes. A one-world government, the rise of the man the Bible calls the Antichrist, and even a mark required to buy and sell seem to be the natural result of the "Great Reset" the World Economic Forum has called for. The reality is, we're in a spiritual war. And when the tribulation comes, it will be the war of all wars.
But this is no reason to despair. Jesus told us, "When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption is drawing near." And when Paul describes the rapture of the church, he says, "Comfort one another with these words."
There's a wonderful promise in Revelation 3:10: "Because you have kept My word of patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation which shall come upon the entire world, to test those who dwell on the earth." It's not fun to think about, but we may face persecution in this country.
The spiritual and eternal, not the political or cultural, are most important. Our mandate as believers is to help others embrace a Spirit-led life and fulfill the Great Commission of going into all the world to preach the Gospel to everyone. If we keep our eyes on Christ and live according to His Holy Spirit, we will not only make it in this upside-down world, but we will thrive in all circumstances.
Stephen E. Strang is the bestselling author of God and Donald Trump. The founder and CEO of Charisma Media, Strang was voted by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. He has interviewed four U.S. presidents and has been featured on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBN, Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk, theDailyCaller.com and in many Christian outlets. His latest book is Spirit-Led Living in an Upside Down World.