J. Paul Nyquist, President of Moody Bible Institute, says those who love Jesus are becoming the moral minority. How do we live out our faith in a culture that often rejects biblical ideas?
“It has been abnormal” for America to be so cocooned from persecution – but those days are ending. Paul says culture is shifting as we’ve turned away from biblical values and we’re starting to experience pressure.
Are we past the point of no return? In his book, Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture, Paul says;
“There is blessing that comes from Christ [in persecution]. We’re going to have a chance to be discipled in a brand new way. Every time revival has come across this land, there have been changes. Barring that, I think we’re past the tipping point.”
What is persecution? Paul defines it as any kind of pressure or marginalization that a group or society can place on people with a view to silencing their voice.
Paul walks through five counter-intuitive principles regarding persecution:
1. Persecution of believers is normal, not strange.
2. Persecution means you’re blessed, not cursed.”It means you have God’s stamp of approval on your life.”
3. Persecution means you’re exposed, not protected. “If we’re going to stand for Jesus, we may be standing alone. There’s a reward in eternity for those who persevere.”
4. God calls us to respond to our persecutors with compassion, not anger. “We want to retaliate, but that’s our flesh. It’s evangelism. God wants us to do that so we can bring more into the kingdom through our gracious attitudes.”
5. You will be rewarded.
Paul gives three pieces of advice – endure, travel light, and be faithful.
“We will no longer be as attached to this world. When we’re no longer attached to this world, the attachment to the next world increases. I can’t wait to talk to the saints who are already there.”