America was once a place where Christians were free to worship and live according to their consciences. In fact, our country was built upon the principles of religious tolerance, individual liberty, and the right to dissent. In our founding documents, the source of these rights and freedoms is clearly acknowledged as God, not the government. Yet, the moral sea change we have experienced in the past century has so turned our culture on its head that to exercise those rights and freedoms means that a Christian risks marginalization, repression, and even outright persecution.
In the media, those who adhere to Christian values are portrayed as bigoted and backward, anti-woman and anti-gay, willfully ignorant and woefully out of touch. Government mandates seek to force Christians to act against their consciences and support practices the Bible calls sin. People are dragged to court for praying in schools or posting about their personal religious beliefs on their own private social media accounts. Jobs are lost, businesses are bankrupted, relationships are severed.
How are American Christians responding? Often with anger, bitterness, and withdrawal from the public square.
But how did the first Christians respond to persecution? When believers were being flogged, stoned, burned alive, and thrown to wild beasts in the arena, were they surprised? Incensed? Litigious? What about the millions of believers all across the globe today who suffer daily humiliation and violence as a result of their faith? What do they know about oppression that American Christians have yet to learn?
In Is This The End, we’ll see just what Jesus meant when he advised his would-be followers to count the cost before taking up their crosses. We’ll discover what suffering has to teach us about ourselves and our God. And will be confronted with the unsettling question: Will you have the courage to stand against the persecution that is coming?