Acts 6:8: And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Stephen was the first martyr, but he didn’t ask for it. False accusations were made against him, and he was dragged before a council to face men who had already made up their minds about his guilt. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: (verses 12 and 13).
In the face of these impossible odds, Stephen preached a powerful sermon under the utterance of the Holy Spirit. Even these wicked men could recognize the angelic glory that shone from his face. Verse 15: And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. But when he laid their own crimes at their feet, they reacted with volatile rage. Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye (Acts 7:51). Their ancestors were men who murdered prophets of God, and Stephen accused them of the same thing. They couldn’t handle hearing this, and were reduced to putting their hands over their ears. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, (verse 57). According to verse 54, they even rushed him and viciously gnashed him with their teeth.
But as they took him out to stone him, he didn’t even notice them. He said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God (verse 56). The accusers brutally murdered him, but were no doubt haunted for the rest of their lives by his final words in verse 60: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.
Many more grisly deaths in the name of Christ were to take place over the years. But Jesus had warned the disciples that they would be persecuted for His name’s sake. Matthew 5:11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. They knew it was coming.
On June 14, in my blog titled “Believing The Lies,” in the wake of the mass legalization of gay marriage, I made this observation: It wasn’t enough for them to achieve legalized weddings. They demand acceptance. And if we don’t give them that, they will sue us and then threaten us with arrest. And if we still don’t comply, they will try to destroy our Bible. And if they can’t succeed at that, they will imprison us for “discrimination.” I had no idea how soon that last sentence would come true.
This month, the now-infamous blood moon is supposed to occur. Many consider it an ominous warning from God. The exact date is September 28, but the Lord may already be trying to get our attention. Tuesday night was September 1, and I was staying on the eighth floor of a hotel with family. In the midst of a relaxing vacation, God sent us a stern reminder of the lateness of the hour. Thinking I heard fireworks on the beach, I stepped out onto the balcony, only to see the chilling glimmer of a blood-red moon hanging in the night.
We know what is coming.
On September 3, two days after I saw this mysterious red moon haunt the night skies, Kim Davis became the first Christian jailed for opposition to gay marriage. She is a clerk for the state of Kentucky who refused to issue a wedding license to a homosexual couple due to her religious convictions. Rather than turning to a different magistrate, the couple demanded action against her, the incident gained national attention, and now she has become the first martyr in the new age of persecution against the Christian church in America.
District Court Judge David Bunning has issued her an ultimatum that she will be released from jail as soon as she recants her beliefs, and hands out the marriage license. But so far, she has remained steadfast.
I do not know Kim Davis. I have read her statements, and her character seems to bear a striking resemblance to Stephen. She is an ordinary and unassuming person, with no desire for what’s been thrust upon her. She has been dragged in front of a national court of vile people who have already predetermined her guilt. Her jailing is only an attempt by tyrants in black robes to make an example of her, to strike fear into the hearts of the rest of us. The federal judges she faces are like the council of Jewish high priests, ready to stone her if she does not comply.
This woman is not a public figure. She is unspectacular in every way. She is not seeking the limelight or any kind of celebrity status. But the media is being merciless on her. Some news outlets are putting up grotesque caricatures of her. One headline I noticed called her stupid. Her mugshot is shown as if she were a criminal, juxtaposed with images of weeping gay couples; as if she were the villain and they were the victims. Death threats have been made against her, but on some networks, no one comes to her defense. Like the council attacking Stephen, they can’t stand to hear her speak the simple truth. They put their hands over their ears, screaming in demonic rage, and gnash at her with their teeth. Kim Davis will be the Stephen of our time.
Her imprisonment marks a paradigm shift in America. But it has been building for a long time.
The rise of homosexual fascism, as swift as it has been, is only the most recent stepping stone in our country’s long journey away from God. In 1963, the US Supreme Court prohibited state-sponsored prayer in schools. Within 12 years, STD's among high school students increased 226%. By 15 years, teen pregnancies were up 187%, and by today have skyrocketed 553%. After 1963, divorce rates exploded 300% every year for the next 15 years, and today, the number of unmarried people living together has increased 353%. And the chaos this has created has had dramatic repercussions across America, as violent crime has increased 544%.
And we knew it was coming.
The removal of the Bible and prayer from school was the beginning. But under the myth of “Separation of Church and State,” our government has declared war on the very mention of God, and His name has all but been scrubbed out of institutions from the top down. Though America’s entire infrastructure built on Judaeo-Christian ideas and values, courts have been fighting to remove statues of the Ten Commandments from every public building they can. They make some vague reference to the First Amendment, but the truth is that the judges who make these orders are cowards who fear the Law of God.
We cannot drive God out of every aspect of our public lives and expect Him to continue blessing and protecting us. The godless secularists have hijacked this nation and are steering it away from His presence, and we shouldn’t be surprised when His judgment begins to fall.
The world wants to isolate Christians to only practice religion within the walls of our churches. And slowly, since 1963, we are being beaten again and again. What we protested against years ago we now accept. In the 60s, we were burning rock music albums. Now our pastors listen to the same music with nostalgia for their days of sin. And our children are fed music far more vile than anything dreamed up by Elvis or the Beatles.
At one time we protested The Simpsons. At one time we protested South Park. Now those things are uncontested staples of pop culture from bygone years, and we watch shows even more contemptible. We did worse than lose; we surrendered. Slowly but surely, the devil has worn us down. Gay marriage was inevitable.
We should not be surprised that persecution has begun. Kim Davis’ arrest, and gruesome public execution by the media, has set a new precedent. But it’s only the beginning.
And if we continue to concede, moving from battle to battle and never winning, what do we think is going to happen to America? The landscape of the nation today was unimaginable ten years ago. God help us if the Lord tarries another ten years. Psalm 9:17: The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Hopefully Kim Davis will not recant. God’s people must rally around her. The pressure will be on all Christians who suffer persecution at the hands of the world in this last hour. It will be easier to give up, but we can’t afford to lose any more ground. A line has to be drawn somewhere. At some point we will have to make up our minds and choose who we will serve. Because we know what is coming.
Joshua 24:15: And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.