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On Being Worthy June 15, 2010

Posted by stevekerp in End Times.
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As a “pre-tribber” I’ve camped on Luke 21:36 as a sure promise from Christ Himself that we’d be outta here before the bad stuff begins in earnest.

Might be time to reconsider.

I’m probably as adverse to pain as are most of you, but I think fidelity to scripture demands that we at least consider the possibility that our “escape” from all these things might be THROUGH suffering, rather than around it. To understand this, we must bear in mind that all suffering does not proceed from God’s wrath. When we honestly admit that tribulation or suffering is NORMAL for Christians, and that we in our Candyland American Churchianity are not experiencing what has been the normal faith-walk for the overwhelming number of disciples for the past 2,000 years … then maybe we’ll get it.

I invite your studied attention to Acts 5:40-41:

And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Maybe … just maybe … the promise in Luke 21:36 sees its fulfillment NOT in Revelation 4:1 but rather in Revelation 6:9.

I don’t believe in suffering for suffering’s sake, and I’m still largely clueless on why pain and suffering are necessary, or how OUR suffering could in any way be redemptive. But it’s part of God’s plan, and His plan is perfect. We may think that those saints who have gone on before were blessed for not having to endure what we are facing. But might it not be that they would count US blessed for the opportunity to perhaps fulfill Revelation 2:10?

I’m familiar with the horror stories from Buchenwald, Triblenka, the Gulag, and Pol Pot’s killing fields, and like many of you, am well aware that FEMA and the current regime may have something even worse planned for us. We know of the deaths of Peter and Paul; we’ve heard what Nero did to our forebears. Many of us have read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and similar literature. A pattern emerges; unpleasant as that pattern may first appear. It doesn’t appear that the pattern is shattered until Revelation 21:4.

These thoughts have not been fully ruminated. Suffice it to say: our idea of “worthiness” may need to be refined.

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Comments»

1. ultraguy - June 15, 2010

The hardest thing may not be our willingness to accept physical martyrdom unto death, but our willingness and even JOY in accepting other kinds of suffering. For example:

Financial martyrdom… or the ‘martyrdom’ of others’ esteem for us… or the martyrdom of false accusation and having our rights stripped away on some pretext, e.g., by the IRS… even the martyrdom of the rebuke of loved ones we may secretly hold higher than Christ and who come to think us fools or traitors (to church, country, etc.)

David Wilkerson’s devotion today (Tuesday, June 15th — “Proving Man”) speaks powerfully to this point, talking about the testing of the saints. It has always been thus and always will be.

The gate is narrow and full of suffering. May we be counted worthy to go through the right kind, for the right purposes, at the right time, knowing He is by our side.

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