End times, Main, Persecution, z360
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Don’t be surprised by the fiery trials

Image of a lit Molotov Cocktail
CREDIT: Netherlands Ministry of Defense/Wikipedia/Public Domain

Police have arrested a man who allegedly threw Molotov cocktails at two churches in North Carolina on Sunday morning, May 29, 2022 while services were going on, Christian Headlines reports.

The attacks, which were apparently 30 minutes apart, took place at Gray’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Hope Mills at 10:37 AM and then shortly after 11 AM at New Calvary Missionary Baptist Church located in the nearby town of Fayetteville.

Security cameras at both churches, caught a man throwing several Molotovs. Fortunately, no one was injured in either attack.

Police have since arrested Terry Wayne Raeford of Fayetteville, NC charging him with “two counts of two counts of manufacture, assembly, possession, storage, transportation, sale, purchase, delivery, or acquisition of a weapon of mass death and destruction; exceptions, and two counts of malicious damage to occupied property by use of explosive or incendiary; punishment.”

In North America, Christians have been able to worship peacefully with no fears of personal attacks, but that is starting to change.

And it shouldn’t surprise us.

The Book of Revelation was a vision given to the Apostle John of events that would take place leading up to the second return of Christ.

Since most of those end-times events have yet to take place, the warnings to the seven churches of Asia found in chapters two and three should also be considered prophetic as well.

Though these were real churches at the time the Apostle John penned Revelation, I believe these two chapters address things that would be impacting the churches, both inwardly and externally, when the end times start.

And that would include persecution.

Speaking to the church at Smyrna, Jesus said

10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10 ESV)

Jesus warned that we needed to brace ourselves for coming persecution. We are not to fear it, and we need to prepare our hearts in advance for the inevitable.

And though it will be men doing this, Jesus clearly states that the demonic will be the motivating force behind it.

We notice in this verse that Jesus used the Greek word, diablos, translated devil, instead of the Greek, Satanas, translated Satan.

While Satanas means adversary, Thayer’s Greek Dictionary says that diablos literally means slanderer or false accuser.

This may explain the method that the devil will use to stir up persecution against believers. Christians will be slandered to justify this persecution.

We see that in the attack on the Pulse Club, a gay nightclub, in Orlando in 2016 by a man who publicly voiced his support for ISIS. Some suggested Christians were at fault. READ: The Orlando Shooting Launches a War on Christianity AND Are Christians “complicit” in Orlando?

And as part of His end-times warning, Jesus said there will also be periods or waves of intense tribulation (Greek thlipsis), which refers to a crushing or overpowering burden.

When Jesus described it as ten days of tribulation, I don’t think it should be interpreted literally, but rather as a warning that this persecution will include periods of intense tribulation, but these won’t last forever.

We need to prepare our hearts for what is coming. And a man throwing Molotov cocktails at churches is just an advanced warning.

As the Apostle Peter writes, we shouldn’t be surprised by these ‘fiery’ trials (1 Peter 4:12).

READ: NC Police Arrest Man Suspected of Throwing Molotov Cocktails at Churches

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