Luke 21:16-17 NLT
Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.
Years ago we heard, read and saw of the tragic Rwandan genocide. In this 100-day massacre that took place, brutality happened on a scale beyond comprehension. What was even more devastating was the rate at which people turned on each other; spouses turned on spouses, neighbors on their fellow neighbors, non church members on church members, church members on church members, etc. There was no mercy for the poor or rich, healthy or sick, man or woman, child or grandparent. Once they were of the opposite tribe, they just had to die.
As Christians, the Bible has forewarned us that a time is coming when this is going to also happen to us simply because we identify with Christ. Now, we can’t fathom how our parents would turn on us. We can’t imagine how our siblings or spouses who are not born again will turn on us. However, you don’t need Bible scholars to tell you that this is already happening in subtle ways, and that increasingly the love of many is waxing cold. If you want to know, look particularly at the reactions of those around you when you get on fire for God. You even lose friends because of God. That is nothing compared to what is going to happen in the time to come.
Look at Syria and Iraq and see the atrocities committed by ISIS against those who identify as Christians. People are being crucified, raped, butchered, burned and murdered for their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not as far removed from this as we think because we live in a global world; what happens in one part of the world is felt on the other part. It is only a matter of time before this level of hate is demonstrated in our societies where we currently feel safe to worship God freely. I don’t believe the Iraqi and Syrian Christians ever thought they would be fleeing for their lives due to persecution from their own neighbors, friends and loved ones.
This is why we need to pray. It is about time we stop being selfish with our salvation and intercede for those around us who don’t know the Lord, because these are the same people who will turn on you in that day. Brethren don’t think because you are related by blood, you will be immune. That day will not be about identification by blood, but identification by spirit. If losing friends or things because of Christ causes hurt, imagine the pain you will feel when they turn you in because of the name of Jesus.
We equally need to pray to be strengthened for those times, because those events will cause a lot of hurt and disappointment. Parents will be heartbroken when they see their children turn on them and vice versa. Brethren don’t be oblivious to the times we are in. Physically it is not only getting cold but spiritually as well. Watch and pray. Snatched people out of hell. Intercede for the lost and get them on fire for God to melt that coldness of the heart.