9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
10And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. (Matthew 24:9-10)
Perhaps you once said, “I am not a Christian and don’t lie like he does. He calls himself a believer but I don’t believe a word he says.” But I have to ask you a question: “Could this pathological liar be a nominal Christian?”
A group of church leaders used crafty schemes to oppress a kind and upright pastor, even nonbelievers found their plots dirty and evil, but sadly, the church members witnessed the whole thing didn’t dare to say a word. Why do Christians persecute their fellow believers? Here are a few reasons: first of all, due to human weakness, Christians are filled with hatred instead of love; second, those so-called Christians are not genuine believers.
1) Horrific Tribulation
The Lord Jesus solemnly declared that many believers will stumble before He returns to the earth. What He meant was that many believers would take offence at Him and would turn away from Him.
Persecuting One Another
Christians who chose to forsake the Lord were their personal decisions; but in the last days, many who once claimed to be believers, not only they will choose to forsake the Lord, but they will also go against their former brothers and sisters in Christ.
Hate One Another
Christians should love one another, but before Jesus returns, believers will hate their former friends. Why do Christians behave like this? Due to the emergence of the anti-Christian trend (Matthew 24:9), many believers cannot withstand the severe persecution and will give up their faith. Not only that, believers will also hurt one another. In the Signs of the End Times 5, I spoke of the rapture of believers. After all living Christians are caught away from the earth to Heaven, there will be a seven-year tribulation in the world; this will be the most terrible seven years of human history. Due to the appearance of the Antichrist and the false prophets at that time (Matthew 24:11, 15), the believers will undergo terrible persecution.
2) Human Behaviour
There is a saying that goes like this, “Every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost.” In short, everyone promotes his or her own interests and no one cares what happens to those who fail.
It is highly probable that before the Lord Jesus is about to return to the earth, the Antichrist will seize the opportunity to launch a wave of persecution against Christians. At that time, everyone will be in danger, thus seeking self-protection is quite natural. Based on their own interests and security, Christians will betray their Lord and friends, which is a manifestation of evil human nature.
End Times Phenomenon
When the Lord Jesus is about to return to the earth, people will become more and more self-conscious. The Apostle Paul speaks of the situation in details. 1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1–5, ESV)
In today’s business world, many people regard others as commodities. People will try their best to exploit others to benefit themselves. I sympathize with the artists. When artists are young, when they have commercial value, people value them. When they have lost their worth, they will be forgotten. In fact, you will find the same thing in the workplaces, and even in some families. Bosses and families might treat their employees and their family members as commodities. Sadly, this phenomenon might even occur in some churches. Friends and believers, people do have their dark sides.
3) Fake Christian Behaviour
Some Bible scholars believe this apostasy is the evidence that they never were true disciples of Christ. Severe persecutions have revealed that these people are fake Christians.
When the Great Tribulation comes upon the earth, many nominal Christians will not only leave the faith, but will also openly deny Christ and deal harshly with God’s people (Matthew 24:10).
A few years ago, a Kenyan pastor stated that a church member immediately converted to Islam for a sum of US $570. In Kenya Jihadists could recruit within Christian communities much easier because of the unemployment rate is 40 percent and most people are very poor. In November, 2013, an assailant hurled a grenade into a church and killed the pastor. In September, attackers threw grenades into a children’s Sunday school class, killing a 9-year-old boy. In July, similar grenade attacks at two churches killed 17 churchgoers. Very likely, some apostate Christians were involved in these attacks. In the past a lot of nominal Christians have appeared within the church circle and they brought shame to the church.
Second Coming of Christ
Before the Lord Jesus is about to return, some believers will not stand the test, not only they will give up their faith, but they will hurt their former companions as well. Moreover, the persecutions have revealed the fake beliefs of these nominal believers. Dear friends, the prophecies of the Bible are true. The stories about Jesus Christ recorded in the Gospels are true too. Jesus is the Saviour and He will come again. Are you willing to accept Him as your Saviour? We call ourselves Christians. Do we really follow the Lord Jesus with one heart and one mind?