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The biggest part of spiritual preparation involves memorizing and meditating on the parts of God’s Word that He gave us specifically to help us through times of persecution and trial. When these passages from God’s Word become an intimate part of your being, the Holy Spirit can bring them to your mind during the time of most intense need. Many believers have left this world in a great testimony of victory because God’s Word was engraved in their hearts and minds. You can find many Scriptures that will help you also become spiritually prepared for the fiery trials. The more you read God's word the more spiritually prepared you will become.

A big part of mental and emotional preparation involves accepting the reality of the possibility of persecution and martyrdom. Many Christians don’t want to think about such things. They see such thinking as “negative” and “pessimistic.” If you point out that such things have happened (and are happening) to their Christian brothers and sisters in other places, they may say, “Well, it won’t happen here.” And, by God’s grace, so far it may not have happened. But it would be wise for every Christian to think about the possibility of upcoming fiery trials, and ask himself, “What would I do or say if I (or a loved one) were threatened with physical harm or death if I did not renounce Jesus Christ?” Of course, the truth is that however severe any time of trial might be, it is temporary! Soon it will be over and we will be together with the Lord forever. It would be very foolish to assume that some temporary, fleeting escape from pain would be better than an eternity with Him! We need to arm ourselves, and our loved ones, with the confidence that, by His grace, God will certainly enable us to endure any trial we may have to face during this lifetime.

 

There are a few things we can do that will help us be physically prepared for a time of persecution. For example, if a situation arises in which you are told that you cannot buy or sell anything to anybody unless you first swear an allegiance to someone other than the Lord Jesus Christ, then, obviously, as a Christian, you might quickly run out of food and perhaps heat and light and even water unless you had previously prepared by making some other provisions. It is not too difficult to imagine situations where genuine followers of Jesus Christ would not be allowed to be a part of the “system.” Of course, running out of the necessities of life could be a time of great trial for Christians. And persecutions of this kind could be the way God plans for us to leave this physical world. However, He may have warned us of these possibilities so that many of His children can be prepared to survive, at least for a time, in order to help nonbelievers come to Christ and to help other suffering believers to be firm and steadfast to the end. It might be very wise for us to spend some time thinking about what physical preparations He might want us to make in order to be most useful to Him during times of great persecution. Could it Happen? Of course, it may be that none of these things happen during our lifetimes. We may have the privilege of growing old in a society where there are doctors and hospitals and pain medication and plenty to eat until God calls us home one night in our sleep in our old age. But we are certainly not guaranteed that it will be like that. And we know from history (and current events) that it is certainly not like that for all Christians. Many, many Christians, from earliest times until the present time, have suffered horribly under the oppression of antichristian leaders. It has happened before. It is happening now. And it could certainly be a part of our own personal future before we go to be with the Lord.

Wisdom says, “Be Prepared!”

1 Thessalonians 2

For you are fully aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and security,” destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers, are not in the darkness so that this day should overtake you like a thief.…

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