Christians pay the ultimate price as biblical prophecies are played out
By Charles Gardner
Previously published December 2018-January 2019
The shocking story of Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, and the persecution of Christians generally in that country, alongside the alarming news of plans to implant microchips in humans, is convincing evidence that we are surely living in the last days.
It was apocalyptic scenarios like this that the risen Jesus graphically conveyed in his Revelation message to the Apostle John, in exile on the Isle of Patmos, as a picture of what life would be like towards the end of the age, shortly before his return.
It would be particularly marked by vicious persecution of his followers, who would nevertheless be rewarded with eternal bliss in his presence by standing firm in refusing to bow to worldly pressure.
Asia Bibi was a poorly paid farm labourer who has incurred the wrath of an entire nation for apparently insulting Muhammed – a nation, it seems, that appeared unable to protect her from being lynched by angry mobs after the Supreme Court acquitted her of ridiculous charges of blasphemy for which she has endured the best part of the last ten years on death row.
Her alleged crime was committed during an argument with colleagues who accused her of contaminating a vessel used for drawing water from a well – simply because she was an ‘infidel’. Now, finally, she has been freed.
But until recently, she and her family remained in fear of their lives. In fact, at least two of those who have stood up for her, including a former state governor and a government minister, have already paid with their lives for doing so.
Governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer was gunned down by his own bodyguard – shot 27 times in central Islamabad – who was subsequently hailed a hero with an estimated 100,000 mourners attending his funeral.1
Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s minister for minorities and himself a Christian, also protested against Asia’s conviction and sentence. And less than two months after Governor Taseer’s death, his car was riddled with bullets as he drove through Islamabad. He died in hospital.
persecutionBut he had evidently known what was coming, as was learnt through a video released after his assassination. Speaking to the camera, he said: “I believe in Jesus Christ who has given his own life for us, and I am ready to die for a cause. I’m living for my community…and I will die to defend their rights.”2
Christians in Pakistan have suffered dreadfully, with hundreds of lives lost, through suicide and other bomb attacks on churches. It is a despicable situation which none of our weasel Western governments have the spine to address.
During his earthly ministry, Jesus warned: “…The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.” (John 16.2f)
And in his revelation to John, this was spelled out a little more graphically: “…I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’ Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.” (Rev 6.9-11)
Later on, a great multitude appeared from every nation, tribe, people and language – all dressed in white robes and worshipping God who would “wipe away every tear from their eyes”. (Rev 7.9-17)
Speaking of the last days, Jesus had earlier said: “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24.9-14)
Meanwhile alarm bells have been ringing over the prospect of British companies implanting staff with microchips to improve security, according to a report in the Guardian – see https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/11/alarm-over-talks-to-implant-uk-employees-with-microchips
UK firm BioTeq, which offers the implants to businesses and individuals, has already fitted 150 in the UK. The tiny chips, implanted in the flesh between the thumb and forefinger, are similar to those for pets. They apparently enable people to open their front door, access their office or start their car with a wave of their hand. Another company, Biohax of Sweden, also provides human chip implants the size of a grain of rice.
In earlier articles I explained that we would appear to be approaching the days when the biblical warning, also in Revelation, against taking the Mark of the Beast is about to be fulfilled. The prophecy reads: “It (the beast) also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark…” (Rev 13.16f)
One of our readers, Patricia Jelbert, has already witnessed moves towards using this kind of technology in South Africa, where she warned politicians, churches and schools about it. She writes:“We need to teach our children and grandchildren to say ‘no’. The cost will be high, eventually with no access to anything money buys, but the need not to succumb is vital.”
In another alarming step towards this apocalyptic scenario, the BBC were recently reported to be encouraging ‘straight’ staff to wear badges indicating their support for LGBTQ+ colleagues, which is likely to ensure that those whose conscience will not allow them to back a gay lifestyle will be discriminated against.
I rest my case. We are living in the last days. Christians, look up, for your redemption is near (Luke 21.28).