The world watched in horror as Notre Dame, one of the most famous Christian cathedrals in the Western World went up in flames. This is not an isolated event as churches are burnt and desecrated and the persecution of Jews and Christians has increased throughout the world, perpetrated by the brutal savagery and hatred of Muslim Jihadists. This travesty is also augmented by the religion of secular humanism across Europe and in the United States that has been torching the fundamental values of Western Civilization and of Judeo-Christian Civilization for decades. Will the fundamental belief that all human beings are made in the image of God, from the moment of conception until their final breath ever be restored again?
The United States was founded on the belief that freedom and liberty comes from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and has brought more opportunity and freedom than any civilization in the history of the world. The Western World is not only abandoning history, but is destroying the future by failing to instill these building blocks of civilization into the hearts and minds of children. The decline of the West is due in part to the fact that there are barbarians inside the gates and that mankind has been looking away from God.
Jesus told His followers, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
Jesus also included this warning, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. (Matthew 5: 13)
It doesn't take any imagination to understand that the light of the once vibrant Christianity of the entire Western World has been waning for some time as many have run after other gods and different beliefs, chasing after wealth and pleasure, taking on a hedonistic lifestyle couched in the religion of Secular Humanism, whereby the love of God is replaced by love of Self.
"When the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be accomplished." (Dan 12)
The prophet Daniel was visited by a being from God with an apocalyptic message and the previous warning, it appears that what he was referring to is happening! What is the power of the holy people?
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
The belief and acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power and it is what makes people holy in God's sight. Sadly many are refusing and have run away from the truth and accepted lies, and as they trample on the faith of believers, many of whom have shrunk away, the light on the hill has lost it's brightness and the salt has lost it's saltness. In essence the shattering is ongoing and when it comes to an end what are the things being referred to that will be accomplished?
Jesus spoke of this to his apostles, he was speaking of the end of the age; “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. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. (Matthew 24: 9-14)
Back now to the prophesy of Daniel; “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:1-5)
In light of all this the following admonition from Jesus makes more sense than it may have in the recent past, maintaining one's faith during times of extreme persecution does seem hard, especially to a society that has endured very little hardship;
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14)
The good news is this; "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:9-13)