Persecution doesn’t just come from militants and oppressive regimes but it can come from people very close to you, from neighbours, even family members, people you love. When that happens it hurts even more. It is what was happening to these churches in Asia.
Even places of worship to God can be anything but that. The Christians in Philadelphia were experiencing such opposition from the Jews that Jesus calls them the synagogue of Satan!
“I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3 v 9-13)
If you are facing attacks from people of whatever magnitude then it may be wise for you to heed the message to Philadelphia. Basically, Jesus tells them that what they should do is hold on, wait, continue to follow Him, for He will be the one to settle the score, vengeance is His not ours.
The Jews had their Scriptures to interpret that in the end the nations of the world will bow before them. The truth is what Jesus reveals. The Jewish people, not real Jews at all (synagogue of Satan) will bow down before Jesus and His followers.
The hour of trial will come and this is not 60 minutes but a season and who doesn’t know a time of real difficulty in their life? You may be in it right now. Jesus says ‘hold on!’
As the ancient pillars of temples would have inscriptions on them we also are marked. We have what we must see as the postcode for our destiny marked on our lives. We are citizens of where heaven and earth come together in what is called the New Jerusalem. I met a lady in church yesterday and she has been crippled most of her adult life with mental and physical anguish. She hasn’t yet received her healing but she is holding on to the love of Jesus. I saw the address on her life. It was the New Jerusalem.
No matter how tough your life is whether by being opposed at every turn, oppressed for your faith or facing the extreme trials of life which seem like you are being buffeted by Satan himself, the scores will be settled. There’s a guarantee for He has marked you with a new name. No matter how difficult you will find a way there.
These are not the rapture verses, I don’t think. He will ‘keep you’ not by lifting you from this hour but protecting you in it. Learn to persevere in His presence. For the scores will be settled.