International evangelist Greg Laurie warned that many believers are approaching a John 15:20 tipping point, if they aren’t there already.
“If you are a true believer, you will face persecution in some fashion,” Laurie writes in a recent Facebook post. “The word ‘persecute’ means ‘to be chased down, driven away and pursued.’ The good thing about it is that persecution can help you grow strong spiritually.”
Laurie details how Christianity has flourished, despite Satan’s attempts to destroy it.
Secular historians agree that there were 10 great persecutions against the church, 10 major attempts to wipe out Christianity, starting with the wicked Caesar Nero and ending with Diocletian. Believers were fed alive to wild animals. They were taken to Roman arenas for sport. They were torn apart. They were tortured. They were burned at the stake.
Diocletian thought he was so successful in obliterating Christianity from the face of the earth that he actually had a special medal struck, which was inscribed with these words: “The Christian religion is destroyed and the worship of the [Roman] gods restored.”
Needless to say, Diocletian was wrong. Instead of becoming weaker during this time of persecution, the church actually grew stronger. Instead of being destroyed, it became a lean, mean preaching machine. Persecution can have that effect.
The pastor, author and speaker is behind one of the largest modern evangelism outreaches: The Harvest Crusades.
At Harvest America in June, nearly 3,000 attendees gave their lives to Christ. SoCal Harvest, next month, will feature prominent Christian artists, including David Crowder and Lecrae.
Part of what draws so many people to Laurie’s events and sermons is his authenticity.
When it comes to the trials of the Christian faith, the evangelist refuses to mince words.
“In a way, persecution will separate the genuine from the fake. If you are a true follower of Jesus, you won’t back down if a little persecution comes your way,” Laurie says. “And if God allows it in your life, He will give you the strength to face it.”