“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” – Jeremiah 17:9
The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and its terrifying story is a poignant reminder of the great and terrible evil perpetrated by humans on their fellows, the ultimate exposure of the utter depths of human depravity. Anne was a young girl when her family went into hiding in her father’s office building. She had already dreamed of becoming a writer, a famous one she hoped. Little did she know. Her father returned at the end of the war, surviving the concentration camps of Hitler and his Nazis and yes, German, French, and Dutch, etc, sympathizers and collaborators, who all to an extent helped sustain and support the systemic destruction of their Jewish neighbors, and any who sought to help them. Otto Frank found Anne’s journal upon returning to the house where they hid until they were exposed by a Dutch neighbor, still unknown, but known in Hades. Two years later he had it published. Now it is read in languages all over the world.
The anti-Semitic persecution did not suddenly appear with Hitler. We were told of virulent anti-Semitism in the 1500’s in places like Regensburg, Germany during a tour we took there. Of course, it goes all the way back to Egypt when the Jews were forced into slave labor under the Pharaohs or taken into exile by powerful kings, and down through the ages God’s chosen people have suffered persecution more than any other people in history. Persecution of the Jews waxes and wanes through the centuries, but now in the West, America and Europe, as in the Middle East, of course, it is on the rise again. It is appearing in places like academia, where you should not expect it; are they not well educated? In PC circles as well; are they allegedly not well read?
Hitler could not act alone and do what he did; he had lots of help from the populace. Evil like this does not come merely from isolated bad people, though such can suddenly perform horrific acts of violence. No, it is even more heinous when a society consorts to perform systemic hatred. It is the sort of conspired evil that is now rising against genuine Christians who live out their faith in the public square; they do not hide their light under a bushel! And, did not Jesus promise us this response from the world? He said, “The world will hate you, as it hated me.”
Anyone who lives out their faith before a watching world, and does not keep silent in the face of godless, unlawful, immoral behavior, will invite the persecution of the world upon them. Ought they to remain silent, so as to fly under the radar, so to speak? To avoid the world’s notice and responsive hatred? The genuine Christian will speak out, his words and actions cannot be bound, out of his love for God and his love for others. Silent Christians are an oxymoron. As Paul professed, “The love of Christ compels me.”
Being a member of the Jewish race could be determined by such as Hitler and his collaborators, and down through the ages most Jewish people can be singled out. The people of God, Christians, are known by how they love one another, by their love for God in obeying His Word, and by knowing and proclaiming that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. “No one comes to the Father (God) except through Him.” Jesus is the exclusive way to eternal life. This they know and firmly believe. And this profession will set them apart; for persecution and for glory!
Just as young Anne was singled out for being a Jew, and forcibly taken to a concentration camp where she was most likely gassed, so you as a genuine follower of the Lamb, will most likely face persecution in this day for your faith. But take heart, Jesus has overcome the world. In Him, you will overcome and enter into the grandest of all rewards. Your joy will most assuredly be full!
“When I hear the wicked call, on the rocks and hills to fall, when I see them start and shrink on the fiery deluge brink, then Lord shall I fully know, not till then, how much I owe.”
(2nd verse of Robert Murray McCheyne’s hymn, “When this Passing World Is Done,” 1837)
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