Several days ago, a study was released stating that Christians, once again, are the most persecuted group throughout the world. On the one hand, this is definitely cause for concern. But on the other hand, this is what the Lord warned us would happen in the last days and persecution has the benefit of strengthening the church in several ways. One way that happens is when those who are fakers among us who get discouraged by persecution and forsake the church. They go out from among us to reveal they were not really with us to begin with (1 John 2:19). When fakers leave, the church gets stronger.
Micah 4 gives us a prophetic picture of the last days for those of us who are the citizens of Zion. The last part of that chapter is a parallel prophecy that speaks of the nation of Israel returning from Babylonian captivity and also speaks to what the body of Christ will experience before Christ’s return and upon his return. Note these words:
10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.
11 Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.
12 But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.
13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.
Right now, we dwell in the field known as the world and in this world the Babylonish system is running things as predicted in Revelation. It has even infiltrated churches. But, glory to God, the Lord has redeemed us spiritually from the hand of our enemies and will one day physically deliver us out of this dark world run by Babylon.
Just as the study referenced above shows, many nations are gathered against us with the intent of defiling the church. Their eye is upon the congregation of Zion with the ungodly lust of wanting to conquer us to possess us or snuff us out. That’s why they attack us when we don’t bend to their immoral wishes. They don’t know the thoughts of the Lord and don’t understand his intent to gather us unto himself, preserved and protected, into his barn as sheaves.
In the future at Christ’s return, we will have the privilege of arising with Christ to thresh the world, beating the world system down with a horn of iron and hoofs of brass to conquer “many people.” Those presently harvested from the world are those who heed the gospel. Futuristically, those who don’t join Zion by the time Christ returns will be harvested for God’s wrath. Our victory over the world is, and will be, consecrated as the Lord’s gain and the spoils of that final war will be his as the Lord of the whole earth. For all the hatred the nations of the world have for us as the citizens of Zion, their hatred will only be their downfall in the end and we will rejoice in the Lord when he finalizes that victory for us.