First is Russia. We see a Russia today who is not only growing in power and influence in the Middle-East, but a Russia who is brimming with confidence:
"Russia warns U.S. against unilateral Iran sanctions"
Of course, Russia's current position regarding sanctions against Iran have been predictable for quite some time now. It seems obvious that Russia wouldn't participate in sanctions against the nuclear program that they are building for Iran. It would be like GM calling for sanctions against....well......GM...It makes no sense. And of course, we now see the proof:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the United States and other Western nations on Thursday against imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Interfax news agency reported.
Permanent Security Council member China has joined Russia in opposing Washington's plans to impose tough, wide-ranging sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its refusal to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment activity and open up fully to U.N. nuclear inspections.
Lavrov's warning came just before the arrival in Russia on Thursday of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, a non-permanent member of the Security Council that is also opposed to further sanctions against Iran.
Russia would like to control all issues which are emerging in the Middle East. Russia and China will never agree to any "real" sanctions against Iran, and the their actions over the last 12-18 months have only confirmed that fact. The bottom line is, Russia and China are also devout enemies of Israel and will never agree to measures that would effectively aid or assist Israel in any way. Take that to the bank.
As a nice follow-up to the persecution story that is emerging in the U.S., Mike Mickey has (again) written an excellent commentary:
"Vexed By The Ungodly?"
Its an article well worth reading but here are a few highlights (well, I ended up putting in most of the article because it was so well done):
It's a difficult time to be a Christian, isn't it? As predicted in bible prophecy, in spite of apostates threatening to dilute the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the point His death on the cross seems near empty of meaning, bible-believing Christians are clearly viewed as viable threats on the radar screens of God's enemies. We know this because we are increasingly finding ourselves in the crosshairs of a wicked world with no foreseeable let-up in sight.
From people beating up on Christian NFL rookie Tim Tebow's good name as though his faith is tantamount to a hideous character flaw to a Christian being arrested for nothing more than quoting the Holy Bible's assertion that homosexuality is a sin, the world is kicking sand in our faces faster than we can wipe it away.
As reported earlier this month by Lachlan Markay of NewsBusters, the network Comedy Central wouldn't permit its show "South Park" to so much as speak the name of the Muslim prophet Mohammed for fear of offending that faith's followers, but on the heels of that? The same network is preparing to roll out a brand new show, the title of which is "JC" - a comedy about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ wherein He moves to New York City "wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father"." Color me vexed as to that completely disrespectful although disgustingly predictable developmen
In an unrelated matter, mere days ago senior citizens at Port Wentworth's Ed Young Senior Citizens Center near Savannah, Georgia, had been told they couldn't pray aloud before their meals anymore as a result of yet another ridiculous "separation of church and state" argument. The seniors would have to go with an alternative "moment of silence", they were told, until the issue could be resolved. Fortunately, everything is back in proper order now, as seen in a Fox News story, but we can rest assured that there will be something very similar going on someplace else before we know it! And why? Because the powers and principalities behind all of the seemingly daily examples of anti-Christian persecution taking place around the globe are looking for any and every opening to wage war against the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the cross and will not fail to open fire whenever an opportunity is afforded to do so.
Another prime example of the spiritual warfare we presently find ourselves in is seen in the recent theft of a cross that had stood at Sunrise Rock in the Mojave Desert in California since being erected in 1934 in memory of veterans of the armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.
The cross at Sunrise Rock and the controversy surrounding it caught my attention in 2005 when I wrote about the ACLU's successful efforts to hide the old cross from the view of those "offended" by its presence on a perch inside the borders of land then owned by the federal government.
Fast forward to today, fresh off a Supreme Court decision that had, at least temporarily, saved the cross at Sunrise Rock and brought it out from under a wooden box that had been constructed to obscure it from view until a final decision could be reached, and the old memorial is gone from its perch. It has been stolen by what a OneNewsNow.com article refers to as "vandals".
The long-standing battle over the cross at Sunrise Rock wasn't about the cross being a war memorial, it was about an atheist and the godless ACLU representing that atheist in an attack on Christianity and we all know it! The theft of that cross was a slap in the face of veterans of the armed forces, sure, but let's not lose sight of the fact it was a slap in the face of Christianity as well, in keeping with current societal trends which are leading this nation down the path to destruction, activist judges in many of our courts in America doing everything they can do to aid the process...
If it's not one thing, it's another these days. Right, Christians? The spiritual condition of the United States of America is in a state of free fall, to the extent that I wholly agree with statements recently made by Reverends Franklin Graham and James Dobson.
Graham recently said:
“(In the United States) we see everyday our rights being eroded. Just a little at a time, but its happening. Everyday. So let’s preach while we can. Let’s stand up and holler ‘Jesus Christ! King of Kings, Lord of Lords!’ to the top of our voice.”
“The secularists are going to get ticked off, the news media’s going to hate it. I don’t know, maybe the people in the White House are going to be mad. But you know what, I don’t care. Because God has called us to take the Gospel -- His Gospel, the power of God and His Salvation -- unto the ends of the Earth.”
Dobson recently said:
“I am convinced that there are people in high places, people with a great deal of authority and influence, who want to eliminate every vestige of religion -- especially Christian religion, or evangelical religion – from the public square. They want to expunge it. They want to get rid of it.”
Amen and amen! Could it be any more obvious than it presently is that this is true?
Are We There Yet?
I can only speak for myself, but I relate with Lot more by the day. Truly, my soul is vexed, often to the extreme.
There are days when I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, turning off my computer and television never to know what is going on beyond my line of sight ever again. For me, the less I know these days, the better I feel. This is true both physically and mentally. I know I'm not alone in that, but there's something both I and every frustrated Christian in this wicked world needs to bear in mind in the midst of our current fatigue and frustrations. Jesus Christ made it clear that the more we find we have in common with Lot, the closer we are to our redemption!
Luke 17:28-30: Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Christians, keep your chins up! Remember, a better day is coming because Jesus Christ is coming! All signs are pointing to His return occurring, potentially very soon!
Indeed. I couldn't have stated it better myself.