Persecution and Conflict Are Inevitable - The Warrior's Journey®

Persecution and Conflict Are Inevitable

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”  (2 Timothy 3:12) 

In His parable of the wheat and the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-42) Jesus revealed a disturbing truth about the Kingdom of God. It is forced to grow in the presence of evil. The righteous are forced to live among the godless and wicked until the Lord’s return (Matthew 13:30, 39). Because of this, believers will be persecuted by the godless and wicked (Matthew 5:10-12). “From John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of God is suffering violence and violent men are taking it by force,” said Jesus in Matthew 11:12. John was beheaded. Jesus was crucified. All but one of the apostles would meet a violent death. Jesus warned them that if the world persecuted Him, it would persecute them also (John 15:20). Before the Kingdom of God comes in glory (Revelation 20:4-7), it must first come in secret. God’s reign would begin in peoples’ hearts (Luke 17:21) and would transform lives and society from the inside out (Matthew 13:33). But until Jesus returns God’s Kingdom will be opposed and met with stiff persecution. 

This reality squelches any hope that light and darkness will ever “just get along.” Not that light is the problem or that the righteous are out to get the wicked. Believers are to love and win the lost to Jesus. But whether sinners believe or not, believers are still bound to love and pray for them (Matthew 5:43-48). 

Of course, the presence of both good and evil in the world creates an environment in which conflict is inescapable. For good nations must often restrain evil regimes, and restrain them by force if necessary. This is why wars are inevitable. For evil is constantly rearing its ugly head and threatening the freedoms and wellbeing of others – and good must rise up to stop it. 

The anatomy of a lightning strike illustrates this.  As a storm cloud develops, negatively charged particles increase and create “stepped leaders” – zigzag paths downward toward positively charged particles on the ground. These stepped leaders stop about 150 feet short of the ground when “positive streamers” rush upward at 60,000 miles per second and – “Contact!” A massive bolt of lightning occurs – passing a current of electricity of up to 200 million volts.  And as those negative stepped leaders come down toward humanity – and the positive leaders must rush up to meet them – even so evil regimes must be opposed and stopped by righteous powers. Christian believers may get weary of the persecution and soldiers may get weary of the conflict. But as long as good and evil are forced to coexist, Christians and soldiers must be faithful in their duty.  


  • Is vigilance the price of both holiness for the believer and freedom for the citizen? 
  • In the presence of evil, can Christian believers or soldiers ever lower their guard? 
  • Do not lose heart.  Christ will soon appear and bring this conflict to an end.  Let’s pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” 

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