Is It Wrong For Christians To Defend Themselves?

Q. My question for you is about those who are alive during the 7 year tribulation. It is my understanding that during this time there will be much persecution for those who are Christians, especially from the anti Christ himself and his government.

My question is … Will it be wrong for Christians to defend themselves, their families, and even their homes during this time? I know that we are supposed to be willing to die for our faith but it would be very hard for me to let someone else abuse, torture, or even kill my wife for her faith without taking violent actions against them to prevent it. What does the bible say about this matter if anything?

A. Although several Bible verses advise us to obey our leaders and the laws of our governments, there seems to be one authorized exception. In three different incidents, believers have deliberately disobeyed orders to either worship another god or cease spreading the word about our God. They are the fiery furnace incident in Daniel 3, the lion’s den in Daniel 6, and Peter and John’s refusal to stop preaching the Gospel in Acts 4.

From this we can conclude that there is no prohibition against committing acts of civil disobedience when they involve our right to worship God. Through out history, the people of God, whether Jew of Christian have been willing to give up homes and property rather than deny God. Hebrews 10:32-34 speaks of believers enduring persecution and joyfully accepting the confiscation of property. We’re taught not to love this life so much that we fear leaving it behind in favor of the next one.

A lot of this is hypothetical to us, especially in the West. But during the Great Tribulation persecution, death threats, and property confiscation could become a regular occurrence again, just like it was at the beginning of the Church Age.

It’s natural to resist this kind of treatment, but not at the expense of denying our faith. Those confronted with such choices during the Great Tribulation will have to weigh the pain and terror of a violent death against the benefits of an express ticket to eternity.

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