Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
April 22, 1997
Last Updated :
February 27, 2013
Path Of Life And Path Of Death: We Must Choose The Right Path, Is The Internet Our Final Frontier For Christian Witnessing?, Control Of Information In China And Muslim Countries, Gospel Is Prohibited in Saudi Arabia, Israel Is Closed Frontier For Christian Gospel, Christian Restrictions In USA, Orwellian World In Which Information Is Restricted And Manipulated, The Battle Over Net Neutrality, Big Business And Junk Mail/Spam, Domestic Spying And Carnivore, Dangers Of An Online Presence, Endtime Persecution Against Christians Is On The Rise, Is The Internet Possibly Your Final Chance At Receiving Salvation?
As the Apostle Peter candidly wrote, God truly desires to save as many people as possible, but to a certain degree, He leaves it up to us to make the right choice. He lovingly and patiently shows us the way to Salvation, but He won't force us to walk down it if we don't want to. His Holy Spirit will incessantly work on our hearts, but as Jesus clearly stated, we must choose the path we will follow, as we see here:
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:13-14, KJV
The writer of the Book of Proverbs certainly seemed to be aware of the dangers of choosing the wrong path. Thus he wrote:
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Proverbs 14:12, KJV
"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Proverbs 16:25, KJV
"Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established."
Proverbs 4:25-26, KJV
The Epistle to the Hebrews seems to offer very similar advice when it states:
"And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed."
Hebrews 12:13, KJV
Returning to the importance of the Internet as an effective form of Christian outreach, and the issue of whether or not it might be our final frontier insofar as being a witness of our Christian faith is concerned, if we stop to consider some of the recent developments regarding our personal liberties, specifically with regards to how some developments have been having a very direct effect on our rights as Christians, then personally, I can only conclude that the Internet may in fact be the final frontier for modern Christian evangelism. As one by one the governments of foreign countries continue to close their doors to Christian missionaries, our online witness via the Internet may prove to be all the more important, as it will allow us to continue to reach out to some people in the privacy of their own homes, until even that is restricted. It may give some people one last chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It may be our final frontier as Christians.
In my view, there is sufficient evidence that this is so. For example, as many of you will already know, in China, Internet access is already being tightly controlled and restricted; so that if a person desires to acquire Internet access there, he must go through a government-operated ISP, where he is certain to see hear and read only those things which the Chinese authorities deem suitable and appropriate for the Chinese masses. In fact in recent news, the giant search engine company, Google, has been engaging in battle with Chinese authorities. It appears that they have finally reached some kind of a compromise. However, if the current oppressive trends continue in China, it won't be long before the Chinese people will have been given their last chance to hear the Christian Gospel by way of the Internet, and that Christian evangelical frontier will be closed.
The same kind of oppression is occurring in Muslim countries as well which are ruled by powerful conservative governments, quite often being dynastic families, such as in the nations of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria. While Internet access is available in some Muslim countries, it is only available to those people which the governments feel can be trusted with the information that they will find online, and all kinds of filters are implemented in order to prevent the citizenry from being exposed to Western ideas and practices which may question, or threaten, Islamic ideology and Muslim orthodoxy.
It may surprise you to know that while Muslims are free to practice their Islamic faith in the United States, in some Muslim nations -- such as Saudi Arabia -- the overt practice of non-Muslim faiths is strictly prohibited. Saudi Arabia is governed according to the Qur'an, which means that Sharia -- or Islamic law -- rules the land. Equally important are the sayings and traditions of Muhammad, which are referred to as the Sunnah. Due to the fact that Saudi Arabia is governed by a very strict form of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabi, there are very rigid restrictions placed on non-Muslims who enter the country, such as Christians. In light of the controversy we have all been hearing about surrounding the proposed Muslim mosque and center in New York City, the following startling facts may cause your jaw to drop:
* Christian proselytizing and public preaching in Saudi Arabia is illegal.
* It is illegal to distribute Bibles in Saudi Arabia.
* No Christian churches are permitted in Saudi Arabia, even though approximately 30,000 Americans currently reside in the nation, many of whom are Christian.
* It is illegal for Christian clergy to enter Saudi Arabia for the purpose of conducting religious services, not even in private.
* Christians who are detained for practicing their religion may suffer imprisonment, be punished with lashes, and ultimately be deported. Some are even tortured.
* Even wearing Christian symbols in public may result in attracting the wrath of the Saudi religious police.
If there is one thing that the previous facts make clear, it is that if a Christian frontier for witnessing exists for the nation of Saudi Arabia -- and similar closed Arab and Muslim countries -- surely it is online via the Internet. So again, we see that the Internet may possibly be the only chance, and the last chance that some Arabs and Muslims will receive, to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Communist China and Muslim countries are not the only places where restrictions have been placed on Christian evangelistic endeavors. As I explain in the series "Holy Qur'an and Islam: A Doctrine of Devils?", the Jewish state of Israel likewise prohibits public Christian evangelism, based on the so-called Anti-Missionary Law -- or Bill 5738-1977 as it is technically known -- which the Israeli Knesset passed almost thirty-three years ago on December 25, 1977, as if to make a point. Based on this law, if the Israeli government chooses to enforce it, a Christian can be faced with up to a five-year prison term if he or she endeavors to convert a Jewish person to the Christian faith; particularly if there is any evidence that any form of persuasion was used. Even distributing Christian tracts will attract the ire of orthodox Jewish authorities.
The irony of this situation is that year after year, the Jews convince thousands upon thousands of gullible U.S. Christians to purchase tour packages to the so-called "Holy Land", so that they can see where Christ and His Disciples walked, and vicariously feel as if they are truly experiencing a part of Biblical history. The ugly truth of the matter is that Israel is in fact a closed frontier insofar as Christian evangelism is concerned. They may continue to deceive some Christians by referring to themselves as the "Holy Land", but Israel -- and the vast majority of Jews who live there -- are antichrist. What really irks me about this is the fact that some American Christian leaders support and encourage these tours. They are helping the Israelis to milk U.S. Christians.
What may surprise some people, is the fact that even in the United States of America -- a nation which constantly boasts of its many freedoms -- there's a rising tide of persecution directed against Bible-believing evangelical Christians. As you may already know, the United States is home to a number of Jewish-controlled groups whose primary goal seems to be to stop Christian evangelism in its tracks, and to make the USA as antichrist as Israel is. These groups include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Anti-Defamation League Of B'nai B'rith, the American Jewish Congress, People For The American Way, and others. These organizations were either founded by Jews, and/or are run by or funded by Jews. Under the disguise of supposedly upholding US law -- such as the misinterpreted separation clause that is found in the U.S. Bill of Rights -- they are slowly turning America into another secular nation.
As a direct result of the endeavors by these Jewish groups, in increasing numbers, crucifixes, mangers, monuments of the Ten Commandments, and other symbols of our Christian faith, are being removed from government-owned land; restrictions are being placed on prayer and other Christian activities within the American public education system; hard-working people are being reprimanded, or dismissed, from their jobs when they refuse to do certain things which are contrary to their Christian faith; etc. Yet when Christians rise up in protest against the obvious hostile discrimination against our faith, we are reminded of the so-called separation of Church and State by the very organizations that I mentioned a moment ago. Ironically, as I write this, Muslims are in a legal battle to construct a Muslim center and mosque just a few blocks from the site of the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks, and it appears that they may soon get past all of the legal hurdles and stiff public opposition, because, as we all know, Arab petro-dollars talk.
Undoubtedly, what is happening in the aforementioned places is only a foreshadow of worse things to come. I have no doubt that in coming years, frontier after frontier will continue to close to the Christian Gospel. Furthermore, as each year passes, and as Internet services become even more interwoven into the fabric of our lives, the danger of the free flow of information being curtailed further, becomes an ever-present possibility. The previous examples are clear proof of this. Assuming that this is indeed the future that we face, doesn't it make sense that we should use the Internet to give people one last chance to hear the Gospel of Christ while it still remains possible to do so? Or, like some Christians, should we just say "Computers are evil! The Internet is evil!"? I know what I will do, and what I am already doing. How about you?
A few decades ago, some people scoffed at the suggestion of an authoritarian government controlling our lives similar to George Orwell's infamous Big Brother of "1984" fame. This is no longer so. It is happening all around us this very day, if we will only open our eyes to the truth. From closed-circuit cameras constantly surveilling us on city streets all across the nation, to Internet data packet sniffing and automated email snooping, to illegal wire taps, where will it all end? I don't doubt that many of you reading this already foresee the day when radio, television, tabloids and magazines, and perhaps even books, will become things of the past. At our current pace, in a very short time, everything having to do with information will be piped into our homes via the Internet.
In fact, if you can currently afford the luxury of broadband, such as a DSL or cable modem connection, or better, then in large part, you are already living the future. Within a few short years, everything in our homes will be controlled by a powerful computer sitting on the desktop or perhaps embedded in the walls of our homes. Devices and applications such as X10, Insteon, Xtension, MyHome, PowerHome, HomeSeer, Indigo, etc., are already making this possible. Soon we will all be piped into one main source; but the problem is that when we reply upon only one source, whether it is for information or for any other service, it inevitably leads to the danger of being manipulated and controlled by whoever the supplier may be.
Obviously, monopolies are nothing new under the sun. We are all abused by them on a daily basis. But at the current rate, who knows; in short order, some people may be working like George Orwell's character Winston Smith in "1984". In other words, they will be historical revisionists for Big Brother, ensuring that we only know and believe what the government wants us to know and believe. Contrary opinions will simply be eliminated by the tap of a mouse.
It is because of these perceived dangers, that some people have already begun to sound the alarm, and are declaring that the Internet must remain free of governmental control, and of Big Business control as well. In other words, there's an on-going effort to maintain what has been termed as "Net Neutrality", so that everyone continues to have full access to all online resources -- without any restrictions -- due to economic interests by greedy Big Business, or as a result of certain governments who only want us to see things their way.
Sadly, I think that they may be sounding the alarm a little too late. The invisible hand of Big Business, which in large part actually controls the government, has already realized the huge potential of the electronic Golden Goose, and they are already doing their best to try to control it; and you can bet that they will continue to squeeze it more and more, for all that it is worth.
If you doubt that this is so, consider how much junk mail you receive now, as compared to a few years ago. If you have a high profile on the Internet, such as through owning one or more registered domain names, this makes you even more a target of unsolicited, and annoying, commercial spam. If it weren't for sophisticated email programs which allow us to set up filters, and ISP-based filtering systems, we would all go crazy . . . or else end up closing our accounts in frustration.
As many of us have already personally experienced, with the proliferation of commercial spam, not to mention the fact that we can rarely visit a website without being bombarded with hordes of ads for everything under the sun, annoying pop-ups, and bogus links which may actually lead to places we would rather not go -- such as pornographic sites -- the situation is really out of control. Add to that the threat of identity theft, as well as the unintentional downloading of trojans and viruses, is it really any wonder that some new computer users might be hesitant to embrace the online world?
But my point is, the danger of the Internet being controlled is real. For example, since 9/11, in the so-called name of "fighting against global terrorism", the American government has taken drastic steps to not only curtail the rights and freedoms of ordinary American citizens through questionable executive orders and bills, which could be activated, should the need arise, but it is now common knowledge that it has also waged an intensive domestic spying campaign against its very own citizens. This spying campaign has by no means been limited to traditional methods such as physical surveillance and phone taps. As I mentioned a moment ago, modern spying has now evolved to include the intentional sniffing of online electronic communications -- such as our email -- by means of such controversial programs as "Carnivore", which has since been assigned a more generic name, so as to not draw further attention to its true purpose.
Governmental control of the Internet aside, from a business perspective, things aren't much better. It may not be long before Internet email taxes, and other profit-making tactics, make the Internet inaccessible to all but the rich and the elite; or, as some people have suggested, two version of the Internet may evolve; one for the rich -- with high speed and services -- and another for the poor -- which offers degraded speed and services.
But returning to the issue of our online Christian witness, I suspect that it may only be a matter of time before our evangelical activities will likewise be curtailed. Stop and think about it. If overseas missionary journeys are already in decline due to governmental restrictions in some nations, and due to the increasing danger that missionaries now face from radical groups in some countries, what makes you think that the same thing can't happen with our online activities? As we have already seen, some countries -- such as China and Syria -- have already begun to restrict what their users can access online, and there are undoubtedly other nations which do it as well. If -- as many Christians believe -- sometime in the future, a totally godless government takes control of the world, do you honestly believe that it will allow us to continue preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ online? Do you think that it will allow us to continue to expose it for what it actually is?
So it is my view that our Christian frontier on the Internet may eventually be closed as well. Hopefully though, it will be the final frontier to close, and for now, many people will continue to get another chance -- perhaps a last chance -- to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you personally doubt my conclusion, perhaps it is due to the fact that while you may know that Christians are currently being persecuted in other countries, you fail to realize that American Christians are also being persecuted, under the guise of upholding American law, as we discussed earlier. Even if you don't agree with my logic, as stated in this article, as I also point out in the series called "Civil Disobedience and Christian Persecution", Jesus clearly stated that we Christians would be persecuted for His name's sake, as we see by the following verses:
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Matthew 10:22, KJV
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake."
Matthew 24:9, KJV
"But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls."
Luke 21:12-19, KJV
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me."
John 15:18-21, KJV
Please notice that Matthew 24:9 comes right before the verse that I quoted earlier, in which Jesus stated that the Gospel will be preached in all nations, and then the End will come. This gives us a time reference for when this persecution will occur. In other words, my understanding is that once the Lord feels that we have accomplished our purpose here as witnesses of our faith, He is going to allow the persecution to begin, in order that the wicked can fill their cup of iniquity. This is all in accordance with the Scriptures, and it is also what will make God's Judgments so righteous when they begin to fall in earnest upon this sinful, unbelieving world.
With each passing year, I believe that the level of serious persecution and discrimination against Christians believers will continue to rise; even in the so-called "Christian" USA due to the endeavors of our antichrist enemies, such as the aforementioned Jewish-controlled organizations. As I explain in a number of my 666/Mark of the Beast articles, we will be increasingly viewed in a negative light, mocked, despised and hated, as the deceptive spirit of antichrist takes control of the unbelieving world. As a result, we will become ostracized from society, and social outcasts, due to our Christian faith. In the United States, even now Bible-believing Christians are being accused of being close-minded, biased, prejudiced, out of sync with the times, anti-semitic, and even a danger to society.
Given enough time -- and it may occur sooner than we think -- some of our Christian beliefs -- such as our rejection of the gay and lesbian lifestyle -- may eventually be labeled a hate crime. There are already laws in the United States which make this possible. Furthermore, our Christian-based websites may eventually be shut down if our Christian views are deemed to be hateful; and in worse-case scenarios, we may possibly even be imprisoned if we refuse to renounce our beliefs. You say that it can't and won't happen? It has already happened in other countries. Under the right conditions, it could happen in the USA as well.
So my message today is a double one. First, if you happen to be a Christian, and if you have any level of computer skills, please don't underestimate the power of the Internet. Perhaps you don't possess the means or the desire to be a missionary in a foreign field, but the Internet can be your frontier for your personal witnessing endeavors, right from the comfort of your own home. Please consider taking advantage of it while we still have the freedom to do so, because it may not last. Who knows; by being a faithful witness of your faith, you may possibly give someone in your own country, or in a foreign land, their last chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Second, if you are a person who has not yet come to Christ, I pray that this message, or one similar to it, will cause you to finally open your heart to the Lord. I hope that you will take this chance -- perhaps your last chance -- to make the right decision to accept God's love, mercy and forgiveness, through the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He is reaching out to you right now, even at this very moment. Are you willing to humble yourself, admit your sinful condition, and accept the free Gift of Salvation which He freely offers you? I hope so, because you may not get another chance.
With these thoughts I will bring this article to a close. I trust that you have found it informative and enlightening, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc, I would really appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this article, or which are related to this article, and which are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
All Are Given a Chance, But . . .
Are You a Burning Ember for the Lord?
Civil Disobedience and Christian Persecution
Do You Want Love and Light, or Rod and Wrath?
Holy Qur'an and Islam: A Doctrine of Devils?
Is the Message of Salvation Meant for All Men?
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God