Stephan in Acts 7:54 - When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart and they gnashed on him with their teeth. Acts.7:57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 7:58 - And they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet named Saul.
This same Saul, later to be called Paul , went into every home looking for the People of The Way. Christianity was not popular, for its of God and the power of this world is anti-God. We have so much "feel good" popular religion today that I am suspicious just by the fact of its popularity. The Name of Christ is mentioned for sure, but if its not the Christ of The Cross, then it cannot be of God. There can be No Christ if there is No Cross. No Salvation if there is No Death for Sin on The Old Rugged Cross. With all of the "feel good" stuff on the air-ways, I fear a "candy coated" Christianity is settling in on us like a soft moving mist, enveloping the hearts, and minds of millions. Make no mistake, Religion will always be popular, popular churches will be filled , the False prophet will be the "talk" of the town, he will be " arm in arm" with the "Beast" the Anti-christ.
From the viewpoint of the BIBLE, The Word of God, deception is hard at work , people for the most part will fall into this "comfortable" placid, popular, enthusiastic christian religion. It's not uncommon to hear people name the name of Christ but deny the power of a crucified life. Lovers of self, of pleasure, of this world's goods, no hell , no judgement, and NO CROSS. This seems to be what I hear most on some of the "popular" christian programs. I have looked back thru the ages and have yet to find when Christianity was popular with the masses, so with real concern, I say here of the Great Placebo at work. The threat is not with KNOWN cultic or Works with Grace relgions. We recognise the JW's and the LDS's as straight out of the pit of hell , the same hell they don't believe in, the same hell that Christ spoke more of to flee, than the Heaven HE came from to Save us, or the Roman Papal fallacies, the worship of saints, and Maryolotry. The gross wickedness of such systems that killed the early Christians and burned them at the stake. The Real Threat is a Pseudo Christianity that has NO CROSS, NO SIN, NO BURDEN OF REPENTANCE, and NO REAL SALVATION, for when one is saved by the Cross of Christ, sin is done away with, God becomes HOLY, the love of this world grows strangely dim , the world's humor becomes nauseaus and we become "odd" to the world as we don't partake as we used to of this world's mindset.
The Day is close for the Anti-christ, aka The Beast and the False prophet to make their appearance, No man of God, born-again ,will be able to buy or sell or work, the masses of popular christian religions will persecute and "turn in" all people without the "mark" - just like the 1st century Christian church, they will gnash on the "Stephans" with their teeth, the message of true Washed in the Blood, Cross centered Christian preaching will hardened their hearts and they will believe the "lie" -- ALL THIS IS TO SAY , since when has Christian preaching become popular with this world's mindset.
Let me say this, it is not about the people, the poor unsaved masses, for they are taken into the "net" blinded by the god of this world. But it is about the "born-again , enlightened thru The Word ones , that "we" should be "aware" and "on guard" to uphold the Truth, as the angel told Daniel in the latter days.
I don't "preach" too often -