No one doubts that the meeting yesterday between President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un will make the history books! It is still somewhat puzzling to know the ‘change of face’ exhibited by Kim. Whether it is the failing economy in North Korea or the lack of resources to be able to sustain a war with America or for another reason unknown to the outside world we cannot be sure why he has had this rather dramatic turn around. President Trump is keen to find a solution for continuing peace with this rogue nation but is still taking a strong stance against any form of nuclear development in North Korea. While President Trump addressed the denuclearization of North Korea Kim only signed a general statement concerning denuclearization but would not commit himself to four specific statements President Trump asked him to sign. Added to this no mention was made of human rights abuses or the persecution of Christians. In a speech after the meeting President Trump did mention the release of three American prisoners from North Korea but this was more of a political gesture on Kim’s part rather than the policy of his regime. However will Kim maintain the policy of persecution? No doubt he will because the man loves power and will depose any who oppose his demands to be worshipped if the truth be known.
Human rights and Gulags
Holocaust survivor and former judge at the International Court of Justice, Thomas Buergenthal, has said that he believes that the North Korean Gulags are as bad, possibly even worse, than concentration camps of Nazi Germany. North Korean political prison camps, which contain an estimated 120,000 individuals today, are among the worst, but not the only severe human rights abuses committed by North Korea.”
Christian persecution perpetuated
What about the persecution of Christians? If Kim can be forced to denuclearize then he should equally be forced to stop the persecution of Christians and human rights abuses and close down the Gulags. According to the report of Open Doors the main driver of North Korean Christian Persecution is the state. For three generations, everything in the country focused on idolizing the leading Kim family. Christians are seen as hostile elements in society which have to be eradicated. Due to the constant indoctrination permeating the whole country, neighbours and even family members are highly watchful and report anything suspicious to the authorities. Children are especially vulnerable to the heavy indoctrination. Reports show that some children report their own parents for religious activity. Therefore, many parents prefer not to tell their children anything about their Christian faith until they’re older. If Christians are discovered, not only are they deported to labour camps as political criminals or even killed on the spot, their families will share their fate as well. Christians do not even have the slightest space in society. Meeting other Christians in order to worship is almost impossible and if some believers dare to, it has to be done in utmost secrecy. The churches shown to visitors in Pyongyang serve mere propaganda purposes.”
These comments remind us again of what our Lord Jesus said; “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.” (Luke 21:12-19)
Persuaded to change?
At this time it seems highly unlikely Kim and his regime will change their policy regarding Gulags and human rights abuses and most of all towards Bible believing Christians but will he change this policy? I don’t think so, not anytime soon! If it ever does change then it will not be due to outside pressure from America, or though this might be the catalyst God uses to change things in North Korea, but it will be due to the effectual fervent prayers of the saints over in North Korea! Who can know how many fervent, praying believers there are in the Lord Jesus in that country? Hopefully President Trump will eventually persuade Kim to change this policy of persecuting Christians as there are still some meetings to come with them both.
Persecution of the saints.
Persecution of faithful Christians is a fact that we must always keep in view as already persecution has started in the western democracies where the freedom of Christians to express their faith are being gradually eroded. Laws are now being put in place to discriminate against those who oppose unbiblical practices such as Euthanasia, Abortion, Same-sex marriage, indoctrination of children regarding their gender, and interfaith homogeneity. The prophet Daniel spoke of a time when the saints of God would suffer persecution at the hands of the Antichrist’s Beast Empire but at the end he and his empire would be destroyed and the saints would inherit the Kingdom on earth.
Daniel writes; “I was watching; and the same horn (the Antichrist / man of Sin) was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favour of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom… He (the Antichrist / man of Sin) shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. (three and a half years or 42 months or 1,260 days) ‘But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” (Daniel 7:21-22, 25-27)
The Ultimate Judge
Whether it is President Trump, Kim Jong-Un or any other leader for that matter they will all have to stand before the ultimate and eternal judge to give an account to Him who sits on the throne for what they did or did not do for His people both Israel and by extension and inclusion the faithful Body of the Messiah. When the Lord Jesus comes back He will judge the nations that have survived the bowls of God’s wrath. The ‘sheep’ and the ‘goat’ nations will be assembled before Him and there receive judgement and sentencing. (Matthew 25:31-46) On that day every injustice, every human rights abuse, every lie, every murder, every vile act and practice and even every idle thought and every violation of God’s law and commandments will be brought to light and judged. For multitudes it will the time for wailing and gnashing of teeth! As for His saints of the Most High they will co-reign with Him in His Millennial Messianic glory on earth and then for all eternity in the final and eternal state. The reality for all of us as God’s treasured saints is that persecution will come to a greater or lesser degree in this life and we cannot avoid it if we remain faithful to the Lord Jesus and to the Word of God.
The Crown of Life
However, Daniel tells us that after our Lord Jesus has come back “then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.” As Paul writes; “If we suffer with Him we will also reign with Him.” (2 Timothy 2:12) As the Lord Jesus also said; “Be faithful even unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10b) May the Lord Jesus constantly enable us whom believe in the Lord Jesus by the power of His Spirit to overcome everything the world, the flesh and the devil throws against us and to remain Jesus’ faithful soldiers and bond-slaves to life’s end. Amen!