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Been Here, Done This

Rev. Robert Kelley is the founder and president of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. and pastored the St. Mark Baptist Church of Portland, Oregon at the time this was published.

Editor´s Note: This October 2009 Commentary was the final issue of The From Slavery To Victory Monthly Journal.  It will remain as the showcase article for this section of the Web Site. It serves as a sobering reminder of what the painful, but purposeful experience of Christian black Americans is leading and in the hour of total fulfillment, has led to! 


One of the great benefits to arise out of the dark days coming is that finally, in Holy Spirit empowered revival, global unity across national, ethnic, tribal and language lines will be realized among Christians.  To the glory of God, faithful black American Christians holding to a biblical worldview will help lead the way in this nation.  This will not be because we are better or smarter than anyone else.  No, it will be because we have been where all Christians will be in those days, a hated and violently persecuted minority.  Truly, this will be our finest "such a time as this" moment God has been preparing us for since slavery (Esther 4:14).


It is a tragic blot on what should have been the shining history of the Church on the earth before the return of our Lord, that we have failed to consistently display the love in unity He commanded as I wrote about in last month´s article.  Bitter contempt, racism, bigotry, unspeakable violence and brutality, legal but immoral oppression as well as rejection in segregation and discrimination has been practiced on black Americans historically by many whites who also called themselves Christians.  Among the blacks that suffered from slavery until now are Christians led to Christ in the earliest days by whites themselves.


While God did permit slavery as remedial judgement for the sins of our ancestors, no sanction will be found in His Word for the accompanying hatred and evil deeds that were done.  No sanction will be found either for those of us that have been truly born again to hate or be bitter toward our white brothers for those deeds.  Instead, we forgive allowing the Holy Spirit to fully radiate the love of God out of us.  It is hard, especially when even now there are many white evangelicals confessing to hold to a biblical worldview that still instinctively think of themselves as and act superior to their black and other minority Christian brothers.


God, however, is on the move in His Church.  He is humbling the proud and lofty from all groups.  I am pleased to lead a multi-ethnic effort to restore men.  White Christians and those from other ethnic groups are filling what were once predominantly black churches or predominantly white churches are calling black pastors.  As examples locally, my friend Dr. James Martin, pastor of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church has seen a dramatic increase of non-black members.  Another friend, Rev. Terry Treadwell, is pastor of the predominantly  white  Solid  Rock  Baptist  Church. These men are excellent Bible teachers and hold to biblical morality.  We are signs of things still to come.


It is very sad that God has had to use adversity to force His people into doing what they would not voluntarily do before now in coming together.  However, consistent with His past dealings with Israel, He has been patient, giving us time to get it right.  But  now, as  a  marvelous  indicator  the  end times leading to the return of His Son draw ever nearer, God has moved us forward into these perilous times that have begun to force Christians to sober up.  As the setting sun causes the light of day to fade and the darkening shades of night to appear, so the present adversities the Church of Jesus Christ face will give way to more trouble and finally, the Great Tribulation.


In the foretold tribulation of hatred and persecution to come, faithful Christians of every ethnicity on all continents will be tried in the fire.  All will endure something of the painful contempt, bigotry, violence, brutality, legal but immoral oppression as well as rejection in segregation and discrimination blacks and other ethnic minorities have known.  For Christian black Americans there will be one major difference in their experience.  In those days it will be very clear our suffering is for the kingdom of our Lord!  From slavery through the Civil Rights era many were unsure about that fact though they willingly suffered for what was right trusting that God would vindicate their faith.


As the Lord led me to formerly write prophetically on this topic (this is my primary calling from Ezekial 33:1-9), "The sons of former slave owners will seek and find comfort in the sons of former slaves" in the coming days of which we speak (Genesis 50:15-21).  Among American Christians this will be a fitting way for us to go out.  For the world it will be a tortuous display of divine reality seen in His people that in part madly drives their desire to effect the Antichrist´s "final solution" to annihilate Jews and Christians by open warfare and destruction of their properties.  God´s chosen Jewish remnant will be protected and delivered to receive Christ Jesus their King (Isaiah 4:2-6; Jeremiah 33:14-26; Zechariah 12-14:9; Romans 11:25-36; Revelation 7:1-8, 12:1-6).  And though Christians will be killed as sheep for the slaughter, we win (Daniel 7:19-27, 9:26-27; Matthew 24:15-22; Mark 13:14-20; Luke 21:12-19; Romans 8:31-39; 1 Peter 4:12-19; Revelation 7:9-17, 12:7-13:17, 17-19:10, 20:4-6)!


Let those faithful Christians that understand the times, the things that are coming and the true victory of faith in Christ take heart (1 Chronicles 12:23-32; Matthew 16:24-27; John 16:33; 1 John 5:4-5).  Keep praying earnestly for our God to send the spiritual rains of revival the Church desperately needs to soak our drought parched hearts as preparation for the night that is almost here (Ezra 9-10:19).


Praise His name!  Our God has already shown us in His Word He will answer our tear filled prayers for revival in days very near.  He is also going to respond as a strong support from the sky and on the earth to Israel and us before the Great Tribulation.  After it, the Day of the Lord will dawn to launch our eternal victory in Him (Joel 2:30-32; Malachi 4:5-6; Luke 21:11, 25-26; Acts 4:23-31; Revelation 8-11)!


©2009 Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc