State Religion or Death

When I was in school, I was taught that the Catholics during Constantine forced people to ‘convert or die’.  Prior to them, the Ottoman empire certainly had this practice.  What I wasn’t told is that this goes back thousands of years, to the time of the Jews.

2Chr 15:12 They entered into the covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul; 13 and whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.

Oddly, they were not scolded for this behavior, but instead “the LORD gave them rest on every side.”  It did not last however, and king Asa himself bought some peace, and was given the scolding “Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. ….Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars“.  Even in his personal life he continued in error “Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.”

My theory here is that forced conversions don’t always stick, since once the pressure is off, people naturally return to their own carnal ways.  John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”