You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
If you are a wholehearted follower of Jesus there is one thing you can be sure of, and that is not everyone is going to be your fan. Following Jesus is an unpopular way to live insofar as the governing spirit of this age and the prevailing opinions of the world are concerned.
In many western nations, we don’t face the persecution for our Christian faith that brothers and sisters in parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa might. But steadily, there is a growing tide of opinion against the moral decisions, choices and convictions bible-believing Christians hold.
These include three major issues the Church in much of the world is facing right now. They are:
- Homosexuality and the gay rights agenda
- Islam and Israel
- Abortion and the right to life of the unborn
There are undoubtedly others, but Christian, you will be called upon, sooner or later, to make a stand on one or all of these issues. Are you prepared for the hatred you will feel when you do?
Of course, the other avenue some Christians take, especially those that have been exposed to abuses, injustices and hurt in the church is to distance themselves from anything remotely controversial. This is to say to the world, “Hey, I’m not like those dorky / hateful / judgemental / weirdo Christians, I’m just like you”.
The problem is when we choose this road over the road that Christ calls us to (read the verse above again), then we are choose the love of the world over the love of God.
That is a serious thing. So serious in fact, God says the competition for your affections is not a game I am going to play, choose one or the other because “friendship with the world, is hostility towards God” (James 4:4).
Heavy words aren’t they? And yet this is the world in which we are living in today. It’s a world of consequences, where standing for Jesus and His truth is comes at a personal costs to us.
But there is a good news (there is always Good News!). Jesus promises us there is a payout to suffering this hatred. “Son, daughter, if you endure to the end, you will be saved!”
To be faithful in persevering through the hard times of conflict, rejection, ridicule, misunderstanding you need to be aware up front that the ways of the kingdom of God are different to the ways of the world. A God-adoring, eternity-focued life will bring a reaction from those loyal to another spirit.
PRAYER: Lord help me to faithfully follow you regardless of what others say, think or do. I want to be faithful Lord. I love you Lord and desire to live in such a way that pleases you. Amen.