The Cost of Following
One of the most challenging things in this life is to live the Christian Life. It is a race that requires endurance. We have read and heard countless stories of Christians getting killed all around the world. We have seen the world abandon biblical views of gay marriage and abortion among several other things. People are suing Christians for standing up for what they believe in. The most persecuted religion on this planet is the Christianity. Why? Because it is the only true religion. It is the only "religion" that is based on a direct relationship with God in which Jesus lives in us, the Holy Spirit guides us. We are able to grow in our relationship with Him. We have the option to submit our lives to Him and leave our old life behind by asking for forgiveness and inviting Him into our hearts. It is the only "religion" in which it's Bible is the actual living word.
As we continue to follow Christ we are hounded by the industries of the world. Jesus endured hostility. As we follow Him and we are in Him and Him in us. We are to show Jesus through our life and in doing so we will begin to encounter a hostile world. Jesus said we should expect opposition. Why? Because He faced it. We are not only followers but Christians. Being Christ-like. The world does not hate us but hates who we represent and that is Jesus. As we have died to self and have now become the people who show Jesus through their live' we will face great hostile.
Matthew 10:24-28 Jesus talked about the disciple not being above the teacher. And how we should not be afraid of those who can kill the body but not the soul.
We shouldn’t be surprised when unbelievers show hostility to us. Because we are to be the light that is shining in a dark world. People sitting in a dark room don’t like it when someone turns on the lights. Especially if they are up to something no good. “Hey, turn off that light!” they yell. We shine the light of Christ, the light of the gospel, into the darkness and often the world doesn’t like it. The light exposes the corruption, exposes the sin, exposes the wrongdoings of mankind. The world is greedy, lustful, and deceitful. That is why they reject us and show hostility. They embrace the dark desires of flesh. They crave immoral actions. They indulge in ungodly thoughts. We are the opposite of all they seek, desire, and crave. That is why they bring violence against us. We are a threat to them. We are a threat to the demons that they pamper, we are a threat to the evil that pulses through their veins, we are a threat to the wickedness that caress.
In this country we don’t usually experience physical opposition. But we may encounter hostile attitudes. We face family and friends who mock us and say negative things against us for the sole reason that we follow and love Christ. We face losing relationships for this very same reason.
The question now is. How can we endure such a hostile world.
VERSE PASSAGE: Hebrews 12:3 "Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." - NIV
Hebrews gives us the key to enduring the hostility of others. Jesus doesn’t ask us to endure anything He hasn’t been through. He experienced every temptation to the max. Jesus suffered incredible hostility. Before He was crucified the religious leaders hated Him and continually plotted to kill Him. People accused Jesus of having a demon and healing by the power of Satan. At His mock trial before Caiaphas they spat on His face and struck Him, and said, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” Brutal Roman soldiers mocked and scourged Him. Hostile crowds yelled, “Crucify him,” to Pontius Pilate.
Yet Jesus never reviled, threatened, or cursed in return. He took it silently. How did He do this?
VERSE PASSAGE: 1 Peter 2:21-23 "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly" - NIV
When people mocked and insulted Jesus He didn’t retaliate but entrusted Himself to His Father. When He hung on the cross and people had spit on Him and said, “Hey, save yourself and come down from the cross if you’re the Christ,” He didn’t yell back. No, He entrusted Himself to His heavenly Father. And He even asked His Father to forgive those who had crucified Him.
That’s how we are to endure hostility. We are to continue to entrust ourselves to God who judges justly and not take revenge or revile back. To entrust ourselves to God means we keep trusting Him to take care of us. That God the all-knowing, all-wise judge will deal with our enemies. That the One who is perfectly just will make everything right in the end. To entrust ourselves to God means we put ourselves in His hands and trust Him to defend us and deal with those who attack us.
We will all experience hostility from someone at some point in time for the sole reason. We are Christians. Don’t strike back. Don’t take things into your own hands. Don’t repay cursing with cursing. Do what Jesus did and entrust yourself to Him who judges justly. That’s how He will keep you from growing weary or fainthearted. God knows what will happen. God knows when and where we will encounter hostility. Rely on Him. He will help you get through it. Let Him take care of the judgment.
VERSE PASSAGE: 1 John 2:6 "Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did." - NIV
Be blessed my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.
• Hebrews 12:3
• 1 Peter 2:21-23
• 1 John 2:6
• Matthew 10:24-28
Copyright © 2017 by Jacob D. Olinger