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The Righteous Will Be Persecuted
The bible states that the genuine christian life would NOT be a cake walk figuratively speaking. Let’s consider the scripture:
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
In a lot of churches and christian circles these days, you might think otherwise. For the most part – a majority (not all) are seeking the blessing of the Lord in this life and many ‘pastors’ preach on ‘your best life’, prosperity, riches, growing a massive church, new church plantings, having a great job, big house, and a fancy building to congregate in. The Lord of course can and will grant us blessings in this life – but I can’t help wonder if these people are truly walking with the Lord. Are they willing to be resented for the truth of Jesus Christ – or is it social happy time at church on sunday with yummy yum nom nomm brunch afterward? Wash, rinse, and repeat. I ask because the Christian life is anything but easy, yet many sermons preach on how easy it is if just pray for things we want vs want God’s wants (I’m guilty here sometimes).
For example, recently I have been grieved very much by certain situations in dealing with those who claim to know the Lord. That grief has given me much wisdom and insight into the nature of Christendom, theology, and the nature of seminaries. It’s one thing to be abstractly aware of something; it’s another to experience and see it for yourself first hand.
Persecution & Oppression Defined
Persecution is defined as: a general sense to pursue in a manner to injure, vex, or afflict; to harass with unjust punishment, or penalties for supposed offense, to endure pain from hatred or malignity. Oppression is defined as: being imposed of unreasonable burdens, either in taxes or services, cruelty, severity. A hardship or calamity. Scripture clearly notes that as Christians we will be persecuted and oppressed by the world. It is not surprising if you look at some of the martyrs in the past. If we are to conform to the image of Christ – we shouldn’t expect any different.
[We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
–2 Corinthians 4:8-12
Will You Stand Firm In The Faith?
When push comes to shove with society, governments, economic issues, etc how many are truly going to stand firm in the faith ? Of course many say they will – but have you ever noticed how quickly the scattering ensues in dire situations ? Friends aren’t friends when you need them the most. Family members don’t act like your family. Morality tends to get re-defined in emergency/natural disasters. Why would it be any different when persecution begins in a country that comparatively speaking has it made in regards to being able to practice their religion. When push comes to shove, and when genuine Christians in the United States are truly oppressed, it’s going to get ugly. The bible speaks of hate and persecution as something to be expected naturally.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Be Prepared To Be Scoffed At
One thing that has been and continues to vex – is the outright mockery of Christian beliefs and the biblical standard they hold. Much of this is likely due to pseudo-christians to a large extent and their vain traditions/hypocrisy – I would presume. Nonetheless, the mockery and general disdain of Jesus Christ by the media, school system, politicians, entertainment, etc. is very evident in the time we live in. This mockery is continued towards the ways Christians live and conduct themselves. For example – we’re to a point where male virgins are shamed and mocked by both men and women. The sanctity of marriage is considered archaic and replaced with a quick fix tinder swipe and a potential std to boot. Somehow modestly dressed women might be looked at as strange – considering exposing a lot of skin these days is acceptable/normal(albeit far from godly) and used consistently for attention/status via instagram or whatever. Somehow, taking your child’s education and values into your own hands – is somewhat weird and not exactly looked upon favorably.
Refusing to use abortion inducing ‘family planning’ pills is considered irresponsible and foolish (because everyone prior to having these big pharma pills were unevolved of course). Simply not agreeing with another’s lifestyle is borderline hate speech – because you know society is so open minded that it couldn’t possibly tolerate someone not agreeing with a sodomite lifestyle. Live as you may – but I don’t have to agree nor do I expect you to agree with me on the way I live. The list goes on- but one thing is clear: mocking and more disdain is in the future. It’s not always easy to live by faith and the word of God, when the world at large can’t stand it and thinks you’re foolish. The irony in it all…
The World’s Culture Clashes with Christianity
Beyond mocking in a general sense, the cultural mentality of the world and US popular culture doesn’t condone a strong home and family. Outwardly – the media might advocate for the family in some general sense – but not in the way of self-sufficiency or a respect of personal values (unless it’s trying to sell something or an idea).These days the mother is glorified and the father is hardly respected and thrown under the bus – all in the name of female empowerment- as if repeating and idea or statement something long enough will make something true. Why do you have to announce it — why not just live an empowered life? Society at large, thinks it’s normal to raise a child by entertainment, ipad, tv, etc. While, not inherently evil per se – at the end of they day it’s called ‘programming’ for a reason. There is likely disdain or ridicule to be heard when you share that you would prefer your child to be taught at home, to be not solely raised by netflix or an ipad.
Some Christians would rather not hand their kids off to government sponsored ‘day care’. I am from that system and IF I had a wife/family, I would prefer not to send my children there. I would also prefer them to be with their mother as much as possible in the early years. Somehow, these concepts and values have been so marginalized because it goes against the social mores of today. Many will not agree with these choices and it’s not always easy to be the ‘weird one’. At the same time it’s sort of crazy to think a stay at home mother (which in some circles is looked down upon) teaching her children rather than by the state is a-typical with all things considered. Are two incomes really making us happier and content in the scheme of it all ? Are our children being influenced by politicized and godless curriculum that mixes valid science with theorized ‘science’ ?
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babbling, and oppositions of science falsely so called
–1 Timothy 6:20
Issues With “Christians”
Beyond the mocking and cultural challenges of simply being a born again Christian, another challenge is living in a culture that advocates and builds up false teachers, preachers, and religious systems. As mentioned above – on one hand you have a growing culture and political environment that isn’t necessary a stalwart for the biblically minded – but rather the religiously minded. For example – it seems as long as some denominations are controlled and tow the line – it would appear that it’s all good in the hood. As long as those churches are influenced by the 501c3 system – they can willingly or unwillingly be subjugated to those terms.
I am not saying every 501c3 church is bad or is actively being dictated directly by the IRS due to this contract. What I’m saying is that they are influenced by that contract (can’t talk about certain political matters) and are granted their corporate existence from the state. To not agree with this compromise as a Christian concerned with the truth, is not always an easy topic to bring up with other believers. This is primarily due to the fact that they’d rather not hear it or act like it doesn’t effect anything. Regardless of what you’d prefer to think – it definitely does. No where does the law say that a church (body of believers gathered) must become a corporation. It’s not needed. (In another article this can be examined further).
Continuing, speaking out about matters like 501c3 or the falsehoods of certain preachers/denominational doctrine falsehoods will not make you friends any time soon. (Well, maybe a couple who are genuinely concerned with the truth and not their own personal feelings). Nonetheless, speak out on these matters, and you’ll likely be bombarded with hate and vitriol from ‘fellow Christians’. Some are actually just fans (fanatics) about certain exalted men and their status. A few examples of people that have their cult followers: John MacArthur, Steve Anderson, Joel Osteen, Steve Furtick, Benny Hinn, Paula White, James White(nah brah I’m not putting Dr. before your name). There is a laundry list of false teachers, preachers, prophets – to which I won’t list here because that’s not the point.
The point is that it is not pleasant to mark these people to be avoided – due to their fanbase attacking you for attacking their false doctrine and hence, their character and by proxy, the ‘fan’. At the end of the day, its about biblical truth – if these fans are more concerned with exalting a man/woman – so be it. At the same time – how ironic is it to be attacked by ‘fellow brethren’ ? Does scripture not say there is only one church with local bodies ? Where in scripture does it call for denominations? Do you think this pleases the Lord ?
It’s True Because… Pastor
I believe the true church is partly in the denominational system (some churches appear to be biblically sound but still take a name or flavor for whatever reason) and some are not. The pseudo-christians caught up in some of these churches are some of the hardest to deal with, because they actually think they have salvation in church attendance, moral inclinations, good deeds, etc. They take a passive approach to scripture and believe whatever the pastor says and subsequently follows the social traditions of the church (regardless if they are biblical or not). In their minds – it’s true because… Pastor. I’m here to tell you that you will not be liked if you question these folks – be prepared for that.
As born again Christians we are called to share the gospel with the world. I’ll admit that I don’t always find this to be the easiest task when considering the hearts of men. With some time and wisdom – it has become a smoother process. Nonetheless it’s not always pleasant to have someone reject the truth, especially in anger. Regardless, we are called to share the gospel and our spirit should delight in this. The truth of the matter is that defining sin and unrighteousness in context with someone will prick their hearts, because God has written the law in our hearts (deep down we know certain things about what we do – regardless if we choose to openly acknowledge or admit).
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
The Truth Saves
The gospel will share the truth of Jesus christ and his final work, and the salvation therein. How people react to this news is not really our concern, but at the same time no one said it would be easy to present the truth to people who might reject it for their sin. Sometimes people will react with hostility due to the fact that you’ve exposed them for what they are or you might experience the silent despising treatment. After all, if this person in their mind was a ‘good person’ – (ie: volunteering in the community, donating to charity, going to church on sunday, law abiding, etc…) how dare you present something otherwise? At the same time – when brought with hostility, we ought not to respond with hostility, but in a righteous and loving manner. Even in this case they might get even more upset because they have lost control and you continue to be kind and of a gentle spirit. Furthermore, it’s a reflection of the state of their heart – they’re upset to hear what you have to say and being kind regardless speaks for itself.
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
The problem is that they are comparing what most people think is ‘good’ versus comparing what God says is good. That of which -without Christ, there is none considered good. Are you seeing where this is going ? People will be offended sooner or later and you just happen to be the messenger. It’s not exactly a cake walk, but we serve our Lord! -MD
(Last Updated: September 7, 2018)