The Gifts Part 36
It used to be that the world mocked believers for their pursuit of righteousness and holiness unto God. It used to be that those of the world were the ones that snickered and laughed and pointed and whispered, but nowadays it’s those calling themselves Christians who are becoming the most vociferous persecutors of those who still strive to walk the narrow path of faith and pursue holiness.
In their all-consuming desire not to be lumped in with the likes of those who insist that Jesus is the only way into the kingdom of God, in their all-consuming desire not to be lumped in with the likes of those who insist that the word of God is absolute, the scabs within God’s household seem to be the first to throw mud and stones and spears at true believers who continue to stand their ground, who continue to call sin, sin, and who continue to lift high the name of Jesus.
Since these individuals practice a mediocre Christianity, and they are comfortable in their mediocrity, anyone who is zealous for Christ and the things of Christ, anyone who burns with desire for the things of God is seen as strange, peculiar, and yes even abnormal.
The very essence of Christianity is utterly opposed to the mediocrity mainstream luminaries are attempting to force feed the sheep, wherein the faith doesn’t so much die, as dwindle away like a torch at the end of its life.
‘Well you know, I’m all for spirituality, I’m a very spiritual person, but all this talk about Jesus in church is just absurd, I mean, we need to be tolerant of other faiths, and have like open arms and open borders, you know like don’t be so condemning and so judgmental and like, not tell people what they can and can’t do.’
1 Peter 4:1-5, “Therefore since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles – when we walked in licentiousness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”
It seems every time I run into a bubble gum scholar, and proud graduate of the ‘speak your own truth’ online school of theology, I end up taking it out on the readers of this blog, and for that I apologize. I don’t know, I guess I’m getting older, and with age comes impatience, or at least the inability to suffer fools, but the Bible is clear on what our responsibilities toward God are as believers in Christ, and one of those responsibilities is that we no longer live in the flesh for the lusts of men, but rather for the will of God.
Peter is writing to the brethren and he is reminding them that they had spent enough time prior to having come to the knowledge of Christ walking in licentiousness, in lusts, in drunkenness, revelries and abominable idolatries, but now they had been saved and sanctified, and ought to no longer walk in these things.
Those who once knew them, those who once engaged in these things with them, having seen their transformation, having seen that they no longer get drunk, no longer live in lust, no longer practice idolatry think it strange, and begin to speak evil of them. The transformation is evident, and those who had not received the Christ in their hearts, see it and speak evil of it because they do not understand it.
Although they are ignorant of what has occurred in the life of the believer, ignorance does not make them blameless, and Peter reminds all the brethren that though now they are spoken evil of, one day those who speak evil of God’s children will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Just as surely as God will reward the faithful, just as surely as God will give to each according to their works, just as surely as God will receive those that finish the race and not only begin it, He will call to account everyone who has spoken against one of His beloved, who has mocked, who has scorned, and who has spoken ill, even if the individual named himself a believer.
So the next time someone calls you names, the next time someone speaks evil of you for the sake of Christ, the next time you are maligned, abused, or mocked for Jesus, just remember that God knows and sees and those who persecute you will be called to give account to Him.
It is because we have a wrong understanding of scripture that so many today attempt to distance themselves from even the notion of persecution, it is because they’ve swallowed the lie they’ve been fed for so long that they would never be tested, they would never have to endure, they would never see persecution, and they would never know trials, that so many are silent and fearful and unwilling to proclaim the name of Christ.
We’ve been told we’re supposed to live our best lives here and now by men we respected and the world idolized, we’ve been told that accepting Jesus was a free ride on the gravy train to heaven, and we take it upon ourselves to make it so even if it goes against what the word of God says.
2 Timothy 3:12-13, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
All, not some, not a handful, not half, not most, but all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. For if you desire to live godly in Christ, the world will see the difference, and they will mistreat you for it, they will mock you for it, and speak ill of you for it. It comes with the territory, for it was Jesus who said, ‘If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.’
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.