Originally posted on April 9, 2016
My husband and I were involved in a lively discussion this morning, as we often do! No, not what you are probably thinking, we were not arguing, we were just fired up about The Word! We began talking about an article he shared on facebook about freedom of speech, and it went from there.
I have been getting very passionate lately about religious persecution (again, probably not what you are thinking!). It seems that a bunch of ‘us’ Christians think that we are unable to talk about Jesus anymore. That we will be scorned, bullied, persecuted. Jesus already told us this is truth.
John 15:18-25 New International Version (NIV)
The World Hates the Disciples
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[b]
This should not stop us from sharing the Gospel! This should not stop us from opening our mouths and sharing the TRUTH. We must not. We should not be afraid. How many times does God tell us in His Word to not fear? Some people say 365, although I cannot substantiate that – but it is a whole lot of times!!! We must stand on the Rock, and not be moved.
I also hear a lot these days about how the LGBT “agenda” is being “forced down our throats” and how sexual sin is so prevalent these days. Yes, we see it more because of all the media and yes, people are more open about it, but more prevalent? Not in my world. My world has been steeped in sexual immorality ever since I can remember. I have seen it, been exposed to it, and yeah, done it. I had friends when I was a teenager who were homosexual. Sexual promiscuity was rampant back then, with us kids. It is not new. Read the Bible, I think it deals with it quite a bit. Here is the truth about this: it is spiritual warfare. It is not of God. Satan has his grip and that is the biggest crack, he opens it up wide. It is his most fun, most alluring playground.
Having said that, here is the other truth of the matter: We are all sinners. One sin is not worse than the others. Two Bible passages in particular DO point to what sinful behavior will lead us to hell – Revelation 21:18 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
We must look at ourselves.
Not “those” people. The people who are lost are the ones we need to be Jesus to, not to be afraid of. God is with us. He will protect us, until the end of the age. He will not leave us. That is what the Bible says. The one who created it all died for us, so that we will live, free of the condemnation of sin. That is what we need to know, way in the depths of our soul – to KNOW. And that is what we need to share. We need to share that repentance means not losing, but gaining so much. Repentance is turning away from satan and turning towards God. Turning away from fear, and evil, and sadness, and doubt and turning toward love and hope and forgiveness and joy and FREEDOM.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
We may be the only Jesus some people see, and don’t you want people to see Jesus??? Stop being afraid, look to Jesus, keep focused on the truth!
Do you believe what God has told us? If you do, STAND ON IT!