Bible Ballistics: BBs #554 Expect Suffering, Really???
We appear to be living in a culture that is pervaded by an entitlement mentality. I’m entitled to be happy and have my needs met, and ‘you’ are responsible to see to that! A stark contrast to the intent of the founders of this country who said, we have the ‘right’ to “life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness”; a totally different thing! Even Christians are being influenced by this pervasive mindset! We no longer desire to know God’s will, God’s Word or God’s way, but we simply want to be entertained for a time, have our ‘ruffled feathers’ soothed, and our consciences put to sleep as we continually seek to have our “ears tickled”! Paul confronted those of Athens with a similar issue on his journeys.
“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens,
I perceive that in all things
ye are too superstitious…
…24 God that made the world
and all things therein…
…. seeing he giveth to all life,
and all things; …
..27 That they should seek the Lord,
if haply they might feel after him,
and find him,
though he be not far
from every one of us:
28 For in him we live,
and have our being; …
..[and] commandeth all men
every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day,
in the which he will judge the world
by that man whom he hath ordained;
whereof he hath given assurance
unto all men,
in that he hath raised him
from the dead.
32 And when they heard
of the resurrection of the dead,
and others said,
We will hear thee again
of this matter.” Portions of Acts 17:23-32
Paul shared the Gospel of Jesus with the Athenians, and they were eager to hear what he had to say until he got to the “resurrection” of Jesus, then they mocked and put him off. Why would we expect people to treat us differently when we are sharing the truth of the Gospel? We ought not! But we are to share continually the truth of Jesus, knowing that some will receive it others will not; and some will ridicule and oppose us. Jesus Himself said that we should expect it!
“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.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater
than his lord.
If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you;
if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.” John 15:19-20
And if you remember correctly, ‘they’ put Him to death! I would like to share a few passages of scripture with you to encourage you to remember that we are called to suffer with HIM! It’s not an option, for Paul made it clear that those who choose to follow Jesus will pay a price.
and all that will live godly
in Christ Jesus
shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
“The Spirit itself beareth witness
with our spirit,
that we are the children of God:
17 And if children,
heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ;
if so be that we suffer with him,
that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings
of this present time
are not worthy to be compared
with the glory
which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:16-18
And in closing a wonderful message of assurance.
and I count all things but loss
for the excellency
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them but dung,
that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him,
not having mine own righteousness,
which is of the law,
but that which is through the faith
which is of God
10 That I may know him,
and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable
unto his death;” Philippians 3:10
All because of His provision for us to live the ‘crucified’ life!
“I am crucified with Christ:
nevertheless I live;
yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live
in the flesh
I live by the faith
of the Son of God,
who loved me,
and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Are you suffering with HIM? Only you can answer that question; and if we’re not willing to live for Him under persecution, why would we think we’d be willing to die for Him?