Friday, October 3, 2014
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Luke 6:22,23).
Although spoken to Israel’s believing remnant, our Lord Jesus’ words still comfort us weary or wounded Christian ambassadors.
A little brother in Christ recently telephoned me (and we later continued our conversation face-to-face). He was despondent because of the disrespectful way lost people—and even professing Christians—treated him. I told him that I could identify with that “coldshouldering” and assured him that he must not let it bother him; God has made provisions for us in Christ to withstand all of the Adversary’s darts (and occasional cannonballs!) aimed at us. Denominational divisions run ever so deep between professing Christians. The greatest spiritual division of all is between children of Father God and children of the Devil. The Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh experienced it, and the early Christians knew it, too.
Before dying, Jesus reminded His disciples, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Later, the Apostle John amplified those words by recounting the story of Cain killing his righteous brother Abel, concluding with, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13). The Apostle Peter wrote to his Jewish readers who abandoned their lost lifestyles, “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4). Beloved, people hated Jesus Christ living in His flesh; they equally hate Him living in us!
While quality Christian friends are very rare, hold them close once you find those few. We do pray for those who persecute us, that they step out spiritual darkness and into the light of God’s grace to us in Christ; still, we will not let their shunning of us, bother us! 🙂