“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” Matt 5:11-12.
Today, in America and the Western World, the insults have begun. Christians in America and Europe have had a time of relative peace, and I do not believe that was a good thing. The majority of Christians either became comfortable and complacent, letting the days, weeks, and years go by without dedicating a part of their day to prayer and studying God’s word. That meant, of course, that we lost sight of our primary focus – following Jesus, and seeking to do the will of God.
What is the will of God, you might ask? To draw near to Him. To learn from Him. To worship Him. To believe in Jesus. Then to go out and serve Him. Be a light of hope and love in a dark world. The ways we can serve God are many, and as we study His word they become obvious. No matter which service we dedicate our lives to, in the end it will be pleasing to God.
But we have fallen away, intrigued and enticed by modern technology and our ability to hear the world, see the world, while picking what excites and stimulates. However what excites and stimulates us seems to be something that must continue to be fed a stronger and stronger diet. We increasingly need to see more violence, more sex, and more evil.
The results have been that we have become more and more angry at life, empty inside, filled with pride, and control freaks. More and more of us are turning to drugs and alcohol to fill that emptiness and to get the “good feeling” that seems to elude us.
Interestingly, however, there is what I will call a growing remnant of Christians in the US and Europe who are turning back to God, and in Him are finding the joy that can only be found in Him, the peace that can only come from Him, the a love that overwhelms us.
This flies in the face of the proud, those who need to be in control, and those who don’t believe in God, let alone Jesus. And since they cannot find the joy, peace, contentment, and love that we have – they strike out.
This is why we see a rise in insults that fly across the social media sits day in and day out. This is why we see good, decent, quite, unassuming Christian people abased in public.
Jesus clearly told us that as followers of Christ we would be insulted and so much more. And we are only at the beginning of what is to come. Darkness cannot stand even a spark of light because it reveals the ugliness of the dark world. And Christian, who are serving God, are lights in the ever darkening world.
I take heed to this message in the book of Jude, the last book in the Bible before the book of Revelation. It is a powerful book with only 25 verses. I invite you to read it sometime soon. For now, I close with this….
A Call to Persevere
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.