12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Here is the simple and plain truth of all Christ centered living: We are both steadfastly opposed TO, and hated BY the worldlings around us. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either ignorant or a liar. Period. Jesus Himself said that "in this world [we] will have trouble"; He told His disciples that the world hated Him first and that it would hate them (and us) as well. All of the preaching that promises us health, wealth, prosperity, fame and power in this world ignores the words of Jesus and the clear teaching of Scripture. God MIGHT give you some of those things if it serves His purposes, but make no mistake about it, the world around you will oppose you at every turn. This is because the whole fabric of your life as you seek to honor Christ is a condemnation of their every thought and deed. They hate us because, as we seek to press after the risen Christ we demonstrate that everything they love and pursue is a lie! What is more, we ought not be surprised at this, for God tells us in Galatians 5.17 that "the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh"… beloved, it is for this reason that the church of God must NEVER seek to follow the trends, the goals and the passions of the world in any fashion. It is for this reason that we are called to live out the truth of our calling in every word and action. This is the stark difference that will ignite hostility against you though you speak not a word to them, you serve one God, they serve another. Simply honoring marriage, or loving and desiring to raise godly children, simply believing that life is the precious and sacred gift of God marks you as a radical, as an enemy of the system and someone to be removed from their path. To go further and actually speak God's truth about relationships, about gender, about the value of all life or about educating the next generation in what is real and what isn't will be seen as hateful, and will cause hatred and even violence to be poured out with scorn upon us… this then is the rallying cry of the true church of Jesus Christ. We have no King but Jesus Christ, and by His law we will live. We are aliens, outsiders in enemy territory, and our very lives may be forfeit for merely speaking this fact… knowing this, we are faced with a simple choice: Do we honor Christ and suffer for His name? Or do we honor the false gods of the world and perish in flames with them? For Jesus was clear; those who deny Him will themselves be denied before the throne of mercy… and those who confess Him will be confessed before the Majesty on High.
Psalm 78:29–31 (NKJV): So they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire.30 They were not deprived of their craving;But while their food was still in their mouths,31 The wrath of God came against them,And slew the stoutest...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Jeremiah 9:23–24 (NKJV) 23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
John 3:19–21 (NKJV): And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Psalm 31:23–24 (NKJV): Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful,And fully repays the proud person.24 Be of good courage,And He shall strengthen your heart,All you who hope in the Lord. The chaos of the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
2 Corinthians 6:16–18 (NKJV): And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in themAnd walk among them.I will be their God,And they shall be My...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Psalm 91:7–8 (NKJV): A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand;But it shall not come near you.8 Only with your eyes shall you look,And see the reward of the wicked. It is so easy for us to see our circumstances...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Romans 15:4 (NKJV): For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. There is a mindset common in our day that says that anything old or past is bad,...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Isaiah 59:15–16 (NKJV) 15 So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor;...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Proverbs 22:11 (ESV): 11 He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend. How often are we content to have purity in sight (we dare not say we love it), to understand something of righteousness, to...[ abbreviated | read entire ]