“You will be hated by all because of my name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” Jesus
Jesus was known for making some pretty radical statements but one thing’s for sure. He never shied away from telling it like it is even if it wasn’t popular or didn’t feel good. For instance he said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” He then goes on to say “A man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”
We Christians will suffer for his namesake. The Apostle Paul said, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” This isn’t popular to teach but it is what the scriptures warn us about through and through. One thing good about hearing this type of teaching is at least we shouldn’t be too shocked when the mocking, ridicule or down right mean treatment and attitudes start showing up; even from other so-called believers.
This is the time to get our love in order. Jesus tells us we must love him more than even our father and mother. While this sounds pretty strange at first let me just say this “I know for me it was only after having the love of God poured into my heart that I could really love my wife, or anyone for that matter.” In other words if we don’t put God, who is love, first in everything we aren’t even able to love others. I think John put it like this “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
While Jesus told us the world is going to hate us did you know there are a few things God hates too? You can read them in Proverbs 6:16-19. They include, “A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.” How about that? Each of these has to do with how we treat one another. Did you notice it is “among brothers?”
What am I to take away from this? Well, for Christians it seems we are in for a bumpy ride. We are promised the world is going to hate us for Jesus’ sake, our enemies could very well be the members of our own family and it is only through many tribulations that we will enter the kingdom of God. On top of all this we discover we can’t plot revenge, make up rumors, lie or stir up drama in the process. In other words we, as Christians, are called to behave as Christ did when he was mistreated. How is that you might ask? I’m glad you asked.
When Jesus was mistreated he “committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; and while being reviled, he did not revile in return; while suffering, he uttered no threats, but kept entrusting himself to him who judges righteously…” God’s plan for us, as Spirit filled believers, is as Paul said, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of his body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” Don’t get me wrong I know Christ’s suffering was enough to take care of the sins of the world but like Paul we are called to take part in the sharing of the sufferings of the body. Just as Christ absorbed the world’s sins on the cross he is still engaged in absorbing the sufferings of the world only now he’s doing it in and through us.
Once again let me end with this “I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.”
Welcome to the family of God!!
Written by Louie