Since we are resuming our teaching series in the book of Acts (WITNESS) I have been reading through the book penned by Dr. Luke. As I’ve been reading, I have been struck by one thought.
As 21st century American Christ followers we have a weird, unusual, twisted view of our faith.
We tend to think that our Christianity makes us safer, more secure – like a protective “God-bubble” meant to keep us healthy, pay our bills, protect us from violence and tragedy, and keep us happy. Like a guarantee of experiencing the American dream! For many decades being a Christian in our country gave you an increased social standing – some respectability.
Yet the 1st century believers began to face difficulties almost immediately.
And the truth is that in most places, at most times throughout history – embracing Christ has brought social isolation, prejudice, persecution, and sometimes martyrdom.
And I think things are shifting fast here. There are many disturbing signs that we may increasingly face negative consequences for naming the name of Christ.
Should we be surprised? Frightened? Intimidated?
Let God’s word speak to us:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:8
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted… 2 Timothy 3:12
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 1 Peter 4:12-14
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
Be sure to join us on Sunday mornings, beginning September 9th as we find instruction and inspiration from those who have gone before and paid the ultimate price.
In the original language the word translated WITNESS is where we get our word MARTYR.
Gives a whole new meaning to what it means to be a witness for Chris, doesn’t it?