For all the hoopla in the news lately about Chick-fil-a I want to share a scripture. (2 Timothy 3:12), "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." This is not a warning, it is a promise from the Holy Spirit. Not that everyone will be persecuted in the same way, but all will be persecuted who desire to live godly...in Christ Jesus. Now let's look at one particular word in that scripture...desire. Did you catch that? It doesn't say "All who live godly", but "All who DESIRE to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." It starts in the heart.
The truth is, many Christians are not persecuted because they don't desire to live godly in their heart. Oh, they go to church, speak Christianese, and do the right things. But still the desire to live godly is not in their heart. They desire to please friends, co-workers, and self more than pleasing God. But enough said about that.
What about those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus? Persecution is a promise. It is a promise we're seeing fulfilled in these last days right here in the U.S. This is because our culture continues to move farther and farther away from the very God who created us. To live godly in Christ Jesus has become counter-cultural in most regions of the United States. It's just plain ole abnormal.
Why are we surprised when the persecution comes? The Bible says we should rejoice! Jesus said, "Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets." (Luke 6:22 - 23)
Why should we be surprised and appalled over all the reaction to Chick-fil-a's stance on Biblical principles? Jesus even said, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you." (John 15:18) Listen to me very carefully. Don't get mad...rejoice! That's what Jesus said to do.
Why would Jesus tell His followers to rejoice when persecuted for the sake of His name? Two reasons: #1. Because your reward is great in heaven. God has a very special place in His heart (and in heaven) for those who will go so far as to lay it all down for the sake of Christ. What we give up now, will be multiplied back to us in heaven (plus much more). A great reason to rejoice! #2. Because living godly for Jesus is detrimental to the enemy! Heavy damage is done to the kingdom of darkness when we live godly in Christ Jesus. He gets stirred up! It's that simple! Persecution because we've stirred up the enemy is a rejoicing event! And believe me...it is extremely powerful.
This post is not meant to be negative, but rather to help you focus on the truth of what is really happening in these last days. To live godly in a godless society will draw persecution. But it also draws the extreme power of God - with much rejoicing! So make the choice now. Don't flow with the culture. Live your life AGAINST the culture. Desire to live (and do it) godly in Christ Jesus. I'd like to know what you think.
Steve is available to teach/preach God's Word in churches, conferences, workshops, special meetings and groups. Some of the subjects include: not limiting God, prayer, praise and worship, marriage, missions, etc., among many others. If I can serve you please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.