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Is it what we really want? We grow up with a certain worldview, and to change that worldview can be exceedingly difficult.
If you discover something that appears to be true, as far as you can tell, and everyone else believes it isn’t, it can be incredibly hard to live with yourself. To stand alone in believing something, to have no human brother or sister, either physical or spiritual, to turn to with your struggle is indeed difficult.
Who do you tell? And, if you tell them, will they ridicule you? Think you’re stupid? Shun you?
The truth is, if the truth is important enough, it doesn’t really matter the consequences of sharing it.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ‘Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.Matthew 5:10-12, ESV
All of this is great in theory, but what do you do when this actually happens? It’s scary, uncomfortable, painful. What happens when it’s those who claim Christ that insult, mock, or rebuke you wrongly? When surrounded by deceived believers, what do we do?
We tell the truth.
It doesn’t matter if we’re asked to leave the church, removed from a position, told to repent, or anything of the sort. Consider if you could be wrong, sure, but ultimately you must hold to the truth regardless. I speak of these matters specifically in concern of things that are not biblically disputable, things that do matter.
Besides specific theological issues, the truth of the Gospel and how it is presented is very, very important. The Gospel must not be sugar-coated, added to, or anything of the sort. In Acts 3:13-15, Peter preaches,
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
The kind of stuff that Peter preached is not the same kind of stuff that most in Western society preach nowadays. We preach love, not condemnation. We mustn’t forget that God does condemn, and this is why the Gospel is such incredible news.
So will we let go of ourselves and sacrifice our lives? No matter what anyone says, will we endure in speaking the truth?
No matter what anyone says, will we endure in speaking the truth?Tweet
I speak in “religious” terms. In “hypothetical,” metaphorical terms even. It’s a lot harder in real life.
The Word of God must not only not be subtracted from, but it must not be added to either. To do so is incredibly dangerous. Isn’t this what the Pharisees tried to do with their rules and regulations?
And he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, ‘Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban’’ (that is, given to God)—then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.Mark 7:9-13, ESV
Do we live by tradition or truth? Do we simply live by what we’ve been taught, or by the Word of God? What does the LORD say? If we are servants of the Living God, we ought not answer to others before we answer to Him.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!Isaiah 5:20, ESV
It’s not what we think is good. It’s not what we think is evil. It’s not what we think is “gray.” It’s what God tells us.
Will we abandon ourselves for the truth?
What happens when your church says that not all of the Bible can be trusted?
What happens when your church teaches its members to support the LGBTQ community?
When your church believes feminism should be allowed among Christians?
When your church teaches something is a sin when the Word of God does not show this?
And what do you do when almost everyone you know disagrees with you in these hypothetical situations? What do you do when these situations become a lot more than just hypothetical?
At what seemed to be the end, Jesus was abandoned by His friends. Betrayed by one of those closest to him. Beaten. Insulted. Crucified.
He healed and helped and fed people, but they killed Him nonetheless.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’Matthew 27:46, ESV
Jesus was left desperately alone as the most horrible crime in history was committed against Him. And He did it for us. He did it willingly.
Knowing that, what ought we do when faced with circumstances like the ones I previously mentioned?
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:1-2, ESV
But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.Acts 5:29, ESV
Any uncited verse(s) in the above post are likely in ESV.
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