Summary: Do we stand for what is right or do we let the world bully us into silence about our faith? Are we courageous disciples?
Do we stand for what is right or do we let the world bully us into silence about our faith? Are we courageous disciples? Let’s examine confessing Jesus in the midst of opposition in Matthew 10:24-39.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!” (Matthew 10:24-25 NKJV)
Have we ever been insulted or harassed for our faith? Does it discourage us? Were we ridiculed because we believe in Jesus, the Resurrection or that the Bible is God’s Word? Take the mockery as a wonderful compliment. Receive the verbal abuse as unwitting praise. Use it to be encouraged!
“Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” (Matthew 10:26 NKJV)
Many overbearing and vocal bullies dominate conversations across the church. We certainly can have faith that, “there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” But, we also need to speak up and not be afraid. Jesus encouraged us not to be silent.
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.” (Matthew 10:27 NKJV)
Do we confess Christ bravely and preach on the housetops? Heretical winds of doctrine, ancient but vain traditions, materialistic and nationalistic false Gospels bully those who believe in historic Christianity. In authoritarian countries Christian churches are bulldozed and believers are imprisoned or murdered. Yet, faith is the opposite of fear.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:28-31 NKJV)
Even murderous persecutors cannot touch our souls. Where is God when Christians are persecuted? We are highly treasured by God. Though He may not save our bodies, He is with us during the most severe trials, and will do the most important thing, which is the saving of our souls.
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33 NKJV)
Christians are encouraged to publicly confess Jesus, and will not be bullied into silence. If persecutors harass, the most they can do is take our physical lives, not our eternity. Let’s acknowledge our faith in Jesus and the Bible openly before others without fear. Let’s not be bullied into silence.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:34-37 NKJV)
Jesus explained that faith sometimes divides even families. God allowed our first parents to choose an opposing way of life, and we believe that God knew what He was doing with Adam and Eve. And so, we have hope that He has a plan for our unbelieving family members too.
“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:38-39 NKJV)
Sugar-coated sermons are for baby Christians. We are at war against corruption and greed. We abandon our selfish life and adopt a selfless life. How do we do this? We give instead of take, die to selfishness, admit we cannot solve even our own problems, and Jesus is the way?
Do we stand for what is right or do we let the world, or watered down Christianity so-called, push us around and tell us to be quiet? Jesus wants us not to fear, to speak, to shout from the housetops, confess Him, love Him first and trust Him enough to give our lives to Him.
New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.