Faithful, Not Fearful
June 24, 2022
Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also (John 15:20).
The word Jesus said to the disciples earlier is found in John 13:16 in the context of His washing their feet in the upper room as they observed Passover. Then His words referred to humble service to each other as fellow servants of the Lord. Here the context of His words are with regard to facing opposition and persecution as servants of the Lord. In both instances the disciples, and we, are commanded to follow His example - He is the Master, they, and we, are the servants. As He served them by washing their feet, they, and we, are to serve each other. As He faced the hatred and rejection of the Jews, they, and we, will face the hatred and rejection of the Jews and of the world. (1 Peter 2:21) For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. . . .
There have been periods when Christians and the Christian church received fair treatment from the world. I can remember a time in my younger years when the church was highly regarded in the community, the pastor was well respected as an important member of society, and Christians were looked upon as an important segment of the culture. But that was here in America back in the 1950s - 1970s. The history of the Christian church, and of individual Christians, has proven that those who have honored the true faith have been outlawed, abused, persecuted, even destroyed and killed, much like they are today in cultures where Christianity is banned. Jesus said to the disciples (Matthew 5:10-12) Blessed are those who are persecuted (not may be persecuted) for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you (not if they revile and persecute you), and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Earlier in their training, Jesus had told His disciples, 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). History has proven that the Christian church, and faithful Christian followers of Jesus Christ have, and will continue to be part of the fellowship of His sufferings (Philippians 3:10) until He returns to set up His earthly Kingdom. (2 Corinthians 1:5-6) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. No one likes to suffer. Everyone wants to live in peace. But the truth is that God’s truth is not welcome in a world dominated by the lies of Satan. We will continue to bear the truth of Jesus Christ to those who hate Him and despise us, knowing that He is with us in this work until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Amen.