Are we willing to be persecuted in the name of Christ, are willing to be a martyr for Christ? I listened to a message just a while ago and it spoke of people thinking they were martyrs for Christ because they had a t-shirt that had a picture of Christ on the cross and a bible verse on it. They felt persecution when someone said something ugly about it. They do not know nothing of persecution!! When you look at a Muslim that converts to christianity and is burned to death because he proclaims Christ, when you look at a missionary that dies at the hands of those that hate Jesus, that is persecution, when you look at how some of the Disciples died then you see persecution...
"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you....
"If they persecuted Me they will persecute you... for they do not know the One who sent Me."
The World is going to hate us because we love Jesus. When we are persecuted, it is because they hate Jesus and because we love Him, they hate us too. If we are not walking with Christ and there is no pesecution in our lives, maybe we are not standing up for Christ? Maybe we need to examine our walk and ask God for forgiveness and ask Him for the strength to be bold. If people do not see Christ in us, how are we going to present Him to those that we love that do not know Him?
I think sometime we are afraid of the answers we are going to get from those around us when we present Christ to them? I ask you how much do these people mean to you? No one knows what tomorrow will bring? We may wake up tomorrow and find out that a loved one has died and we had many chances to present Christ to them. Be Bold for Christ, that person's eternal life may be in your hands, God may have given you many chances to present the gospel to that person, don't wait!! Today is the day of salvation for those that do not know Christ as their Savior. Even if they do not get saved we need to at least try to show them the path to Christ, isn't that what Christ would want? Are we not here for that reason?
Mat 5:10 Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Do we sometimes think it is wrong that we are not treated nicely by the lost? The Word of God says:
1 Pet 4:12-13 Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly.
1 Tim 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
1 Pet 4:16 But if one of you suffers for being a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this matter.
Lord make me more bold, help me proclaim your work on the cross to those around me. When the opportunity presents itself, no matter the response Lord may I be bold and not back down even if it means persecution. When I look at what you did on the cross, the pain you suffered how can I not be steadfast.
God hath work to do in this world; and to desert it because of its difficulties and entanglements, is to cast off His authority. It is not enough that we be just, that we be righteous, and walk with God in holiness; but we must also serve our generation, as David did before he fell asleep. God hath a work to do; and not to help Him is to oppose Him.-- John Owen