The more you deny yourself and give up things in your life because of Jesus Christ, and the more you live according to what the Word; Jesus says, the more you will be persecuted by the world and by the people around you. Following Jesus means, paying a price. Unfortunately there are not many believers, who are willing to pay this price. Because following Jesus will cost you everything! It means giving up your self; your own will, opinion, thoughts, feelings, wishes, lusts and desires. Besides that, following Jesus will have consequences for your relationships with colleagues, acquaintances, friends, family and sometimes even believers, who are not like-minded.
When you live differently than the world, and deny the things, which the world don’t consider evil, and when you do, what the Word of God tells you to do, you will be persecuted. It could mean, that you have to give up your relationships with colleagues, acquaintances, friends, family or lose them, because of the decision you’ve made to follow Jesus, and to stay obedient to the Word. Not everyone is willing to lose people, because of Jesus, and that’s why the Word is being adjusted and believers are compromising with the world.
The price for following Jesus
But Jesus said, that He came to bring division, and that you will be hated because of Him (Mat 10:22). He warned His disciples about this matter, and He revealed the price. He made known, what it would mean and what it would cost, to follow Him, and to walk as the new creation; as son of God.
Many times, believers begin to doubt themselves, as soon as they are being persecuted and accused by the people, whom they are fond of and whom they love. They begin to wonder, whether they are indeed too enthusiastic, too exaggerated, too old-fashioned or become too legalistic.
But discipline and taking a stand for Jesus Christ and stay obedient to the Word, and not going along with the world and its works, has nothing to do with legalism or being too old-fashioned, but it has everything to do, with your love for Jesus Christ.
The world wants you to believe, that you are too religious, too legalistic, and too old fashion, but this is a big lie from the devil.
When you haven’t killed and laid down your flesh yet, than these opinions of people will matter and will get to you. But when you have laid down your flesh, the opinions of the world will no longer bother you, and therefore you will become untouchable. Because you know, that it’s not about what the world thinks of you, but what Jesus, and what God thinks of you. That’s what really matters.
Jesus said, that He didn’t come to bring peace, such as the world defines peace. But Jesus said, that He came to bring division on this earth. Yes, even discord within families.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household (Mat 10:34-36)
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law (Luke 12:51-53)
Jesus was not afraid to lose people
Jesus was not afraid to lose people. When many of His followers left Him, He even dared His disciples to leave Him (Joh 6:67). Jesus knew, that He spoke hard words, that offended the nature of the old creation. He knew, that not everyone could hear these words, let alone accept and obey them. But the truth was necessary to expose all the lies, which kept people in darkness and bondage. Yes, it was necessary to speak hard words. Jesus didn’t compromise with the world, for the sake of winning people. Nor did He allow anyone to tempt or mislead Him.
Jesus feared His Father; He loved Him, and respected Him, and therefore He only stayed loyal and obedient to Him and did His will. It cost Jesus everything to fulfil the will of His Father. Jesus shrank from nothing.
Jesus His attitude should be an example for the sons of God
The attitude of Jesus Christ should be an example for the born again believers. Although Jesus was born on this earth, He didn’t belong to this world; the kingdom of the devil. He belonged to the Kingdom of God. He was an Ambassador; a Representative of the Kingdom of God and brought the Kingdom of God to the people.
As a born again believer, you have become a son of God and therefore you have become an Ambassador; a representative, of the Kingdom of God. Although you live on this earth, you no longer belong to this world. This means, that you will not live according to what the world says, but according to what the Word says.
When you apply His words in your life and stay obedient to Him, then the world will consider you a fool. But for God you will be a wise son.
The world forces believers to compromise with the world and to tolerate and accept sins and iniquities. Yes, the world forces believers to approve and accept things, that are an abomination to God, and therefore also to them.
The ruler of this world; the devil works in the sons of this world. He is their father, and they obey him. The unbelievers shall do his works, that go against the Word of God, and against the will of God. The devil will try to deceive and tempt believers and cause them to turn away from Jesus; the Word and compromise with the world.
A friend of the world is an enemy of God
But the Word says, that friendship of the world is enmity with God, and that whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4)
It is up to you, what you do with it. Will you be led by your feelings and emotions, and accept things, that are an abomination to God? Will you walk in false love? Do you take a stand for the world or do you take a stand for Jesus Christ and do you stay obedient to the Word?
If you chose the latter one, than you will know, that persecution will come from the people around you. It could even mean, that you will be persecuted by the church or congregation. But be aware, that the devil will always use people, to try to lead you away from the Word, so that you will enter the self-chosen paths of the world.
‘Be the salt of the earth’