Tuesday, June 27, 2017

too much love from the world

“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets."
Luke 6:26

Sandwiched between a command to His followers to rejoice when persecuted for His name, and an admonition to let His love be known as a choice to those who hate Him and His followers, Jesus gives this chilling warning. Christians will not find acclaim in the world if they are legitimately following Jesus. Andy disciple who does so is in danger of being false. The mark of false prophets is their wild, wide acceptance among the world. To follow Jesus will gather opposition from those who hate Him.

I learned this lesson many decades again while in bi-vocational ministry. A fellow employee at my job at the time who was assigned a project with me... hated me. She constantly complained to the supervisor that I was critical of her work and that I was impossible for her to work with. She told me to my face she did not like me because I was a Christian and a pastor. She considered both things part of what was wrong in the world. She accused me of being a self-righteous Bible thumper. It was an outrageous accusation because really I never made any kind of big deal about my faith to her, though I did keep a Bible in my cubicle and had some verses posted up in my work space. She was the one who kept making a big deal about me being a Christian. She hated Christianity.

This was a very small thing to bear for Jesus. And I would rather bear it than all the acclaim of all the world. It is a way in which Jesus lives in us, when the world hates us solely because it hates Jesus. That means the gospel is doing something right.

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