We like our comfort. We like are personal peace. We like our prosperity. However, if your Christianity is comfortable, you are not a Christian after the breed of the Apostles and ancients. In fact, not even like Jesus! Now I’m not trying to tell you that you should seek out an “uncomfortable life”. No. I am saying if you are doing as the Bible teaches, you will not be comfortable!
Nor does Christianity mean going to “church“. We don’t go to “church”. We are the Church. If you just “go to church“, you are not a Christian. Sitting on a bench or chair at “church” does not make you any more Christian than sitting in a garage makes you a car. Nor is sitting through a sermon, homily or lecture fulfill your Christian duty, your Christian duty is much bigger, changing lives; yours and others. Christians who are part of the Church are followers of Christ. A servant of God. A citizen of God’s kingdom. A mimicker of the Master.
The Hate Factor
Compare yourself in the mirror of the martyrs. They practiced holy lives, they practiced discipleship, and they challenge and reasoned with people to convince them. They stood in the embarrassing position as preachers in the streets, preachers in the wilderness and preachers anywhere people would listen. They would go anywhere and to anyone to spread the good news of Christ. They were ridiculed, they were hauled into prison and they were martyred. They would rather obey God rather than man. They knew well the words of the master, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”
But sadly it’s not just the unbelievers who will hate you. The fact of the matter is this, so called other “Christians” will hate you too, tell you to “sit down”, “be quiet” and “stop making a scene”. A preacher once said that true followers of Christ will make other “Christians” very uncomfortable and feel “threatened”, only because they feel convicted. A follower of Christ will do what Christ did, say what he said and sometimes be persecuted like he was.
However, at this time in the west, you probably never will be thrown into prison, life threatened or martyred. The most persecution you will probably get is one looking at you “cross eyed”, make fun of you or throw a shoe at you. And that is persecution? What are we afraid of? The unbeliever’s apathy? Another Christian’s criticism?
I’m not saying be dumb, angry or annoying. I’m not saying be unreasonable or unkind. I’m not saying one should try to find persecution. No, I’m saying be smart, be knowledgeable, be reasonable, be wise, be kind, be true, be gentle, be holy. Christ like love encapsulates the above concepts.
Having a foundation on the teachings of the great Teacher is paramount. Being prepared, having knowledge and a well thought out case are all paramount. Prepared for opposition is a must.
In the Footsteps of the Master
You are not called to follow some fellow nominal Christian or group, you are called to follow Christ and his teachings. Rally around Christ, he is the focus, he is the goal, he is the end of our endeavors.
To do this, three essentials come to mind as you trek through the mountainous road in the steps of the master.
First, there needs to be a godly and holy life, one that is dedicated to Christ.
Second, practice true religion by wisely helping those in need. James tells us true religion is to visit the widows and fatherless. Jesus said in Matthew to give to those who are truly in need.
Third, preach the Gospel, following Christ’s command and the disciple’s examples. A true follower of Christ will speak out where there is opportunity to share and communicate with the unbeliever. One once said that if one has no heart for the lost and is not engaging them, that person himself is not a believer.
As you look into the mirror of the master and the martyrs, how do you see you? Like one of them? Or like a “comfortable Christian”? Be bold, be confident, be merciful, be truthful, be loving, be like Jesus.
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Image Credit: The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer | Public Domain
What are your thoughts? Where can you do better? What other areas can we follow Jesus better? Please share your thoughts with us below!