What If …
Most people want to be optimistic, and many of us are. In the West we have enjoyed unequaled prosperity and freedom. As Christians we have been blessed with the privilege to exercise religious freedom and follow Christ with little or no resistance. In the U.S.A., Christianity has been comfortable.
But what if there is a dramatic shift in the cultural, political, and religious climate? What if our comfortable form of Christianity disappears and Biblical Christians become the intolerated minority? What if following Christ cost your job, your family, or even your life? What if being a Christian becomes costly?
I am an optimist, and have enjoyed the privileges of American Christianity as much as anyone. I do not look forward to the persecutions that could come with such a scenario nor do I relish the possibility of discomfort and inconvenience. I want my descendants to live peaceful lives “in all godliness and integrity.” (1 Timothy 3:2) I want a safe world.
But this is not a safe world. It is fragile at best and dangerous at its worst. There is an uncertainty about this life that should keep us looking to our God and holding fast to Him. We do not want to anticipate a world that not only rejects us but seeks to do us harm. We have an attachment to this life and its enjoyments. All of this is part of being human.
But it is best if we confront ourselves with the possibilities of a hostile world before it becomes a reality and ask ourselves what really matters most. In the world it is often believed that everyone has a price. We must ask ourselves if that is true of us. Are you willing to suffer severely for Christ’s sake? Will you suffer loss for Christ sake? Are you willing to forsake all for Christ?
These were the questions that faced the rich young ruler. He sadly answered them in the negative. They are also the questions that faced the Apostle Paul. Faced with the very real possibility of persecution and even assassination, this was Paul’s resolute response.
But none of these things move me, nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.
I have no crystal ball nor an inside scoop on what the future holds for us. But it does not take much insight to see how things are trending. Let all of us who bear the name of Christ be realistic, resolute, and ready to face the future with Christ and be faithful until we inherit the eternal blessings He has prepared for those who know and love Him. Hold this world loosely, and hold fast to Christ in all things, for He is our all.
To His glory,