Wow, what a prediction!
by Chris Forder
Last Sunday, Trevor preached on the elephant in the room. The elephant being
“How do we, followers of Jesus, live in a society today, that no longer wants to listen to us, and more and more, does not even want us around?”
It is a good question and very timely.
Trevor reminded us that in Australian history, Christianity was often celebrated, it was the norm. However, in the last 40 years there has been a shift and it is fair to say that Christianity was no longer the norm. I mean, at most it would have been seen as old fashioned during this period. But, now, today, Christianity has become so offensive that to mention Christ or the church or the teachings of the Bible is to cause outrage, at least on social media and in politics. It seems that Christianity is moving back to what things were like in the first few centuries after Jesus was on earth and what it has always been like in many parts of the world, opposition, persecution and suffering.
And as Trevor reminded us last week this is what Jesus said would happen:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. … If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:18-20)
Jesus made it clear, Christians will be persecuted. Those who follow Jesus will be hated by the world. This is the normal situation for believers. The Bible prepared the first Christians for this treatment and now we must prepare ourselves too. Our options for response are not limited to retreat or retaliate or remodel. 1 Peter gives us a better response: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12)
Peter says throughout the letter, don’t stop living for Jesus. Keep doing what is right in God’s eyes not the world’s and always be ready to give an answer for the hope you have. We are not to run away, we are not to fight and we are not to remodel. But we are to live faithfully for God, for his glory and for the salvation of others. Let’s openly live for God.
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