An influential government leader prays, even when he is commanded to stop. An unknown Catholic monk continues to speak even when he is threatened with death. Following Jesus Christ has always been risky. When he comes into a person’s life, he demands first place. He will take no other position. That kind of commitment though, is dangerous in a world that is driven by human self-centeredness, pride, and lust. To stand fast for Christ can mean losing everything.
Some twenty-five hundred years ago Daniel disregarded the law prohibiting him to pray to the living God and was thrown into a lion’s den. Martin Luther nailed a document on a church door on October 31, 1517, calling for a return to a Christ centered, grace-based Christianity. He was condemned, excommunicated, and threatened with death throughout his life.
Both Daniel and Martin Luther were supernaturally protected throughout their earthly lives. They died of natural causes. But it is not always the case. John the Baptist stood fast for Christ and lost his head. Thousands of early Christians refused to renounce Jesus as their Lord and Savior and died by some of the most horrible means imaginable. Tragically, such suffering among believers continues today.
What motivates a believer to disregard persecution, pain and even death? There can be only one answer: the death which Christ endured for us all and his resurrection which gives us the certainty that the crucifixion opened eternal life for us. It is this belief which enables a Christian to confidently declare, “The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us. Romans 8:18”.
Jesus once said, “If a person has all the money in the world, but ends up separated from God in hell after their death, what good is that?” Those words remind us of what is not only most important, but what is best. He gives us what we need. Never give up on Christ. Stand fast in him!
Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am