For Righteousness’ Sake
While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead.
This may come as a surprise to you, but if you are a Christian and everyone likes you, then you probably aren’t doing something right. If no one is ever offended by anything you say or do, then I have to question how closely you are following Christ.
Jesus said, “What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets” (Luke 6:26). When you have been with Jesus and are, in effect, just like Him, you will be treated the same as He was.
And how did they treat Jesus? Not so well. He had temporary popularity, but the crowds turned against Him. And here is what Jesus says to us:
Do you remember what I told you? “A slave is not greater than the master.” Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. (John 15:20–21)
Our job is not to get along with everyone. Our job is to walk with God and try to reach everyone. Sometimes it will make people angry when we speak up and say something they disagree with. Now we can do that in a loving way. We can do it in a compassionate way. But we need to do it in a direct way.
What concerns me is that sometimes we are persecuted for the wrong reasons. Far too often I have seen Christians who are persecuted because they are unnecessarily offensive. So be a pleasant person. Be a friendly a person. Be a loving person. And be persecuted for righteousness’ sake because you are a follower of Christ and are a reflection of Him.
Summary sentence: Have you ever been persecuted for your stand in Christ?
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