Are you fearless for Christ? Seems like a basic and simple question but it is much deeper than most of us actually think. The deeper question is, are you so dedicated to Jesus that you risk your own life to make him more known? This is the question we must all ask ourselves in our daily lives. Reflecting on what Jesus, the Apostles, and the early church had to endure and sacrifice should give us some pause and self reflection.
Think of the most popular highly esteemed preachers who everyone precised to be Godly men. Now, what if they were wrong in essential areas of the faith. Would you call them out? Would you seek their repentance for God’s Glory? That’s exactly what Jesus did.
The Pharisees were the top ranked most respected religious teachers in that day. What they said, went. Then, this guy out of a small village begins taking their spot light. They try to downplay his significance and even attempt to make him look bad in public. Then, boom, this person, who is Jesus, says publicly they are nothing more than a hypocritical (Matthew 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29), unsaved (Matthew 23:13), blind (Matthew 23:16-17, 19, 24, 26), fake (Matthew 23:25-26), wicked (Matthew 23:28), brood of vipers (Matthew 12:34; 23:33) and children of Satan (Matthew 23:15). Wow, harsh, but true story. See Matthew 12:24-37; 23:1-38. And that WE can recognize and know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-23).
Are you fearless enough to call out pastors and teachers privately and publicly that are hypocritical, blind, fake, and wicked? What about yourself? What if you were charged with being hypocritical, blind, fake, and wicked? Are you humble and honest enough to do some self reflecting? After all, if you are, you have to pull the plank of hypocrisy out of your eye before you can clearly see them. Are you fearless enough to admit that?
FEARLESS IN SOCIETY
In a culture that is more and more becoming less tolerant of Christian truth, are you fearless enough to publicly stand for your faith in Christ? Fearless enough to face being labeled a criminal like Jesus, the Apostles and the early church? And, when the time comes, are you fearless enough to face hatred, physical abuse, torture, and possibly death?
Jesus makes this point personal. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you… If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.” (John 15:19-20). Publicly proclaiming the Gospel message of Jesus Christ WILL cause those of the world to hate you. Are you okay with that? Or do you want the world to love you like its own? Jesus was personally attacked. He was publicly humiliated. He was viewed as a criminal, physically abused, tortured, and killed. Same with His disciples, and their disciples.
Are you fearless enough to attend church, bible studies, prayer groups, and risk being socially ostracized and publicly humiliated at your work place, social life, and even by family members?
FEARLESS AT HOME
One of Jesus’ deepest and in some ways most devastating statements is this: “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. 34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. 37 “He
who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who
loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:32-39). THAT is how huge and important the person and work of Jesus is. Faith in HIM is greater than family. Are you fearless enough to proclaim faith in him even if your own family hates you for it?
In light of all this, are you fearless enough to truly love them still? Fighting hate with hate is a worldly reaction. Fighting hate with GRACE is a godly solution. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two…43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:38-4). This is NOT saying that you CAN be sinless BUT Jesus IS saying that we can exhibit the perfect GRACE that God has shown us. Are you fearless enough to show the perfect Grace of God to those who hate you?
IF you are not fearless enough for all this; than you need to reflect on what God has done on your own behalf.
FEARLESSNESS IN YOU
Jesus took on YOUR sin. He was hated, beaten, humiliated, and murdered; FOR YOU! He died and rose again to PROVE TO YOU that you have NOTHING to fear. He sent The Holy Spirit to empower you to be fearless in the face of everything that Jesus experienced. The Apostles experienced this as well. They, like Jesus, were also hated, beaten, humiliated, and murdered. The early church was hated, beaten, humiliated, and murdered too. TO THIS DAY there are Christians around the world that are hated, beaten, humiliated, and murdered! THEY are fearless because CHRIST is worth more than anything in this world. AND the reward for this fearless faithfulness to the person and work of Jesus Christ is greater than any amount of health, wealth, and happiness this broken wicked world could ever offer. Meditate on the Gospel, the Good News, and strive to see the fearlessness in its message! THEN GO, make disciples of ALL nations; fearlessly!
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