How often do you ignore God’s voice when He tells you to do something? How many times have you kept quiet when you knew that someone needed to hear the gospel? Have you ever decided that the cost outweighed the benefit of sharing your faith?
I confess right now, personally and on behalf of the church, that our desire for comfort overshadows the glory of the gospel in our lives. I repent of this sin, and I pray that God would change our hearts to be more like his.
The prophets of old encountered persecution when they delivered the true Word of God, to the point of enduring “mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword” (Hebrews 11:36-37). These men, “of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38), had the faith and boldness to die for the message they delivered.
The early church also faced tribulation in their time of earthly ministry. As Jesus wrote to the church of Smyrna, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer…Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Believers in the first century were routinely tortured and killed for their faith, but they refused to denounce the living Son of God.
Tens of thousands of Christians will be endure suffering unto death this year all around the world. Though most American believers will never give their lives for their faith, God still calls us to endure the persecution that his holiness will stir in this world.
Honestly, if our lifestyles don’t cause persecution on this secular campus then we are missing the mark. We are called to be set apart, to be followers of Christ, to take up the cross, and to proclaim the gospel without shame, because “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).