~ I’m Afraid I Might Be Ridiculed or Persecuted ~
note: This is one in a series of Biblical answers to objections some individuals raise when presented with the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ.
“I will not bother to personally conduct a serious investigation of Jesus Christ because of possible consequences.”
This is like saying, “I will not bother to personally conduct a serious investigation of Jesus Christ because I’d rather go along with the crowd—I’m a follower rather than one who thinks for himself.” What does God say?
You Are Right—If You Really “Follow Me,” You Will Be Misunderstood ~ “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Paradox: Being Misunderstood Produces Deep Joy ~ Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake” (Matthew 5:11).
Paradox: Minor Problems Now Produce Great Rewards Later ~ In the continuation of the previously cited passage Jesus said, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12).
When You Are Misunderstood—Rejoice You’re In Good Company! ~ Jesus said, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12).
When You Are Misunderstood—Rejoice You Have a Great Reward! ~ Jesus said, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
The choice is yours. By not making a deliberate choice you have by default already made the wrong choice.
summary: “The basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of His divine being.
So nobody has a good excuse.
What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life” (Romans 1:19-22, The Message).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW