Posted by Rod Neufeld on September 13, 2015
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”Matthew 24:9 KJV
It seems that being a Christian puts a target on our backs these days. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are; it is an acceptable practice to hate Christians openly. What I wonder is, if most of these people even know why they hate us? I’m pretty sure they don’t. Therefore that puts us in the awkward situation of loving those who hate us.
Jesus said: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44 KJV
I know I have addressed this subject before, but I hope to approach it in a different light this time. You see, we are bombarded with messages of hate. This comes from those who call Christians the problem. Let’s be honest; there are groups and religions that preach hate and intolerance. They even specifically target certain groups. LET ME BE CLEAR: a born again believer and follower of Jesus Christ does not wish ill on others. We have our moments, as we are human after all, but we do not nor are we called to hate, hurt or destroy.
The true desire of a Christian should be to help reveal the beauty, grace, mercy and wonder of a Holy and Righteous God. They should desire to see non-believers come to salvation through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The true Christian does not take the thought of non-believers perishing in Hell for all of eternity lightly. We don’t want to use Hell as a scare tactic for those that don’t believe, rather as a motivator for those that do believe to share their faith. The true Christian uses eternity in Heaven as a motivator for those that don’t believe.
You see, for the most part the non-believing world doesn’t get it. Religions don’t get it. Christians are not practising some religion. We are entering into a relationship with a new Father. One who wants to us to know him, to help us and love us. He desires this so much that He Himself down here to suffer in our place. He is one God and reveals Himself in three unique persons playing unique roles:
The Father that created us in love.
The Son that died for us in love.
The Spirit that guides us in love.
This is an adoption from an ugly and hateful family that is run by Satan to an unconditionally loving family that is run by an all knowing, all loving God. For the record, He is the only God that ever existed! He is the one who will adopt the child nobody wants. After all, he adopted me.
The other part they don’t get is that this is not some decision you make and now you are a Christian. You can’t just convert and unconvert at will. Nor is it some lifestyle choice. There is a spiritual transaction that takes place when you come to receive the saving grace of Jesus Christ. There is an incredibly difficult breaking of chains in your soul that happens and you are never the same. Thanks to His mercy you can never be removed from His care. You become part of Him and He a part of you.
We don’t become perfect nor do we get released from every bad thing in our lives. We simply have one greater than ourselves that removes that burden from us. Life can still be hard and challenges will come but when we put our faith in Christ we seem to have more positive options in dealing with adversity. We find friends that will help, not judge. We find a freedom and peace that can come from nowhere else.
Jesus also said: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30 KJV
So I ask those non-Christians that dare to read this. The next time you think about that crazy, evil, despicable “Christian” you know: Do you really know them and are they actually a Christian?
If they are truly reborn and regenerated children of God, maybe give them a chance and get to know them. You just might find they are pretty cool. Sure, we get lots of fakes and deceived people in our churches and groups as well. The difference is, we love them and hope and pray that they come to salvation through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The next time you look at a church and say to yourself, “Those people think they are perfect and better than me,” ask yourself, why they would gather in groups to be hated and ridiculed by the rest of the world if that were true.
Christians go to church to grow in knowledge and truth, to lift one another up, to fellowship, talk and, of course, to pray for the lost. Praying that they may experience the joy we have found in Christ. Mostly we go to church because we are so imperfect, no better than the worst person you know. The only difference is that we now know we are imperfect and seek to know the one that can correct that in us.
Jesus told the apostle Paul: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV
So how about this: I challenge any one that thinks that Christians are arrogant, hate-mongering, despicable people to come and check us out in person. We meet every Sunday morning at 10:30. We won’t judge you, so just keep an open mind about us!