Jesus was sure to let us know that following him would not be easy. He warned people, when they wanted to follow him, that even he had no pillow upon which to lay his head; no home to call his own. He told his disciples that the world would hate them because they hated and would kill him. He didn’t want anyone to enter into a relationship with him with any illusions about what the cost would be.
So many churches today are lying about this very important aspect of being a Christian. Our rewards will not be here on earth- they will be in heaven. So many churches want to deny this truth. Either they never bring up the subject of suffering for Christ or they outright lie about it. Some churches display prosperity in the leadership as if to say, “look, if you follow Jesus, you too will be rich, fat, happy and famous!” On the contrary. You will be hated, despised, libeled, persecuted, shamed and murdered. Just like our beloved Jesus.
“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. ” – Jesus in Matt 10:22
We are not greater than he. If he suffered these things, then the more like him we become, the more of the same treatment we will receive. Jesus, in fact, warned us to beware when men speak well of us. So if you have a party FB page and call yourself a Christian, you had better take a very good look at yourself. Why do men speak well of you? Jesus said that all the false teachers spoke very well of false prophets. It was only the true prophets they hated and despised. I agree with Jesus. Speaking truly will always get you despised and hated.
“Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.”
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.”
“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
“Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”- Jesus in Luke 6:22-26
Even on my Facebook page. So many people there want me to fit comfortably into the Republican mindset and when I don’t, they shy away uncomfortably. Anytime I protect a black man and say injustice was done, almost none of you ‘like’ that post. If I get angry at police officers, almost none of you respond. You only like when I go ‘with the party line’. Well, as I have said before, I don’t hold to a party. Neither party is interested in what is called the TRUTH. The truth is detested by both sides.
No one wants to hear that Bush did wrong or could be responsible for the ushering in of the antichrist. Those posts also drop like lead balloons. People. Wake up. This isn’t about politics. This is about truth. Do you want it or not? Do you love truth for its own sake or not? Do you desire truth or not?
Only those who love the truth want God. And wanting God is desiring to serve. The truth was spoken by Jesus- but hardly any church teaches Jesus’ words. You won’t get rich following God. You will be unpopular to your friends and family. Almost no one will come to defend you in your hour of need. People will side step when you walk by. And when you are finally on trial, your reputation for being ‘strange’ and ‘odd’ will all be there to bear witness against you. And where will all your friends be then? They will be hiding- at best. Just as the disciples hid when Christ was on trial. You will stand alone. That is what Jesus told us plainly.
Why don’t you believe him instead of all these false and weak minded churches? So, all you party time Christians, all you Christians with FB pages full of good cheer, happy photos, smiling friends and good times, what the heck are you doing? How can you possibly be serving Christ? Are you somehow an exception to Christ’s warnings? Really? Did God overlook you somehow? Did Jesus’ words somehow lose their meaning over the 2000 years since they were spoken? Or have you lost your way? Is it really that you sought and found the easier path? And have you surrounded yourself with like minded Christians who never bother you with the uncomfortable truth? I think there can only be one answer here.
But take heart! Jesus didn’t leave us in that state of hopelessness and fear. No. He told us that truth because he wanted us to know what we were getting ourselves into. And all the disciples did suffer for their deep love of him- just as he said they would. However, they are all sitting at his right hand right now. Just as we, who truly love him will also be doing someday. Below is his warning, and his promise. Take heed, Christians. If you are too happy, beware. If you are too loved, beware. If your life is too unbothered, beware! You are not doing God’s will. That is what I know, deep in my heart.
Change your life and become involved again. You don’t get to just opt out. You don’t get to just hang with other Christians who already agree with everything you say. You don’t get to just turn off the news. You don’t get to say, “Well, there’s nothing I can do about it.” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there it is. It is for your own good that I say it. You will not stand well with God when you see him. And guess what? You know it. So, fix it.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. “- Jesus in John 16:20-22