17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. -Matthew 10:17-22
In Matthew we are warned about the end times. I think there have been many times I have read this passage and thought that it was simply talking about the disciples and the troubles that they came to face. Leaving it as something in the past, and even as something that had little bearing on my own life.
This is simply not so. Now I see clearly that this is indeed talking about the end times as well, and this is something that I will face. Living in the USA, I feel I have gotten spoiled, and it is easy to forget at times the fact that others face this persecution today. Yet, I see where things are getting worse for the followers of Christ, and I feel that it is only a matter of time before we will need to answer to the government for our faith.
Governments are already trying to limit where we can freely talk about Jesus, and I feel that it is only going to get worse, because the Bible tells us this. I already see divisions in families, and communities between those who believe and those who don’t want to hear about Jesus. I can easily see people telling on one another and turning them over to the authorities when the time comes.
But who are we to think that we can avoid the persecutions to come. We are called to suffer as Christ has suffered. We may not all be called to die or shed blood for our faith, although we might, but we are to follow in Christ footsteps. I believe that we can all agree that Jesus suffered as people plotted against Him, rejected Him, and ultimately killed Him. So how as followers of Christ did we get the idea that we would not need to suffer at all? Where does the Jesus of the bible, show us a life of luxury and comfort? As I read through the Bible again, I simply don’t see that at all.
So I ask, are you willing to suffer for your faith? I want to say that I am, yet at the same time I know my tendency to want to live comfortably and safely, and not face danger. Yet I know this is not what I am called to do, and I seek to change my own way of life, to make it reflect more of Jesus.