The devil doesn’t persecute those who aren’t making a godly difference in the world.” -Paul Chappel.
How right is he? The world would be a much different place today, if we as believers in Christ just did as Jesus commanded, and went throughout the world to spread His Word with a joyful spirit. No doubt because of our failures we are slowly, but surely, being rebuked, or “cancelled,” by those of the world. I sometimes hear people say, “Praise the Lord we live in America, and don’t have to face persecution.” I think we should really think about what we are saying here. I personally have faced persecution for trying to spread God’s Word, and while it’s something I really need to work on doing more of, with the little bit of evangelism work I have done, I’ve been spit on and cursed at. These are examples of persecution, and I’m sure this is just the beginning of what we are going to face. These are also some of the things I am sure Jeremiah was faced with all too often.
In Jeremiah 15:15, toward the end of the verse he says, “know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.” While he’s suffering rebuke, Jeremiah doesn’t grow weak in his faith, and he doesn’t back down to his persecutors. Instead, he finds joy, and rejoices in his heart that he knows God’s Holy Word.
Do we as believers do what Jeremiah did, and find joy in God’s Word while facing rebuke or persecution? Or do we go and find a comfortable place to hide what we know so much of the world is missing? We as Christians are supposed to grow and be more Christ-like every day. Jesus didn’t come to earth to secretly spread His Truth to just His closest friends and family, the rich, or the kings. Luke 5:32 says, ” I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” He came to save everyone who needed eternal life. He preached to the rich and poor, the healthy and sick, the king and the peasant alike. He preached to thousands, and traveled from city to city. All while facing rebuke from his own people. Not even Satan could stop Jesus, and when he was tried by Satan, Jesus used God’s Holy Word to defeat him. So there is no excuse as to why we can’t still defeat this secular world with the Words of Truth.
That being said, there are people facing persecution in America daily. Two examples of some Christians who stood their ground in America facing persecution right now in our country are Jack Phillips and Nicholas Meriwether. Jack Phillips is a baker in Colorado who refused to bake a cake for a homosexual couple, and is standing on God’s Word no matter the cost. Nicholas Meriwether, a professor from Ohio went to court for not calling a transgender woman “miss” like other female students. For now, he is saved to stand for his faith under the 1st Amendment. But please don’t be mistaken that this professor is facing persecution for standing up for his faith. Please pray for those being persecuted for standing up for their Christian beliefs, and God forbid they never stop. In the end, they will receive the reward they deserve for standing for God. The Bible says, “so the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” Matthew 20:16