10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Rev 2:10
Today, I write with a sense of heaviness. It is just days since the U.S. Supreme court has ruled that same sex marriage is legal across all the states of America. It is indeed a dark day for that nation and the world at large. Since then, Christians in positions of influence have taken flack for their stand. Donnie McClurkin, a well known Gospel artist who professes how God delivered him from homosexuality has come under fire over the last few days because of his position on the matter. Acting SRC President at the University of Cape Town, Zizipho Pae has had to step down from the position after coming under fire for her position. She posted to Facebook: “We are institutionalising and normalising sin! Sin. May God have mercy on us”.
We must make no mistake: as a result of this ruling, as Christians, we will find ourselves, now more than ever before, needing to make a choice between keeping quiet or standing up for and upholding God’s eternal and infallible Word. God’s words to the Church in Smyrna was alerting them to persecution that was coming but also to equally assure them of victory that would follow. Jesus put it this way in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
He also promised this in Matthew 10:17-20: “17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
Another one, John 15:18, again the words of Jesus: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
Friends, our job is to proclaim Christ. We are to go and make disciples of all nations, BAPTISING THEM in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, AND TEACHING THEM TO OBEY EVERYTHING JESUS HAS COMMANDED US! And the promise of Jesus is that He is with us until the very end of the age.
So dear friends, tough times are coming for you and me, in the face of that and in the strength of Jesus’s promise and the presence of His Holy Spirit, let’s turn up the heat in doing the work that Jesus has mandated to us. We are His Body, his hands and his feet in the world. We are the light of the World that will push back the darkness. Let’s do this! God is with us.