Stand Strong for Jesus
by Regular Contributor Doug
“You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate Me …. but I lavish My love on those who love Me and obey My commands, even for a thousand generations.” [Exodus 20:5-6]
So I thought I’d share some thoughts today regarding people’s understanding of faith and adherence to God’s instruction for our lives. It seems that everyone has their own take on this very important subject. What is truly unfortunate is that if one gets it wrong, their very place in the kingdom of God is put in jeopardy. That is not a very good position to find oneself in.
Let me begin by stating that it is not for us to rewrite the Bible in order to justify something we might want to do or say. The Bible is the Word — the same Word that was with God in the beginning, and was God, and then became flesh dwelling among us. (John 1:1-18)
Moreover, we can’t simply be proverbial fence sitters when it comes to making decisions that might be iffy in the morals and values department. It is equally as important for churches to stick to the written Word and not stray from the righteous teachings of Jesus.
Increasingly, we see preachers who profess to teach the Word of God but lean ever so near to heresy. I consider this to be very serious and a message that we need to fully understand. These ministers are responsible for teaching the Word of God – period. And if they do not, those “new age, feel good” preachers will pay a huge price.
Perhaps, because of this, there is something to be said for the old “fire and brimstone” preachers of yesteryear. God is not only about love and success and contentment. These blessings are the result of a childlike belief and adherence to the instructions dictated by Jesus and written by the disciples who walked this world with Jesus.
These can be summed up in one word, faith. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3)
Still, it’s tough to be a Christian in a world that is increasingly hostile towards Christianity. There is so much hostility and hatred shown towards the modern day followers of Jesus Christ that it has become shameful. There is so much violence in many parts of the world today that people are becoming immune to it. What is not widely reported is the fact that much of this violence is directed towards Christians?People who willingly changed their life to follow Jesus, becoming His disciples here on earth.
However, these same Christians are being massacred all over the earth. Paying the ultimate price for simply wearing a cross around their neck, attending worship services, or having a Bible in their possession. Christians in Egypt, North Korea, Africa and many other countries are facing dire consequences for their faith.
Here in our own relatively safe little corner of the world, young people are constantly exposed to violence, hypocrisy, and contradictory ideas that offer a false interpretation of what God intended the world to be. These are just a few of the challenges that they face as they try to understand the principles and oracles of Christ. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us adults, to ensure that our children are pointed in the right direction.
All that being said, we need to hang on to our Christian values and obligations. Through the relatively short history of our great nation, it has been less than challenging to stand up for our faith. Aside from an awkward glance now and then, or maybe exclusion (often self-imposed) from a certain group, lifestyle, or activity, we really haven’t had to worry much regarding our faith. But I believe things are changing rapidly. It is going to get much more difficult to stand up for Jesus. Be on your guard, stand up and proclaim the Word of the one true God. Stand strong for Jesus.