Today I received a weird comment when someone asked about what my t-shirt meant. They were referring to a phrase on my t-shirt that said “I have decided” on the front, and my church name and website on the back. I received it when I was baptized this year. I told them the phrase “I have decided” means that I have decided to follow Jesus. I was in the middle of walking my crazy, roaming toddlers out the door so I didn’t quite get the full comment but I got the gist that it was sarcastic and odd. I walked away a little confused, but it’s been in the back of my head all day. I wish I would have stopped and went back, and had a conversation there. (If you have toddlers, you can probably understand why stopping and talking with other adults doesn’t get to happen quite often for mommies) Still, it’s no excuse and I am sure God is disappointed in me today.
Yesterday evening I was speaking to my brother and he said most of the guys at his work make fun of people who are Christian. My brother is a Christian. To protect people’s identities, I won’t name relatives further, however for the sake of this post I will say I have a few more relatives who are afraid to “come out” as those who believe in God, or discuss faith among the workplace. In contrast however, it is perfectly normal to discuss sexual matters, personal matters, curse, and discuss one’s distaste for religion in the lunchroom. If one of my relatives would speak up, they most certainly would face ridicule among the majority. So should they, or should they keep quiet and save face?
I won’t go too much in to what I see is happening to Christians on the news or in politics, because frankly it just angers me so deeply. I will just say one thing–it is your right to not believe in God, but why bash others who do? I don’t bash atheists or agnostics. But, if I wasn’t sure about God–I rather believe than not, and risk my life serving Him and others versus risking my eternity in peril.
I feel the time will soon come where persecution to Christians will make my aforementioned situation and my relatives’ work lives look like child’s play. Segregation, arrest, imprisonment and death come to mind. As “crazy” as that may sound to you, is it really that far off, though? It happened to all twelve disciples–they died horrible, gruesome deaths. More importantly, it happened to Jesus.Jesus said in John 15:18 “”If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
The Bible says in Mark that at the “end of times”, “…in that hour…brother will deliver brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death…And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.” (13:10-13).
It is not a matter of if, but when. Stay strong for Him. Romans 8:35 NIV offers us some food for thought: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”