We are living in a season of history which is witnessing tremendous change. Much of the change we’re experiencing is leading us to fear losing things that we don’t want to lose.
An example everyone reading this can easily understand is the changes to the demographic landscape of many Western countries due to the influx of large numbers of immigrants from non-Western countries. This is certainly a big change, and it is likely to lead to the loss of the way of life that the people who have been living in those Western countries for generations really like.
Another change is occurring in Western countries, whereby the Biblically-based culture that has made life fairly comfortable for Christians for the last several hundred years is being swiftly overturned by a neo-pagan culture. We’ve already lost our cultural dominance in most Western countries and so being outspoken, or even just open, about being a follower of Jesus Christ, means losing comforts and privileges. In some places, it might even mean losing a job or a home. It will almost certainly mean losing friends.
But you know what brothers and sisters? As unpleasant as losing things we like can be, losing things can also be very liberating.
I would beg to remind all of us of what the author of Hebrews said. After listing several “heroes of the faith” in chapter 11:1-12, in verses 13-16 the author says “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen and welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country which they left, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.”
In the same vein, in Philipians 1:21, the Apostle Paul declares “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Brothers and sisters, here’s what I think that means for us today.
A man who knows he has only a few months before he dies finds courage to do things he’s always wanted to do, but didn’t because he was afraid of what it might cost him.
We all need to think of ourselves as being that man, because the time we have left before the Second Advent of the Lord God Jesus Christ is running very short. There are very few rainy days and/or special occasions left for any of us to save anything up for.
Stop worrying about what it might cost you to, for instance, share the Gospel with your cousin. If that cousin doesn’t like it when you share the Gospel with them, and they threaten to eject you from their life if you don’t knock it off, don’t worry about it. You’re going to lose your relationship with them one way or the other before much more time has passed, it’s better to lose it for a good reason, and you might help them attain salvation.
If you’re a Christian living in a Western country and you’re afraid of losing your job if you take a stand for righteousness in your place of work, stop being afraid. You’re going to lose that job one way or another before too much more time has passed, so take that stand and if you suffer for it, at least you’ll know you’re suffering for a good reason.
Are you a resident of a city in a Western country which is rapidly becoming inundated with large numbers of immigrants from other countries, and you’re worried about losing the high quality of life you enjoyed in previous years because of it? That high quality of life was going to be lost one way or another in any case, so stop crying about that and instead go share the Gospel with those immigrants and win some of them to Christ.
If you’re a Christian Zionist who has a relationship with Israel, and you hesitate to share the Gospel with your Israeli Jewish friends because you’re afraid it will cause you to lose the benefits you attain by being in a relationship with them, now is the time to cast that hesitation aside. The relationship you have with these people is going to be lost soon one way or another, and with it your access to these people and the opportunity you currently have to, as 1 Peter 3:15 says “give an account for the hope that is in you.”
For that matter, brothers and sisters, the Book of Revelation makes it very clear that in the days just ahead of us, many Believers will be martyred (killed) because of the stand they take for the Gospel.
Does the prospect of being killed because you stand up for the Gospel frighten you?
It shouldn’t, because EVERYTHING, including your mortal life, that you’re afraid of losing if you take a stand for the Gospel is going to be gone soon anyway, so you might as well lose it for a good reason.
That’s what I’ve got for you this week brothers and sisters. I hope it blessed someone.