The Christian faith has been persecuted and under attack for centuries. Since the beginning, of the faith, the world has tried to stop what has proven to be an unstoppable force. The persecution started with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He disrupted the ways of the religious elite. They were threatened by him and lied anyway they can to remove what they saw as a threat, not as the Savior. The first apostles were nearly all martyred for their faith and boldness in defending the Good News and sharing the hope they had in Jesus Christ. Down through the centuries, this has been the case. People who have been bold enough to declare their faith in Jesus getting persecuted or even killed.
Today, this is going on many different ways. The most prevalent we in the news right now is with ISIS. An Islamic group that is bent on expanding their control and killing without mercy. We all saw the images of 21 Christian men being marched out onto a beach and then beheaded. The are a violent and purely evil force that must be dealt with and stopped. Unfortunately, they’ve been allowed to grow in their control and influence.
Elsewhere we have what’s going on in this post-modern society we live in. People have trivialized and minimized God’s Word. Many will try to do anything they can to remove any reference from Scripture, like the Ten Commandments from public locations. Things like removing “under God” from the pledge of allegiance, the secular side of holidays like Christmas and Easter becoming more powerful. The post-modern thinking that tells us we have to accept and be tolerant of everything, no matter what God’s Word says, yet the same acceptance is not passed back. You name it, it’s continuous and it grows.
So what do we do about this. What can we do to combat the efforts of many to silence our faith. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to always be “ready to make a defense to everyone who as you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” We are told to be ready to make a defense for our hope. To defend our faith whenever we are challenged. To defend the Word of God. To defend our hope in Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin, tortured and crucified to concur sin, rose on the third day defeating death, and ascended into Heaven with all authority in Heaven and on earth now given to him.
This is a pretty serious command. Peter said in versus 14 that if you suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed so do not fear intimidation and do not be troubled. What it takes now is for those of us in the faith to able to stand firm in our faith. Not letting society or evils of the enemy stop us from proclaiming our hope and faith. This kind of warfare has continually been going on. We are to be bold in our defense yet.
It can be easy when your in a crowd and people just talk against faith or the Word to just go along for the sake of not being confrontational. Was Jesus non-confrontational. Absolutely not. When Jesus cleansed the temple in John 2, what does he do? He made “scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple.” He made a whip. Think about that. He did not walk in carrying a lamb asking politely for people to leave, no, he made a whip and drove them out. His love of the Father was so strong that he was going to defend his faith. Imagine the chaotic seen this would be.
Jesus said “whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in Heaven” (Matthew 10:33). So we are not to shrink back and deny him. Stand bold with the courage and faith that he showed for us. It’s all of our responsibilities as believers to stand firm in the faith. No matter what struggles you come through, even when someone comes right at you to challenge your faith, you need to be bold.
If you are unsure of how to defend it, then find your way back into Scripture and pray for the wisdom you need to be able to defend the faith. 2 years ago, I easily would have shrunk back. Gone along with the crowd and not speak of my faith boldly, not matter where I was. I refuse to fall into that trap any longer. It’s all a part the warfare we face. The enemy is after our hearts every single day. Armor yourselves with the full armor of God every day so that you can be ready to stand firm in the faith and make a defense for our hope in Jesus.
Amen. Always ready to give an account. Ameb