It’s Not Pretty
Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 4
1Co 4:11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
Get ready, Christian friends. Persecution is coming! In the western world, we haven’t experienced persecution to any great measure. But modern cultures are headed in that direction, at a faster rate than I would have ever believed. It has already become fashionable among many to ridicule and demean Christians, Christianity, and Christ Himself. We are seeing it develop rapidly in America. As we near the end times, we should expect it, because it has been foretold in scripture.
2Ti 3:1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.
2Pe 3:3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
There is little that we can do about what is happening. The more we speak up for truth, the more our world will oppose it. Our views will be considered ignorant, hatred speech, etc. Therefore, it is inevitable, unless our Lord unleashes a powerful Spirit of repentance into the hearts of mankind.
Paul had good advice to the Corinthians, and it is equally good advice for us.
- When we are cursed, we bless. – We cannot waste our time cursing the unbelieving world. Their behavior against truth is outrageous. But we should not counter outrageous behavior using outrageous behavior. We must find some level-headed approach to this dilemma. Personally, I don’t fully know what that is, but I have one idea. We bless those who oppose us. Paul did, and even though it had little effect on the hearts of men, it is one thing we must do. The owner (or managers) of Chick-Fil-A did that. They served meals to protesters outside their establishment.
- When we are persecuted, we endure it. – Actually, we have no choice but to endure it. We don’t do it well. I have difficulty in not fighting back with my own vitriol. I must refrain from answering hateful posts on FB. Lord, help me.
- When we are slandered, we answer kindly. – This goes back to item number 2. My human nature fights me fiercely. Lord, give me wisdom when I am slandered. Also, give me wisdom when I see other Christians slandered. That is even more difficult.
We are fast becoming the “scum of the earth.” Paul’s description presents us with a powerful image. The hatred toward Christians is not a new thing. It was happening in Paul’s day, and we are beginning to see it now. Bill Mahr recently said some vile things about Christians, and actually all religions. Groups of people across America are displaying more and more intolerance for Christians and God’s word. Get ready for the coming storm. Be informed about truth, using only God’s word as our source of truth, and pray for God’s wisdom to surround and guide us.
Prayer: Father, at my age, I may not see much more of this. But many godly SSA men and women will see much worse than we are seeing today. Strengthen them. Prepare them for battle. Empower them through Your Spirit. Make them powerful warriors for Your kingdom.