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Special to The Guardian
Perhaps like never before we need the admonition of these words from Jude (Judah) 1:3, “Dearly loved friend, I was fully intending to write to you about our amazing salvation we all participate in, but felt the need instead to challenge you to vigorously defend and contend for the beliefs that we cherish. For God, through the apostles, has once for all entrusted these truths to his holy believers.”
In the present culture the pressure is great on believers in Jesus to accommodate and be politically correct. Christians are given a bad rap for their biblical views and convictions. We have seen this attack increase in the recent years to a point that many biblical Christian beliefs are referred to as archaic, irrelevant, and even prejudicial.
This post-modern, post truth cultural shift would suggest that you can no longer hold to objective truth as contained in the Bible. Basically, the emerging culture would suggest that truth is “subjective” and even would go as far as saying “personal”.
Carey Nieuwhof recently wrote; “Don’t like something? Great tell everyone it never happened. Explain that it doesn’t exist. Just spin your version of the story long enough until you’ve constructed your own personal universe of what’s real and what’s not.... It seems the combination of a deeply divided culture, the proliferation of new media, and social media available to billions means everyone is attempting to twist truth until it confirms their own bias”. All we have to do is watch the current American news networks to see the different slants each
present as truth.
The danger in all this is that as Christians, we can lower or even drop the standard we have been given in the word of God. The loving truth of the gospel of Jesus in our culture is needed now more than ever in this hostile climate. Jesus Christ and the apostles warned of times coming when truth would be twisted and no longer be tolerated. Just as Jesus and his teaching were not popular in his day and persecution arose in the midst of spreading the gospel, we can expect it to be the same for us when proclaiming the “good news”.
There was a cost to Jesus and his followers in preaching and practicing faith.
The transformational gospel message isn’t popular with everyone. The Christian faith has always been counter-culture in many ways however it’s the “Truth” that sets people free. Jesus’ life, teachings, death and resurrection are the hallmarks of the gospel not to be compromised.
Jesus came only to do the will of the Father in heaven irrespective of whether it was popular or accepted even at the cost of persecution and giving up his life.
Jesus says, “So remember what I taught you, that a servant isn’t superior to his master. And since they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. And if they obey my teachings, they will also obey yours,” (John 15:20 TPT).
In response to a threat to not speak the truth of the gospel, Jesus’ followers responded with these words, “You can judge for yourselves —
you or to God? It’s impossible for us to stop speaking about all the things we’ve seen and heard,” (Acts 4:19-20). After their release from their captors they went back to their company of believers and prayed to speak the message more boldly.
Dear follower of Jesus let’s take our cue from the early followers of Jesus. “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly,” (Acts 4:29-31).
Noel Mal is with Community Worship Centre. A guest sermon runs regularly in Saturday’s Guardian and is provided through Christian Communications.