I talked about the martyrdom of the Apostles yesterday and their passion to carry out their mission to make disciples. It’s interesting that Jesus made it clear what they would encounter as they spread the message of Jesus. In Matthew 10:17 & 18, He said, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.”

The popular trend in Christianity today is to do anything you can to avoid being at odds with others when you attempt to share your faith. We need to wait till the time is right. Unfortunately, the right time often does not come. We need to never offend anyone. Yet, the truth of the Gospel message is always offensive to an unbelieving world. We need to avoid looking like fanatics, yet each of the apostles were so fanatical about the truth they had to share that it aroused the world to torture and kill them.

It is so much easier in the world we live in if people don’t know we’re Christians. We can avoid the displeasure of the world by being silent. We can laugh at the course jokes, we can enjoy the ungodly entertainments, we can smile when God’s name is taken in vain, and we can even smile at the world’s contempt for Jesus’ followers. I know from experience how easy is it to fit into the world’s system to the degree that no one can distinguish me from anyone else and that way I can escape the heat of rejection. Then Jesus’ words come back to me, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you. … Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory” (Luke 6:26; 9:26).

The price is too high to pay for popularity!

“Take heart, my son, your sins are forgiven.” Matthew 9:2