I have been finding that people, both non-Christian and Christian have something in common that they shouldn’t, both want to be liked. I am sure that someone, somewhere along the line is going to say or think, “It’s human nature to want to be liked!” Maybe, more likely, I think it may be a survival instinct for people to want to be part of a group, but that has nothing to do with being liked.
In Matthew 24:8 we are told:
8All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. 10At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another…
We are living in a time where popularity seems to be more important than our convictions. It is a time of ‘self’ and worse, ‘self-gratification.’ The United States, by the standards of the rest of the world, is a rich country. The average person here is far richer than most people anywhere. Almost anyone can afford some kind of car, television, and phone. There are places in the world today where it is normal for people to still starve to death.
Most of the world is caught up in this ‘popularity craze.’ Movie and television stars and sports figures have become heroes to the populace. So much so that there is a kind of fantasy that our lives should somehow be like theirs, or what we believe theirs to be. Let me throw another verse at you:
2 Timothy 1:1
1But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy…
Does that seem at all familiar? I’m sorry to say that even I fall into this trap. I have to pull myself out, ask forgiveness and try harder. But that is exactly the point, Christians are supposed to set the example regardless of the fact that, in the end, it won’t stop what is happening.
God didn’t give us a choice here. He didn’t say, “If you stop being this way, the end won’t be like I have had written.” He, through the inspired word of others, said that this will be the way things are in the last days and that there will be last days!
So, let’s make a little list here. If you are a Christian, a real follower of Christ you will be: hated, persecuted, and killed. Not exactly the best incentive to be a Christian. Here’s the kicker, God is going to end this world. That day is coming, and it will first come through disease and war. We know that, it’s in God's written Word. But the worst is yet to come.
God Himself is going to intervene. In 2 Peter 3:10 we read:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Now, there are some who will tell you that it will never happen. There are some who say that mankind will go through an atomic war and that will kill us off. There are even those who say that climate change is going to end us. I personally believe what the Bible is saying here.
Christians have an out. We get to live again in the presence of God, that’s promised. Other people, not so much. Oh, the atheists will tell you that it’s all myth and fairy tales, but the atheist religion (and that is what it is) mostly seem to be a bunch of angry people who have somehow been hurt by a church or ‘Christians’ and are trying to find a way to hit back.
I don’t care if you are a ‘good person’ or donate your time and money to wonderful causes. That isn’t going to get you into the presence of God. It simply won’t. If you read the Bible, you will see that there is only one way in, and I’m pretty sure you already know what that is. Look at it like this, doing good things doesn’t make you a Christian, but being a Christian should make you want to do good things.
We aren’t going to be loved. The majority of the world will hate the true Christian, the ones who object to the pornography, the blasphemy, and the promiscuity that surrounds us every day. That’s okay, we expect it. We also know what’s coming.
If you think you are a Christian, I urge you to reexamine what you accept in your daily life. Think about it, what does the God’s Word say about it? If there is a hint of contradiction to what you believe, what do you think that means?
Have a great week.