Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
September 22, 2001
Last Updated :
May 13, 2012
Sufferings Of Jesus Christ, Of No Reputation, Christian Persecution, Steadfast In Faith, Backsliders And Failures, Peter, Prophet Jeremiah, Don't Hide The Light, Expose The Lies And Deceptions Or Be Held Accountable, Preach Boldly And Don't Be Ashamed, Coming Trials And Ostracism, Gold Tried In The Fire, WTC/Pentagon Attacks, Be A Burning Ember For Jesus
As I recently reminded one of our dear mailing list members, Jesus became of no reputation for our sake. He was laughed at, ridiculed, mocked, demonized, beaten and finally cruelly hung on a Roman cross, in order that we might gain Eternal Life, and entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven. Please ponder the following verses:
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
Isaiah 53:3, KJV
"And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!"
Matthew 27:29, KJV
"And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him."
Luke 16:14, KJV
"Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:"
Luke 18:31-32, KJV
"And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God."
Luke 23:35, KJV
"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:"
Philippians 2:7, KJV
It is clear that Jesus certainly didn't seem to care what people thought of Him. He just came to accomplish a task, a very important task; just as we are here to accomplish the task of furthering His Message. As such, we should simply be about that task, regardless of what people may say or think about us, and in spite of what they may do to us. We must be willing to become of no reputation, just like Jesus, and we must be willing to suffer persecution for His Name's sake. Following are some additional verses for your consideration:
"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also."
John 15:20, KJV
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
Romans 8:35-36, KJV
"We are fools for Christs sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day."
1 Corinthians 4:10-13, KJV
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
2 Timothy 3:12, KJV
So my fellow Christians, in the words of the Apostle Paul, please be strong and steadfast in your faith. Don't allow yourselves to be shaken by the lies and deceptions of the world, or by the light afflictions which may come your way. Here again are some verses for you to consider:
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."
1 Corinthians 16:13, KJV
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."
Ephesians 6:10, KJV
"Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
2 Timothy 2:1, KJV
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:58, KJV
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."
1 Peter 5:8-9, KJV
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;"
2 Corinthians 4:17, KJV
Please remember that if we worry too much about the opinions of men; if we worry about being ridiculed, alienated, or possibly even persecuted because of our faith, we may never accomplish whatever it is that God has ordained for each of our lives. In fact, if our faith is that weak, we may even backslide from our faith, and return to being just like the rest of the children of the world; and we will become dismal failures in God's sight. As the Apostle Peter tells us:
"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
2 Peter 2:20-22, KJV
How sad. Imagine being viewed as a dog or a pig due to your failure to fulfill God's Will for your life. And Peter most certainly knew what he was talking about. As I point out in my article "Peter: Faith Tried in the Fire", Peter suffered a number of serious trials and tests in his life, as Satan did his best to try to prevent Peter from fulfilling God's Plan for his life. So rather than tone down or compromise our message, and bow to political correctness, or bow to the false god of this current world and all that he has to offer us, we must only bow to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, through our daily submission to His Will for our lives, whatever it may be; for as it is written:
". . . As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
Romans 14:11b, KJV
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
Philippians 2:9-13, KJV
Like the Prophet Jeremiah of old, we must not try to hide our light under a bushel in order that we might blend in with the crowd and appear to be politically correct, as a great number of false prophets do today; and what a truly sickening sight they are. If we do; if we try to quench God's Spirit, that Eternal Flame will burn right through it, and we won't be able to contain it. Consider these verses:
"Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay."
Jeremiah 20:9, KJV
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16, KJV
"Quench not the Spirit."
1 Thessalonians 5:19, KJV
So again; we must be willing to boldly proclaim the words of truth when God calls upon us to do so. We must always be ready to give a clear answer to anyone who may ask of us concerning our faith. We must also be willing to expose the lies, deceptions and sins of this adulterous and wicked generation of the Endtime, even if the Sword of God's Word cuts them to the heart. If we are not willing to do this, not only will God be ashamed of us, but He may even require their blood at our hands. Please consider these verses:
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
1 Peter 3:15, KJV
"Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."
Ezekiel 3:17-19, KJV
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV
Following are some additional verses on the topic of boldly preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Lord help us all to be like the founders of our Christian faith:
"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus . . . And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."
Acts 4:13, 29-31, KJV
"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
Acts 5:29, KJV
"But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him."
Acts 9:27-29, KJV
"Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands."
Acts 14:3, KJV
"And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."
Acts 18:26, KJV
"And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God."
Acts 19:8, KJV
"And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
Ephesians 6:19-20, KJV
"According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death."
Philippians 1:20, KJV
"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
Hebrews 13:6, KJV
"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"
1 Corinthians 9:16, KJV
I must agree with Paul when he writes ". . . woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!". I feel exactly the same way. Some Christians may deceive themselves into thinking that they are saving themselves from a lot of personal discomfort and persecution when they attempt to hide their light under a bushel, but one of these days, they may be in for a very rude awakening. As we have already seen, if we are ashamed of Christ now, He will be ashamed of us at His Coming.
If there is one thing which the Lord has been impressing upon me for quite some time now, it is that as the world continues to grow colder and darker in a spiritual sense, the more brilliant our lights will begin to shine. But, as we have already seen, it will come at a cost. We, and our faith, will be hated more and more by those who simply do not wish for their sins to be revealed. If we proclaim the truth, while the world's politicians and false prophets are spreading their subtle lies, it simply cannot be helped. We will become totally ostracized from society, if we are not already. As I explain in such articles as "666: Patience of the Saints", I am fully convinced that God is slowly polarizing the world. He is dividing the sheep and true shepherds from the goats and the false worldly shepherds. With each coming year, I foresee the Lord testing our faith more and more. He is going to allow each one of us to pass through the fires of tribulation, in order to determine what we are made of. Only those who cling to Him, and to His Word, will make it through, and come out a vessel for the finer. I am again reminded of verses such as the following:
"But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
Job 23:10, KJV
"And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."
Zechariah 13:9, KJV
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
James 1:2-4, KJV
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
1 Peter 1:7, KJV
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."
1 Peter 4:12-14, KJV
"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
Revelation 3:18, KJV
As a small example of this polarization of the world, and more specifically, of God's children, as I sit here writing this article, eleven days have passed since the world was shocked by the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The mass media has been filled with all kinds of political posturing, stories of heroism, theories and speculations, calls for prayer, and particularly stories which discuss America's preparation for war against terrorism, beginning with Afghanistan. The key point I wish to emphasize with you here, is that in all of the reading I have done, to date, I have found very few people, and to be more specific, very few so-called "Christian" leaders in America, who are even willing to discuss the real issue at hand here. They seemed to be scared stiff of even discussing why this happened, or even Who allowed it to happen; and as I point out in that article, God most certainly did, because He is very angry!
God has given these men an important job to do, and most of them are failing quite miserably at it due to their fears, their desires to be politically correct, and their sickening compromise with the world. Perhaps they are afraid of being branded religious fanatics. Maybe they worry about a drop in their book sales. These men know that to even suggest that God purposely allowed these events to occur, will make them appear very cruel, very cold-hearted, and without a doubt, very unpatriotic; so they shut up. Very few of them will even dare say the "R" word; and if you don't know what I am talking about, it is repentance. So sadly, many of these men have made their choice; and as far as I am concerned, they are standing on the wrong side of the fence. They are just like the deceived leaders, and false prophets and priests of Jeremiah's day, who persecuted Jeremiah, for daring to speak the truth, while they prophesied to the people of peace and plenty. Of course, we know who was vindicated in the end; it was poor old Jeremiah. Among other things, Jeremiah said:
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?"
Jeremiah 5:31, KJV
As I shared earlier in this article, the Apostle Paul wrote:
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
2 Timothy 3:13, KJV
So my point is, we cannot be afraid to speak the truth, regardless of the cost. Our primary obligation is to obey and to please the Lord. He is our Boss. We owe our loyalty and allegiance to Him first and above all. We must say and preach what He tells us to, no matter how unpopular of a message it may be; and doom, destruction and chastisement is by no means a popular message in our current day when people just love to totally indulge themselves in the flesh, and deceive themselves into thinking that America is going to live forever. In spite of their mockery of us and the sober message which we bare, in spite of the persecution which they may bring against us, we must each allow our light to shine brilliantly before the Lord. In conclusion, borrowing the title from another one of my articles, allow me to ask you "Are you a burning ember for the Lord?". I certainly hope so. I pray that this article has been a blessing and an inspiration to many. Wake up, America! Your days are numbered unless you truly repent!