Sunday, November 25, 2018

Intentionally Different

Intentionally Different
November 26, 2018
2 Timothy 3:12  "Yes, and all who desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."

Being a Christian is not popular, nor is it socially acceptable, if lived out correctly. In this day and age, no one is going to outright criticize you for a belief system that is only slightly different than their own. As long as you look the same, smell the same, and do the same things, then they will accept you as their own. Being a Christian, however, a true Christian, is not going to make you look or act the same. Following the Scriptural instructions for daily living, you will naturally look different than the rest of the world. You are going to dress more modestly in comparison, you are going to speak differently in comparison, and you are going to maintain different habits in comparison.

If you are living out your Christianity, you are going to be fully noticeable by any one who is not a Christian. Many people are socially polite and respectful, and this is a given if you are a Christian. But you are going to be far more different. You are going to be wearing forgiveness, compassion, gentleness, and self control. These elements are going to set you apart and you will be respected for them. However, if you obey the Scriptures to the fullest degree you are going to take a stance on gender bias marriages and the sanctity of life before birth. You are also going to take a stance on physical relationships outside of marriage and avoid many worldly vices. You'll stick out like a sore thumb, unable to hide the fact that you are a Christian. This is what the Lord desires, but it will also make you unpopular. This will actually invite criticism against you and make you slightly offensive to many. The Bible says that if they despised Him, meaning Jesus, they will despise you.

Being a true Christian, living it out, will actually invite persecution. If you live in a country free from religious persecution, you will not escape notice for your polarizing beliefs. You will be discriminated against because of your views, and you won't be able to hide them.  People will not invite you to be their friend, once they find out your true Christian stance. If you disagree with this statement, finding full acceptance of your Christianity, then you may need to evaluate your actions and beliefs. If your beliefs look too similar to the world's than you are possibly compromising more than the Lord would desire. 

Scripture is very clear that light can have no fellowship with darkness, yet most of us find a way to compromise what we believe and tolerate to be in the presence of darkness. We tend to accept the world, those who live in darkness, and actually have fellowship with it. There is a difference between being in the presence of darkness attempting to shine the light and having fellowship with the darkness. Somehow the church has bought in to mercy and compassion as if it means being tolerant of sin and having fellowship with that. Being a true Christian, however, means darkness will not invite the fellowship of the light. If you find yourself being invited into the fellowship of the darkness, then you may not be living our your Christianity correctly. Your belief system will be offensive and so will your lifestyle. You will be different, noticeably different, and this should be intentional. If you don't find yourself being persecuted, maybe you are doing it wrong?

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matt 5:11-12, Matt 24:9, 2 Thess 1:4, 2 Tim 3:11-12

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