Throughout human history, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and professing God’s truth has been met with opposition. There are many Biblical accounts of those who were martyred for the sake of spreading the Gospel of Jesus. Even many were tortured, beaten, and made to be pariahs in their own villages because of their stance for speaking against sin and for salvation. This is also true in today’s time – many Christians are now reviled for standing up against the sinfulness and disobedience against the precepts of God.
In the Bible, the prophet Jeremiah was given a task to warn the people of Jerusalem and the Kings of Judah in Jeremiah 19. Throughout that passage, Jeremiah gives a warning against both nations for their idolatry and worship unto Baal who was a foreign god, in addition to their insolence against God’s decrees. As Jeremiah gives his prophecy, he is then imprisoned by a Priest named Pashur. (Jeremiah 20: 1-2). In verse 3, after Jeremiah is released he gives a prophecy to Pashur that his name will no longer be “Pashur” but “Terror on Every Side.” This is because of Pashur’s willingness to defy God’s words and imprisoning Jeremiah for his prophecy. In verses 4-6, Jeremiah prophesies that the nation of Judah will be given over to the King of Babylon – while Pashur along with his friends and the Kings of Judah will be buried in Babylon as punishment.
The above is Jeremiah’s prophecy which eventually comes true, however, there is a complaint that Jeremiah makes to God:
Jeremiah 20: 7-9 says in the NIV version:
“You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”
Jeremiah has grown weary of the persecution that he is receiving despite doing as God has told him to do. However, notice the words he uses, “his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” What Jeremiah is saying is that even if he wants to withhold his words or prophecies, the urge is too strong to stifle. He uses the word, “fire” because the heaviness and urgency he feels to prophesy cannot be contained. A fire is a consuming entity which if not squelched by water, it reaches and burns everything within distance.
That is how we as Christians should treat our walk with Christ. Living in this Christian life should not be relegated to being separated from those who are in darkness, but it should also involve an active participation in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is often coined as, “The Good News” because the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is indeed good news. It is good news because, Jesus’ death on the cross broke the power of sin over our lives. We are no longer condemned eternally because we have Jesus Christ as the advocate or the one who took our place by taking the penalty for us. The only thing we must do is confess our sins, accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, and live in obedience unto God.
However, we are living in an age where there is a staunch opposition against the things of God. While human history has given direct evidence of persecution against Christians, it seems that even more so now those in Christ are being challenged. Even in America, we are seeing more instances of Christians that are being marginalized because of the Godlessness that is entrenched in our society. We are also seeing a watering down of God’s truth for the sake of appeasing the majority. Pastors and church leaders have become muzzled while, in exchange, church membership began to be the focus instead of providing the truth of God’s word.
We must understand that God did not call Christians to be silent, but to profess Jesus Christ and Him crucified before a dying world. Just as Jeremiah could not hide the truth, we should not hide God’s truth. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 1:16 (NIV) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Paul among others during his time understood the mission but also the critical nature of sharing the Gospel with the lost.
A generation of people are now being taught that you can sin without consequence. It is now the trend that your own truth is what matters, in addition to the “live and let live” mentality. Now, it is deemed disrespectful if you were to tell someone about their lifestyle in an attempt to change how they live. The Bible makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) the following:
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” This means that those who are not living by the Spirit of God are unable to accept the truth that comes from God’s word. However, that does not mean that God cannot convict someone’s heart. The job of every Christian is not only to live a life that is acceptable unto God, but to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are lost.
Remaining in silence in the face of opposition, insults, and criticism from non-believers only dampens the message of the cross. Jesus Christ died and rose again for all sinners, which includes you and I. Even when persecution comes, we who are in Christ should continue to spread the good news. The good news is like a panacea or a remedy for a medical condition.
Sin and disobedience unto God can be likened to a disease. It is a condition which not only separates all who are unrepentant from God, but it causes physical and spiritual damage during life. The end result of a life that is not surrendered to God through Jesus Christ is one that spends eternity in Hell, separated from the presence of God. However, the remedy is Jesus Christ. If Christians who are truly following God, fail to exemplify and speak the truth of God to others, then it is as if we who have been cured are allowing those in their illness to die.
Jeremiah like other prophets could not stand and watch nations that were Godless, burn and suffer because of disobedience without warning the people and the Kings. Although each prophet’s declaration and warning came true, they understood that those who heard God’s truth would be spared if they chose to repent and turn from their wicked ways. The number of those who choose to perish might be greater than those who choose life, but the point of sharing the message is to give everyone in the vicinity an opportunity. The opportunity has been given to you and I. If you don’t know Jesus, you can be spared from the penalty of sin and disobedience. Christ is the remedy for a broken life. Accept His gift of salvation, and you will have a life that will remain in the safety of a loving God.