"I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God."
I can remember a time in America when if you asked a person if they were a Christian they would say yes. They would say yes even if they did not believe in Christ, because they were embarrassed to say no. We considered ourselves a Christian nation.
Well I think those days are gone. Being a Christian is no longer what everyone wants to be known as. Many people are proud now to say that they are pagans, Satanist, Wicca, Witches, Vampires, Atheist, and many more.
It does not really upset me that these people no longer call themselves Christians, after all they never really were anyway. What does bother me is how these people; the pagans, Wicca's, Witches, Vampires, Atheist and the rest are so outspoken now. You can find their pages all over the Internet. They have their own banner exchanges, web rings, chat rooms, newsletters, pages that explain how to defend their faiths from those evil "Christians", you name it they have it.
I am a firm believer in the first amendment, so I am not saying that I want their pages banned. No, what bothers me is that they proclaim their faith and views so loudly and so strongly, yet many Christian's pages don't say anything about their faith. I visit many pages and invite the webmasters to my page. I get e-mails thanking me for inviting them because they are Christians and really like my page. How would I have known if they did not write me? No where on their page did I find anything that says they believe in Christ.
Are we embarrassed of Christ? Now that it is not common for everyone to say they are Christians are we embarrassed to use that name? Are we afraid to stand up for what is right? This is what Jesus said: "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33
Maybe we don't outwardly disown Jesus before men, but if we don't acknowledge Him either, are we really okay? I can't say for sure, but I know that in my heart I feel that not acknowledging Him is the same as disowning Him. But for the sake of argument let's say that we will still spend eternity with Christ in heaven even if we don't acknowledge Him before men as long as we don't disown Him. (In this discussion I am speaking of a person who has by faith accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and asked for His forgiveness.)
I am using my own feeble human imagination to describe the undescribable eternal home of all believers. Can you imagine walking the streets of gold for eternity watching millions of other believers greet each other? Some saying thank you to those they meet for witnessing in this life which helped them find Christ. But never one person comes to you with a thank you for your witness? Now imagine seeing Jesus on a daily basis, will you be able to look Him in the eyes? Or will you want to hide and hang your head because you did not proclaim your love for Him in this life? If you live to be 100 years old, your life in relation to eternity will not be even as large as a single atom is, in relation to the universe.
Revelation 21:4 says:" He will wipe every tear from their eyes." Could this be one of those tears Jesus will have to wipe from your cheek?
There are thousands of Christians today all over the world that risk their lives to worship our Lord and Savior. Many have been killed, beaten or otherwise persecuted for their beliefs. Yet the churches thrive in these areas. In areas of the world where people have the rights to worship openly, many of the churches are stagnant and Christians lackadaisical about their faith. They listen while people around them use the Lord's name in vain, never saying a word. They wouldn't want to hurt someone's feelings, or even worse get someone mad, or be thought of as a fanatic. They are silent when abortion is called a choice. They agree or at least don't disagree when someone says, all religions are okay and should be tolerated, after all we all worship the same God.
If our puny human minds can comprehend that Christians seem to get stronger in their faith when their faith is threatened, does it not stand to reason that God also knows this? And that in His loving kindness and wisdom He might place some obstacles in our paths to help us out of our apathy?
So next time you are embarrassed to proclaim Jesus name and your love for Him, remember He loves you enough to bring adversity into your life if that is what it takes to bring you closer to Him. I challenge all of you as Christians to take just one extra step each day. Place one thing on your web page that testifies to your love for Christ, openly say your prayer at a restaurant, place a Christian sticker on your car, wear Christian tee shirts, anything that will outwardly show that you are a Christian. Act proud to be a Christian, after all you are a child of the Almighty God, Creator of all things!
In Luke 15:10 Jesus says: "I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." I believe that the angels also rejoice and praise God when we proclaim our love for Jesus to others. Of course I cannot know, but I wonder if they also groan when a Christian does not say anything when the opportunity presents itself. Are our lives causing the angles to rejoice or groan and feel shame on our behalf?
These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.
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