Christians live in a world full of hate, and we will always be a minority. Narrow is the gate, and straightened is the way which leads to life, and few there be that find it. (Matt. 7:14) But that neither alters nor limits our assignment to teach the Gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ),nor live the Gospel before a hostile and unbelieving world. That is what Jesus did. The price we pay for being a Christian is to share it. But that is a big general concept, and it needs to be reduced to fit us as individuals, relating to others one at a time. And that is not easy. The world is full of people who range from those who would kill us because what we believe condemns them, to those who are caught up in ignorance and apathy: we don't know and we don't care. And to those who actually think they do God a service if they kill us. (John 16:2b)
The world had the same set-up when Jesus was here. How He handled the situation ought to be our model for dealing with it now. He didn't batter down the doors of their hearts. He knocked gently--but not forever. He went quietly about His Father's business, no striving nor loud crying in the streets. (Matt. 12:10) He didn't resort to physical violence when His life was threatened. He just calmly and sadly slipped away. He lovingly taught when people would listen, but He didn't linger when they would not. His war was not against flesh and blood (nor is ours), but against the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 5:12 paraphrased). He did not return hatred for hatred. He loved and taught and wept over them, but finally allowed them to make their own decisions. And it cost Him His life. And it may well extract the same extreme price from us. So be it. It is easily worth all we are and all we have to be a follower of Christ. This world is not forever.
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A truly excellent article. Jesus only asked two things physically of us in return for a spot in his eternal kingdom. The first is to be baptized in His name, a public proclamation of our inheritance. This act is not performed with "every eye closed and every head down." The second is to spread the news, the Great Commission. Considering the price he paid, not only on the cross but putting up with the likes of us for 33+ years in the bondage of a three dimensional world, I'd say it's more than reasonable.
Is it really embarrassing to be known as a "Christian"?
If it is, then that person is not!