Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Like a Red Rag to a Bull (11/28/13)
TITLE: Innate Hostility
By Ernest Yoder
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Why is it that the gentlest people in the world suffer the most persecution and hostility? Followers of Christ have been the target of persecution from the time of Christ’s sojourn on this earth. Indeed He Himself suffered and died because of Who He is. In our devotional text Christ made it clear that hatred against His followers would be the norm. He told them to expect it. It makes no sense for people who show love and compassion to suffer so much for it. Rational people should not, indeed do not, behave this way. That, my friend, is the reason. Persecutors of the godly are not rational.
What makes people so irrational and illogical as to attack the good? Their hostility comes with the package of being human. There is an innate hostility toward God in all of our corrupted natures. Until we are born again that adamic nature has the potential of taking over and in some people it reveals itself in hateful and violent ways against God’s people. A. W. Tozer calls it the hostility that exists between the once born and the twice born. It is a natural reaction against God, indeed as natural as a bull reacting angrily to the color of a red rag.
But as God’s people we need not be discouraged. We are on the winning side. The victory has been won by our Lord at Calvary and the empty tomb. We know our standing in Him no matter what comes our way. Even if we suffer for His Name’s sake we are blessed. (Mt.5:10-12) It is incumbent on us to press forward wielding our sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God as we hold up our shield of faith. (Ep.6:16-17) Faithful Christians do have a positive impact on the world. What happened in the Book of Acts where many former enemies of Christ, including the Apostle Paul, became followers of Christ is still happening today. Innate hostility is turned into innate godliness. The unsaved are challenged to begin thinking about the fact that if something is worth suffering for it just may be worth living for.
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