People seem to think that we live in a day and age that Christians can go about their daily lives and can worship God whenever and wherever they choose without being mocked by their fellow-man. People seem to think that the only persecution happening today is in the Middle East and parts of Africa where extreme atrocities have become common place.
People seem to think that wearing a cross, adorning a WWJD t-shirt, or having a faith-based bumper sticker is okay with your neighbors… praying over your food at a popular restaurant is okay… asking the kids at the park to church camp is acceptable… telling your co-worker about the great sermon this past Sunday is spreading the good news… the Sabbath is acceptable…
Wrong and wrong and here is why…
One of my children has asked three neighbor kids to Awana a few times. She has also asked them to church and their parents to Christmas Eve service. Although the parents responded kindly to her, the oldest child threatened her several times if she ever asked them to church or Awana again. He threatened physical harm. He’s twelve- years old. Where would he learn that?
Prayer over a meal at a restaurant. That often equals stares and snickers.
Telling your co-worker about church… well, that’s a violation of workplace ethics.
The Sabbath… growing up, most places of business were closed on Sundays except for several restaurants, the drug store and gas stations. You ran out of milk? You should have thought about that on Saturday because now you would have to wait until Monday unless the one gas station that is open carries over-priced dairy products.
All the above may not seem like persecution or even mockery, but we are surely on a slippery slope. When prayer groups on college campuses are sued or fought because they are offensive, but liberal groups are praised, those organizations are already half-way down that slope. When people are being sued for not falling prey to peer pressure, they are just standing there looking over waiting to be shoved. They don’t take the mockery and suck it up and keep on going doing the good work. They fall prey…
Jesus is the example to follow, not liberalism. In His time, people mocked, taunted, laughed, and killed all because he didn’t succumb to the peer pressure of the day. He was the persecuted… the finest example of such. It started with mockery.
David knew it was coming. He was put down for his faith and trust in God. He knew that a savior was needed and that the savior would also face much animosity.
Psalm 22: 6-7
But I am a worm and not a man, A reproach of men and despised by the people. All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
And it happened…
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
God’s Word mentions mockery several times. We’ll focus on two things here: Christ’s mockery and that of our own. Jesus was the light of the world and God said He would be mocked and killed for His work. God’s Word also tells us to be prepared for the same. I knew that a dividing line would come and that one day my family may fall victim to such a thing, I never thought my family would fall victim to a twelve- year old boy. Persecution is here. It may not be totally obvious to the everyday person, but to those who are trying to spread the news, our blinders are off.
Psalm 44: 13 You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us.
Proverbs 1:22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
Matthew 27:29 and having plaited him a crown out of thorns they put ‘it’ on his head, and a reed in his right hand, and having kneeled before him, they were mocking him, saying, ‘Hail, the king of the Jews.’
2 Peter 3: 33 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
So now we’re here and they are there… They point their fingers, they laugh… We try to hold our heads up, we show grace… Don’t let the mean Christians fool you. They are no better than those who take it, they just preach it and beat it in a bit differently but we all believe the same thing.
It’s time for the mocked to follow Jesus. Take up your own cross (not to be confused with the cross of humanity that Jesus carried) and follow Him. Follow the truth. Walk in the light. Speak in love and truth and just take it. Take it until the end. Don’t give up.
Matthew 16: 24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me…”