Are You Willing to Be Hated for Speaking the Gospel-Truth?

Randy Alcorn asks, “Are You Willing to Be Hated for Speaking the Gospel-Truth?

Here are some highlights:

…to be a follower of Christ you need to be willing to be hated.

This does NOT mean being hateful. Nor does it mean seeking to be hated. Or having a persecution complex, so you think people don’t like you because you’re following Christ, when they actually don’t like you because you’re an idiot.

The danger comes when we live in such fear of being mislabeled that we don’t step forward as unapologetic and unashamed all-out followers of Jesus. They can call us Jesus freaks or ignorant or uncool or intolerant or anything they want, that’s fine. We should do what we believe pleases our Lord, regardless of how it pans out in opinion polls.

If we seek our culture’s approval, we’ll either never get it or get it only at the expense of failing to represent Christ. We are promised, that if we “live godly lives in Christ Jesus” we “will suffer persecution.” If we’re not suffering persecution, at some level, then what does that suggest?

We should certainly be nice, and it’s sad when Christians aren’t. But it’s also sad when we imagine “niceness” has greater impact than it really does. Niceness is not the gospel. Some modern concepts of evangelism are little more than being nice to your neighbor and loaning him your hedge clipper and hoping that somehow he will come to Christ without you actually having to say the WORDS of the gospel which would run the risk of him thinking you’re weird. Our good example is important, but it’s not sufficient. There are actual truths that must be grappled with in surrendering to Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-6). And these truths are expressed in words.

…instead of letting the world set our agenda and the ground rules of what we can and can’t say, let’s ask the Lord how best to take the timeless message of the gospel to these people.

Among some believers the new definition of a good Christian is holding your beliefs privately, not challenging those who publicly share beliefs that dishonor Christ, and avoiding controversy at all costs lest we be perceived as “those kind of Christians” who hate gays, oppose abortion, favor inquisitions and live to burn witches. We so much want the world to like us that we end up distancing ourselves from the historic Christian faith, from biblical doctrine (including hell), and from churches (because they’re all hypocrites except us). We end up making ourselves indistinguishable from the world, and therefore have nothing to offer the world.

It’s not our job to be popular. We are not contestants on American Idol. And we are not Christ’s speechwriters or PR team, airbrushing Jesus so He has greater appeal to people who don’t want to hear what He said about sin and hell. He’s the King, He calls the shots, we’re just His ambassadors. So let’s represent the real Jesus, the whole Jesus, not just the culturally acceptable one.

Read the whole post here. It really is worth the effort.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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