For His Name’s Sake

If we study the Scriptures, particularly the New Testament, in context, one verse at a time, chapter by chapter, and book by book, we will soon discover that the picture some of us have had painted to us of Jesus Christ and of his gospel, and of the life of a believer in Jesus, is false.

Too many people these days are misrepresenting Jesus and his gospel. They are painting a picture of Jesus Christ as someone greatly admired even by the unsaved, and they are painting a picture of his gospel as something largely accepted and embraced by many people.

They are misrepresenting his gospel and the life of a believer in Jesus as something easy and comfortable and simple, too. For, they have diluted his gospel to a mere acknowledgment of Jesus or a mere profession of faith in him as though that secures people heaven when they die.

But Jesus taught that to follow him meant daily dying to sin and self and following him in obedience to his ways. He taught that it meant a life of suffering (sharing in his sufferings), becoming like him in his death. And he taught that we would be hated and persecuted for his name’s sake.

Matthew 10:21-23 ESV

“Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

Many Christians over the past 2000 years have experienced this kind of treatment. And they were treated this way because they believed in the Jesus of the Scriptures, not the “other” Jesus many are proclaiming today. And they were treated this way because they were proclaiming the gospel which Jesus and his apostles taught, and they weren’t buying into cheap grace.

If you believe in a Jesus who was a “good deed doer” who just went around loving on and blessing everyone and who never upset anyone but who made everyone feel good about themselves all the time, and if you believe in a gospel of salvation which makes no demands for repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ as Lord, but just forgives everyone, then you are believing lies, and thus you are unlikely to be persecuted for Jesus’ sake.

But if we are teaching the Jesus of the Scriptures in his fulness, and if we are teaching the gospel in its fulness as Jesus taught it, and as his NT apostles taught it, then we are going to have people who aren’t going to be happy with us, and some may even get angry with us and they may oppose us, mistreat us, falsely accuse us, and even betray us to death.

Even our own family members may turn against us and reject us, persecute us, ignore us, want nothing to do with us, and/or they may hate and betray us because they are offended by what we are teaching, because we are teaching the truth and not the lies which tickle itching ears.

But the one who endures such persecution to the end will be saved. For, the Scriptures don’t teach once saved always saved. They don’t teach that if we pray a prayer that we are now saved, it can’t be taken away from us, and that heaven is guaranteed us when we die no matter how we live our lives.

The Scriptures teach that we must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness, that we must walk in conduct no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, and that sin should no longer be our practice, but that righteousness should be our practice if we want to be saved from our sins and have eternal life (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; 1 Co 6:9-10).

Matthew 24:9-10 ESV

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.”

So, why will we be hated? For Jesus’ name’s sake. We will be hated because we speak the words Jesus spoke and we speak the words the apostles taught which were not broadly accepted by the masses, and some (or most) of which are what got Jesus and the apostles killed.

We will be hated because we are teaching the truth of the gospel that we must deny self and die daily to sin and to self and that we must follow Jesus in obedience to his ways and that we must honor him as Lord (master). And that is because the flesh of humans resists holiness and righteousness, and it prefers what is immoral, wicked, false, and self-serving.

Most people don’t want to hear that they must leave their lives of sin behind them to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways. They don’t want to hear that they must make Jesus their Lord (owner-master) and that salvation means we are dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness.

They like the messages which tickle their itching ears which make them feel good about themselves even in their sins, which do not tell them that they have to stop sinning, and which give them the impression that heaven is their eternal destiny no matter how they live their lives on this earth.

Luke 21:12, 16-19 ESV

“But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.”

“You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.”

It isn’t just the people of the world who will hate us and persecute us and who will reject the truth of the gospel in favor of a lie. Remember who Jesus’ greatest persecutors were. They were the rulers and teachers of the law in the temple of God. So, we should not be surprised if we are hated and persecuted by those within the gatherings of the church.

If the church, overall, has adopted the cheap grace gospel, which consoles people in their sins rather than teaching death to sin, those who have bought into the cheap grace gospel are going to be offended by us and by what we teach if we are teaching death to sin and obedience to Christ.

We also should not be surprised if we are kicked out of some local fellowships which have adopted the cheap grace gospel and thus they don’t want us to be part of them because we are teaching the truth of the gospel which offends those who are perishing in their sins. For, Jesus said it would happen and it is happening.

But, again, through endurance we will gain our lives, for our salvation will not be complete until Jesus returns. And we will only receive that salvation and eternal life if we endure with Christ to the end, and if we walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. So, make certain you are obeying your Lord and that you continue until the very end, by God’s grace.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrYhiK2nQBg
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“But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.”

4 thoughts on “For His Name’s Sake

  1. “But Jesus taught that to follow him meant daily dying to sin and self and following him in obedience to his ways.” So true. It is a challenge to follow Jesus each day, to discern His way. May God grant us the wisdom to see His path.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes. It is important for Christians to know the Bible very well so we will not be easily deceived. A lot of posts in social looks good and feels good but when we analyze them, they don’t communicate what the Scripture actually say.

    Liked by 1 person

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