Taking a stand on biblical principles in the 21st century is tough. Many challenges and fears come with speaking up and speaking out on what is right and what is wrong according to the Word of God. It is also an extremely humbling experience. But we are in good company; Jesus Christ faced stark criticism and severe intolerance. Paul faced intolerance of his beliefs as well, as did the church in Rome.
Knowing this, the apostle encouraged the young church with the words, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all” (Romans 12:14-17).
We are to bless and pray for those who persecute us. The gospel message of repentance from sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Son of God isn’t always accepted by the lost. However, Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
For Christians, there is always a higher purpose to keep in mind. Sharing our faith plants seeds even though harvest time may be a good bit down the road. We may never see the harvest of our work in this lifetime, but we nevertheless must be faithful to what Jesus calls us to do: proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and the power of His sacrifice.
Don’t believe the lie that Christians are too assertive in sharing the gospel. If we know others can experience the redemption of His sacrifice, how can we be silent? Jesus was very assertive when sharing the gospel. He said, “But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town” (Luke 10:10-12 NIV).
While Jesus sympathized with people, He nevertheless interacted with them in bold and unwavering ways. He never shied away from telling them the simple fact that He is the only way to receive eternal life. May each believer recognize we are all sinful and in desperate need of Jesus. May we also recognize the need for boldness to unapologetically proclaim the gospel and expose the darkness of this day and age even when persecution awaits us (Ephesians 5:11).
We must know what we believe, and why we believe it, and be able to defend our beliefs. It is no longer acceptable for Christians in America to merely believe, but not be able to defend. Along with belief we should be prepared to give an answer for our faith, as commanded in 1 Peter 3:15.
Assertiveness and confidence when sharing your faith can be positive attributes when paired with humility.