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Last week we examined the fact that the Christians of the first century would be tested in their faith. Would they remain faithful to the Lord? Or would they deny the Lord at the point of death? What would we do?


So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

The words of our Lord sound easy to obey, yet we all know that fear is a reality which we must learn to cope with. Consider how God has said “fear not” or some synonym to that in the Bible.  One has stated 

“Here is a homework assignment – look up “fear not” in the Bible and look at all of the passages and context. “The term “fear not” is stated in the Bible 365 times, which, ironically, is how many days are in a year”

Further, notice the words again in Matthew 10:34-39

Not Peace, but a Sword“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”  

Jesus is honest about how hard Christianity will be. He himself suffered, was ridiculed, hated, despised, and misunderstood. Yet we have become Christians because we know what Jesus did to save us. He had battles all of his life with Satan, the Jews, with his disciples, with Pilate, as well as Herod. Indeed, his life was the battle between good and evil, and he shows us that we, too, can win. Beloved, because we are Christians we cannot agree with or get along with sin, nor can minimize the impact of evil. The world, surrounded by evil, will be able to tell whose side we are on as we live the Christian life. May our light shine in a dark world (Matthew 5:16).

Rewards “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

The faithful Christian has the promise of being with the Lord, and he/she will be rewarded. We can only imagine what that will be like.  BUT IT WILL NOT BE EASY HERE UNTIL WE GO HOME.



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