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  • Writer's pictureBishop Dr Peter (UK)

Being a Christian Today

Hebrews 10:32-39 (ESV)

ecall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting.

Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

For yet “in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay; but my righteous one will live by faith. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Notes on the Scripture

The pep talk in Hebrews 10 is worth reading and remembering. It can be a source of inspiration to many of us, especially when we are embarrassed by anti-Christian diatribes or the media’s delight when a self-proclaimed Christian does something terrible. Professing Christianity puts a target on your back. You are held to a higher standard. People will laugh at you and lump you in with the many charlatans, hypocrites, and sanctimonious nut cases who call themselves “Christian.”

As television and the media become more and more the arbiters of social mores, we can hardly avoid a feeling of alienation. When is the last time you saw somebody on t.v. go to church? Read the Bible? Mention Jesus Christ or even a deep belief in God? We see the great works of Christians and Christian churches in person, all around us, but we do not see it in mainstream media. Acts of Christian goodness are suppressed by the atheist agenda of mainstream media.

Yet, somehow, all is well, for we have returned to the point where we started. The explosion of atheist and anti-Christian sentiment in the U.S. is small beans compared to the tribulations Paul addresses. He mentions prison, public abuse, and the plundering of possessions. Our trials are minuscule in comparison.

There are responses we can make to aggressive and abusive atheists, but today is not the time to talk about such matters. The most important thing is not to become angry, defensive, or shaken in our faith. “Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours.” Some people are exposed to this more than others; and if you are a person who is often told (as I am) you are an “idiot” because “gawd” is equivalent to the tooth fairy, you might want to keep this Scripture handy, to regain your balance. And be thankful: at least we are not often fed to lions today!

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