Christianity today is challenged on many different levels in many different ways, which has ultimately led many in the faith to become discouraged and abandon their faith in God. Jesus has warned us that times were coming that we would all have to stand up for our faith as persecution came our way, “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.” (Luke 21:12).
Many Christians say that they are willing to stand up for their faith, but why is Christianity suffering so much and why are so many Christians today so weak in their faith and unknowledgeable in the word of God? The answer can be found by looking at our society today as well as a few verses that Christians don’t completely understand.
“But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matthew 5:39). This verse is quite often misunderstood and believed that we should not resist anyone, but instead let the world walk all over us, which ultimately leads many to conform to the world. Did Jesus really imply this when He spoke these words? Yes and no. We are to be kind, gentle and loving and also turn the other cheek, but this does not mean that we can’t stand up for our faith in times of persecution.
When Jesus spoke of turning the other cheek, it was directed more towards the physical body and not spiritually. Whenever the world is persecuting you for your faith, you take it like Jesus did, but at the same time you need to stand strong in the faith and allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you and fight for you. “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11).
Another area of misunderstanding is love. Most Christians today believe we must love everyone, judge no one, accept everyone for who they are regardless of what sin they may be committing; this is true to a certain extent and unfortunately most Christians take it to the extremes now days. “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8). The word used for love here is the Greek word ‘agape’ which means an unconditional love, but with this unconditional love does not include loving the person’s sinful ways. If a Christian is in a homosexual relationship, which is strictly forbidden in the word of God, and we see this as being ok then we are not living a true godly life. The way in approaching such a case is by confronting the brother or sister in Christ about their sinful way and showing them our love for them, but not for their sin and helping them overcome the sinful area of their life.
True love is praying for the lost, not accepting their ways. The theology of acceptance has taken Christianity down the path of the world by accepting wicked ways. Most Christians today ask, “as long as the person says they are in Christ then it must be ok right?” Let’s take a look at scripture to better clarify if it is pleasing to the Lord, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9,10).
Atheist today are eating Christianity alive today because we have become too soft and believe that we can’t offend anyone even if it means abandoning our faith for a short time to make others comforter able. We must take a stand as Christians, not aggressively, but instead being gentle, peaceable, but full of courage at the same time. When we see a brother or sister being attacked for their faith we must step in and help, not sit back and say, “I don’t want to offend anyone.” “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6). As Christians we are not perfect just like the world, but we should not love the world either, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).