When we think of church we generally picture a building or area where Christians meet comfortably every Sunday, but church is more than corporate worship. Church is the people and the community where you work, play or just live life on a daily basis.
It is in the darkest places that one small light can make the most difference, but it means that we must make a choice not to cover our light where we live our lives, work or have friendships . It is becoming increasingly difficult for a Christian to stand up for God’s biblical values and principles especially since the norm in Western cultures are that everything is allowed in today’s society, frowning on those that do not agree.
I have this opinion that every time there is a situation in our lives where we have the chance to stand up for Christ or what the Word of God says is right or wrong and we choose to keep quiet, whatever our reasons are, we are in fact disowning Christ.
When Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, were facing such a circumstance he disowned the Lord three times for fear of the consequences (Luke 22:54-62). The shock of what he did caused him to stand up and start Christ’s Church never taking a stand back again so that he was prepared to be martyred for his beliefs.
But then lets also consider a situation described in Revelation 3:1-6 where the church of Sardis is describes as a dying church with a complacent spirit, not standing up for God and thinking more about their own reputation. God rebukes them and says:
“I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you” (Revelation 3:3) (ESV)
He then promises to those who follow him:
“I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5) (ESV)
Considering the above, if we say that we are Christians but do not live or speak it do you think it is just and fair that Christ must one day stand up for us before God? Christianity is more than confessing Christ in a safe environment like your Church. It is living it day-by-day in every part of your life, no matter the consequences.
The last couple of months it has been lying so strong on my heart that if we, as the body of Christ, are not prepared to stand up for what God tells us very clearly in Scripture is right or wrong we take away the identity of the Church and in actual fact assist Satan to make discernment more difficult.
Have I had situations where I kept quiet? Sadly yes. Afterwards I would really feel bad and the ‘what if only’s ‘ would go through my head. Worse is that when I think of my reasons like:
Fear of unnecessary conflict
- What will people think of this person that are now just trying to run against the general flow of things
- If I say something I may lose a friend or I might get into trouble at work
I have to admit that it all came back to my own ego. The positive side however, is that it is never too late. If Peter could become brave so can you and I.
We need to start trusting more in God’s promises because it will make us stronger to take a stand and live our beliefs wherever we are. Prayer and our faith allows us to ask God regularly for courage so that when you and I are in another situation that arise where we must make a choice we will know that God will give us the courage to confess our belief and to testify through our actions. Remember, Christianity is not one-sided. It is an intimate relationship with God and you are walking this road with Him.
“Stand firm, and you will win life” (Luke 21:19) (NIV)