Pick Up Your Cross—Don’t Hide Behind It
Updated: Jan 2, 2020
The Apostle Paul (one of the most persecuted Christians in history—2 Corinthians 11:23-30)—informs us:
“All who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 NASB).
So it’s not a matter of if we as Christians will be persecuted, but rather when and how much.
As Jesus affirmed: “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20 NASB)
No one likes being verbally attacked, misportrayed, mocked, and made fun of, but in today’s increasingly anti-Biblical culture, this has become an all too common occurrence for those who are serious and public with their faith. For example, Vice President Mike Pence has experienced relentless attacks for his devout faith, including a recent one in which he was ridiculously labeled as a “Christian supremacist.” He calmly responded:
“Any time I’m criticized for my belief in Jesus Christ, I just breathe a prayer of praise.”
Perhaps at no time in American history has it become so unpopular, or personally cost so much, to be a Christian. As a result, polling shows that many professing Christians have become more silent and private with their faith. But God hasn’t called us to live our lives under the radar. On the contrary, Jesus exhorts:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 NASB).
Sadly, much of the culture is not content with just engaging in verbal and financial persecution but a part of it is now physically assaulting those they disagree with (such as journalist Andy Ngo and high school sophomore Hunter Richard). Even Chick-fil-A has come under siege simply for making charitable donations to popular Christian ministries, causing Texas Governor Greg Abbott to sign a law known as the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill.
No one likes to be uncomfortable; yet why should Christians expect to live without opposition? We should stand courageously and uncompromisingly. And if adversity comes, we should meet it with grace, remembering Paul’s admonition to . . .
“…always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” (1 Peter 3:15 NASB).
A fondness for comfort can lead to cowardice—a trait denounced throughout American history. As Samuel Adams reminded the fair-weather “patriots” of his day:
“If you love wealth better than liberty—the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom—go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
In today’s growing anti-Biblical culture, if we are not experiencing some form of persecution, maybe it’s time to ask ourselves: Are we hiding behind our crosses, or picking them up and following Jesus?
“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33 NASB).
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 Groppe, M. (2018, August 31). Vice President Mike Pence quotes Bible in response to being called 'Christian supremacist.’ Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/31/mike-pence-quotes-bible-response-being-called-christian-supremacist/1161092002/
 Creitz, C. (2019, July 1). Journalist violently attacked by Antifa recalls ‘complete anarchy and lawlessness.’ Retrieved from https://www.foxnews.com/politics/andy-ngo-attacked-antifa-portland-starnes
 Trump, D. J. (2019, July 23). Remarks by President Trump at Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit 2019. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-turning-point-usas-teen-student-action-summit-2019/
 Axelrod, T. (2019, July 19). Texas governor holds ceremonial signing of 'Save Chick-fil-A' bill. Retrieved from https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/453978-texas-governor-holds-ceremonial-signing-of-save-chick-fil-a
 Adams, S. (1776, August 1). Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2Mb7ShW