A blog devoted to God and helping fellow Christians keep positive in Faith and in Christ.
2 Nephi 4:28
2 Nephi 4:26
In light of recent events, I’ve decided an appropriate subject to write about is persecution.
You may face some difficulties because of your faith. Maybe you can’t watch a movie you want to because it is inappropriate. Maybe you get funny looks for listening to worship music in the dorm lobby. Maybe your parents aren’t completely supportive of your faith-based decisions.
Yes, these are uncomfortable and sometimes very hard things to face. They are inconveniences in our lives. But think about this: Jesus was NAILED to a CROSS and SUFFOCATED to DEATH because He was the Savior. Wow. We DO NOT KNOW the meaning of persecution. John the Baptist was beheaded. All of the apostles were imprisoned, exiled, murdered. All because of faith.
So, when the going gets tough, where will you draw your strength from? Will you give in, and hide your faith like a lamp under a bowl? Because it WILL get tough. You WILL, WITHOUT A DOUBT face persecution because of your faith. Maybe not to the extreme. But that’s all the more reason not to give up.
“You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But, not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.” —Luke 21:16-19
This doesn’t mean that you won’t suffer because of your faith. Harm may come to you. You may, by some chance, even be murdered because you believe in God and Jesus Christ as your Savior. But you will gain life. You will gain SPIRITUAL life, and an everlasting life with our Heavenly Father.
So, yes. You will be made fun of. They will call you names. They will slander your reputation. They will put you down, and attack you while you’re at your lowest. But do not be disheartened. God is looking out for you. And the will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.
I have encountered several people, over time, that have approached me rather aggressively about the subject of salvation through works. Most of these individuals have argued with me that salvation is not through works, but through a belief and a love of God. And I agree completely. It is by God’s GRACE that we are saved: there is no possible way we could earn or deserve our salvation.
However, too many people take advantage of the idea that faith alone saves us, because they don’t understand the meaning of faith here. They think that faith means simply believing in Jesus Christ and repenting when you are able to accept that you’re in the wrong, and you’re good. You go to heaven. This is FALSE. And I genuinely feel for these individuals who think that belief alone will save them, because they’ve been fed this and only this for so long, that all other spiritual sustenance is rejected by their spiritual body.
Here’s the thing.
Faith is not just believing. It is loving Him with EVERY FIBER of your being. It is being obedient, and trying to be LIKE CHRIST. That’s what being a CHRISTIAN means!
No, salvation is not works based. But, James 2:17 says this:”[…] faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.”
So, yes! You must believe in Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father with all your heart! Yes, you must love Him! But in believing in Him and TRULY loving Him, you won’t need to worry about doing works, because they will just happen naturally! If you are giving 100% to God and are in love with Him SINCERELY, IN YOUR HEART, then every singly one of your actions will reflect His glory and you will not have to constantly worry about whether or not you are serving Him.
I do not mean to say that you will not mess up or lose faith from time to time. I do not mean to say that you will not suffer and that you will not someday take everything that Jesus has done for you and spit it back in His face. Maybe you already have. But if you truly love God now, in this very moment, and you live life obediently according to the Gospel, then there shouldn’t even be a question in your mind about works of faith vs. salvation.
A lot of people don’t take witnessing seriously. They think that because they don’t see immediate results when they talk to others about God, that it’s okay to just not do it. (I am guilty of feeling this way sometimes, too). But we can’t EVER know how our words and our influence works in someone else’s heart.
Tonight, I heard a friend that talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk say, “I was going to say something about God to her, but she hates God. Besides, someone else will do it. They’ve got her back.”
I don’t know about you, but this makes me sick to my stomach. We can’t seriously believe that someone else’s view of God is going to or should prevent us from witnessing the truth to them. That’s the whole point of witnessing! If we only witnessed to people who were already saved, we wouldn’t get anywhere! And it’s absolutely ridiculous to think that if we don’t do it, that someone else will take the initiative to do it instead.
We should reflect God’s glory in EVERYTHING we do! Even if it’s just in small talk with a friend or neighbor. Give thanks to God in EVERYTHING!!! Don’t take it for granted that you can witness to others freely. This is a blessing that we don’t take advantage of, and we should.
It really bothers me when people say to “live your life to the fullest”, not because of what they are saying, but because they don’t mean what they say.
During my first semester of College in Fall of 2011, I encountered many people who had beliefs that were drastically different than mine. That was not an issue, until they tried to thrust their beliefs onto me.
“You don’t drink? Why not? You should live life to the fullest and have fun while you can!”
“Come on, do drugs with us! Live today as if it were your last! You’re no fun!”
Now, I’m not one to judge others. If you choose to partake in these activities, so be it. I can’t stop you. But don’t try to drag me down with you by telling me that I’m obviously not having fun or that I’m incapable of enjoying my life. No, I don’t drink or do drugs or engage in promiscuous activity. That doesn’t mean I’m not living my life to the fullest through CHRIST or that I’m not having fun worshiping GOD in all that I do.
Side Note: Isn’t it funny how others can shove their beliefs down our throats, but we as Christians have a hard time witnessing for God without being persecuted?