Foolishly and Boldly Judging Your Brethren Worldwide

Before you post so confidently about what other Christians are (or are not) doing, remember these important facts:

  1. Your actual deep (detailed) exposure to Christians worldwide is limited geographically. Before you write and talk about how “all” Christians or churches are, think about how many different churches you really have deep experience with and the number of Christians about which you have an intimate knowledge of their private service, devotion, and convictions. If you have been a member of a few churches in similar areas and have many Christian acquaintances and few close brethren, consider that your sample size is too small to extrapolate about Christians and churches worldwide (technically it is narrow and statistically insignificant). If you have visited many churches in many places, understand that one or a few visits is too little exposure to really know those churches and those Christians.
  2. If a Christian is following Jesus’ principles, they are not sharing every good deed of evangelism, service to the marginalized, and service to brethren on Facebook or even talking about it at church (sometimes not within their family) because they are not “letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing” as our Lord taught. So you may be condemning the humble who are just busy about good works and being quiet about it. (“[But] aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)
  3. You may be projecting on others what you are failing to do yourself. The speck in their eye is not the biggest problem that you should be addressing.
  4. The average Christian is not a professional counselor with unlimited resources and excessive discretionary time to serve every need. Some do nothing, some do the best they can with the situations they encounter, some wear themselves out in service. I think every sincere Christian wants to do more and those that don’t “get it” don’t want to be bothered and will answer for it.
  5. How can people proudly proclaim that Christians are humans imperfectly struggling to be more like Christ then condemn Christians for imperfections that reflect that we are not yet what we strive to be? I have failed to serve, failed when I tried to serve, and failed to serve enough. But I’m getting better and I’m learning. I think others are as well.

Your brethren need grace and the benefit of the doubt that you don’t know all the struggles they are facing within and without and what they are doing without telling you. Better to focus on your relationship with God, being what you should be in service to God, helping your local fellowship reflect God’s glory in teaching and service, and praying that other Christians in other places are doing the same.

When Your Bad Day is a Good Day

What makes a life, day, or event ‘good’ or ‘bad?” We categorize so many things into these two buckets, often without thinking. With spiritual discernment, we may see some things that seem good are bad, and some bad things are ultimately good.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity. Ecclesiastes 11:7-8

Rejoice in the good days

Life is generally good and so if we live many years we should enjoy the days. For the Christian, each day is a walk with God. Even challenges strengthen us:

  • James 1:2-4: Trials teach endurance and perfects us
  • 1 Peter 1:6-9: Trials refine and strengthen us
  • 1 Peter 4:13-14: Persecution can inspire rejoicing

Trials and persecution grind down and embitter the disobedient. The way of the sinner is hard, Proverbs 13:6, 15.

Dark days will come

There will be dark and difficult days. Even the trials and persecution that strengthen us will darken our days. Paul learned to endure times of plenty and want through the strength of Christ, Philippians 4:10-13. Anyone can be content in the good time; the challenge is being content during difficult days. According to this passage Paul “learned” to be content regardless of the circumstances. God’s wisdom must change our perspective. As my friend Barry Hudson wisely said, “you want God to change your circumstances, but God wants to change you.”

Learning contentment

See God’s hand in all things

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. Ecclesiastes 7:14

Meditate deeply on the passage above. God may not cause events but He is in control and allows them to happen. Paul encouraged the Romans that all things could work out for their spiritual good, Romans 8:28. Do we trust this or do we second-guess God’s management of the universe?

God may not cause events but He can help us turn challenges an difficulties into something good. We must let God’s word and faith do its work. These blessings do not come when we whine, complain, or give up.

God made Israel hunger then give them bread from heaven to teach them that “man does not live by bread alone” but by God’s word, Deuteronomy 8:3. Israel had an opportunity to learn dependence on God, prayer for daily bread, and trust in His care. bur responded with whining, complaining, and rebellion against God and Moses. They saw disaster when they should have been filled with home and trust.

We can rejoice, our faith can grow, and we will learn contentment if we respond to trials with trust.

Realize something ‘bad’ may be ‘good’

We are so quick to say that a day, event, or life is ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Consider this fable:

A farmer had only a son and his horse. One day the horse ran away. The neighbors pitied the farmer but he replied, “We’ll see, we’ll see.”

A few days later the horse returned with 20 wild horses that the farmer was able to tame, sell, and make a profit. The neighbors rejoiced and praised the farmer but he replied, “We’ll see, we’ll see.”

One day the horse kicked his only son and injured him so badly that he became lame. The neighbors were angry at the horse but the farmer said, “We’ll see, we’ll see.”

Soon war broke out and all of the sons of the village were taken to war but the farmer’s son who was lame, and all were lost in a terrible battle. The neighbors consoled the farmer that at least his son was still alive to which he replied, “We’ll see, we’ll see.”

We are quick to judge something as good or bad although we do not yet see how it ends! Once again, we see that even the trials and tribulations can create great positive changes that we would not have otherwise.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

The affliction is working towards our glory, but if we gripe and moan about our affliction we will miss the blessing. We must look at the events of our life with spiritual eyes. We are poor judges of an eternal, all-knowing God. Will we take issue with God’s work in our life, Romans 9:19-23? Shall we put God on trial in our courtroom, Job 40?

Consider how something that seems bad might be very good:

  • Death on the cross resulted in a powerful resurrection and salvation open to all.
  • The persecution of the church scattered teaching Christians throughout the world, Acts 8.
  • Paul saw his imprisonment as an opportunity to spread the gospel to the guard and encouragement for other brethren to preach, Philippians 1:12-18.
  • Trials have the fruit of patience and perfection of character.

I’ve known people who lost a job. Was it a bad day? Many found more fulfilling jobs with better pay that they would have missed had they not lost their job. So, was it a bad day? Of course we sorrow as we do not know the future but we should trust that God cares for us and continue forward in hope.

Pray for vision

Life is good if we will see it. We need to pray for spiritual wisdom and godly vision to see the good in the bad and build our trust in God’s care. When Elisha’s servant despaired, being surrounded by the Syrian army, Elisha calmly prayed that God would open the servant’s eyes. When He did, the servant saw the Syrian army surrounded by the horses and flaming chariots of God, 2 Kings 6. We, too, can see the immediate enemy and forget the hosts of heaven that encompass them and care for God’s children.

Certainly, there will be events so tragic in our lives that we will anguish and strive hard to see any good. The vision may not come immediately and bittersweet rejoicing may be long delayed, yet the Christian can learn even in the worst situations. Christians have told me how cancer really taught them the value of a moment and deep faith and trust in God. Parents who’ve lost children have become advocates to save other children, comfort other mourning parents, and have learned profound compassion and service through the trial. These things happen to the faithful and the wicked but the faithful can learn and be stronger as the wicked become bitter.

Man pushing a giant, heavy stone, rock over the mountain. ConcepSome difficult days come from our bad choices. We may suffer great consequences of sin that endure emotionally and physically through our lives though we may repent with tears. Genesis tells us of Jacob who, for 30 years was hated by his brother for deceiving their father and stealing the inheritance, but himself was deceived by his father-in-law. His sons broke his heart by selling his beloved son, Joseph, into slavery but led him to believe that Joseph was killed by a wild animal. He had marital problems because of jealous wives. God blessed Jacob but he suffered a lot from poor decisions.

We may be abused or hurt by the wickedness of others. Joseph was almost murdered by his brothers who, instead, sold him as a slave into Egypt where for a time he was imprisoned on false charges. Yet Joseph trusted God and the family of Jacob was saved from a famine and he reconciled with his family

I have seen people in both situations rise above the evil and use the trial for good to help others avoid a sorrowful path or help those who have been hurt by evil people. Again, wicked people face the consequences of their actions or suffer at the hands of evil people. God’s people can learn from suffering, become stronger, and help others whereas the wicked often harden their hearts, become bitter and resentful, and lash out at others.

You cannot control what happens in life, but you can control how you will respond to it and what you will do with the experience.

“May this journey bring a blessing, may I rise on wings of faith;
At the end of my hearts testing, with your likeness let me wake.”
From “Jesus Draw Me Every Nearer by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Would You Give Two-Day’s Pay To A Stranger?

Have you put a dollar value on the Good Samaritan’s sacrifice? Would you share it with a stranger?

The good Samaritan, of the parable in Luke 10, gave the innkeeper two denarii for the care of the abused stranger he found on his journey and a promise for more money on his return if this was too little. The marginal note for “denarii” states it is the equivalent of two days of a laborer’s wage.

Two days of pay. To help a stranger.

We do not know if the Samaritan received a denarius per day of work or made more than that so the two denarii would be a smaller portion of his income.  But whether it was two-day’s pay or even less, it was still a significant amount to give for the help of a helpless stranger.

Consider this sacrifice in our dollars at 8 hours per day.

  • The national minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, a sacrifice of $116 dollars.
  • A better comparison would be the average laborer who makes about $15 per hour. That would be $240 given for a stranger.
  • The median income average in 2016, according to the Social Security Administration would be about $23.39, a sacrifice of $374.17.

 

Obviously, the lower one’s income the greater income percentage of the sacrifice. However, even a person making the median income giving $240 (according to the laborer’s rate) is sacrificing a lot. $240 is a decent utility bill, insurance payment, or even a grocery bill for some.

It was a significant sacrifice. For a stranger.

If I want to prove myself a neighbor, am I ready to sacrifice $240 as the Samaritan did? Perhaps I need to create a Good Samaritan fund (or envelope for those who budget that way) so that I always have it ready to share and committed to the stranger I encounter on my way. Or my brethren I encounter in the aisle.

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18

Is my heart ready to give $240 for a stranger? Will I prove to be a neighbor?

Header Image: From Freefoto.com. Free for Commercial Use

“Give Thanks to the Lord, For His Steadfast Love Endures Forever”

The phrase “give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever” appears exactly like this 10 times in the Old Testament but appears in part and sentiment throughout scripture. The eternally enduring love of God should inspire thanksgiving in everyone.

The Appearance to Moses in Exodus 34

Moses descended Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments, breaking the tablets in anger as the people worshiped idols, disobeying the command they heard from God’s thundering voice. After Moses made new tablets God allowed Moses to see His glory pass, both His presence and a description of His glorious nature. Exodus 34:5-8 declare God’s mercy and justice upon generations arising from his steadfast love and faithfulness.

What Does “Steadfast” Mean?

“Steadfast” means something firmly fixed in place or “standing fast” and immovable.  Considering the eternal nature of God, this means His love outlives our short earthly existence. Our children and future generations will know it as did  our parents, grandparents, and ancestors.

“Throughout the OT the Hebrews [word] is used most often to convey the idea of something being established…or standing firm. This quality of steadfastness or firmness often has a moral character to it; a heart that is steadfast towards God is a faithful heart that trusts Him under all circumstances.” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

His steadfast love for us should produce steadfast love for Him in our hearts.

The Ark and the Tabernacle

When the Ark of the Covenant is placed in the tabernacle, in 1 Chronicles 16, David fed the people, the priests offered sacrifices, and Levites offered praise before the Ark. The steadfast love of God was the theme of the praise offered morning and evening.

David offered a song of thanksgiving, 1 Chronicles 16:8-34. As we summarize this song, note that we can pray and praise the same theme.

  • Give thanks to God because of all of His wondrous works and mighty power for His people.
  • Let those who seek the Lord seek His strength.
  • God is judge of all the earth.
  • God and His people have made a covenant together.
  • God protected His people when they were few and vulnerable.
  • The righteous should remind each other to praise God in the greatest ways for “splendor and majesty are before him and strength and joy are in His place.”
  • Let all creation give God the glory, honor, and thanksgiving due Him.
  • The saved should give thanks to the God of salvation.

The song closes with “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!”

Jehosophat’s battle song

The phrase arises in a darker period of Jewish history when the tribes divided into two confederations, Israel and Judah. The people of Judah emerged from a period of unfaithfulness, but soon after the reforms of Jehoshaphat enemies gathered against them. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast, telling the assembly to seek God.

Jehoshaphat appealed to God’s steadfastness, listing the great deeds performed for His people in times past, expressing anxiety about the enemies but their trust in Him (1 Chronicles 20). God promised to deliver them if they remained steadfast (hold their position) and trusted in the Lord, 1 Chronicles 20:15-17. They put the enemy to flight by singing praise of God’s steadfast love, 1 Chronicles 20:20-22.

It Is The Theme of Several Psalms

Psalm 106

The psalm begins with the praise of God’s steadfast love and His works and salvation. However, the psalm confesses sin and lack of faith among God’s people, His merciful deliverance, and their quick return to unfaithfulness, 106:6-13. The psalm resounds with God’s people forgetting what He had done, their lack of trust in His future deliverance despite the past victories, and turning from God despite His mercy. Rebellion after rebellion is detailed but the psalm concludes with the steadfast love and mercy of the Lord, 106:44-48. The steadfast love of the Lord endures even when God’s people do not remain faithful to Him but is ready when they humbly return to Him.

Psalm 107

The phrase begins the psalm with an exhortation “let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” The psalm praises God’s gathering His people from times of trial and exile.

  • God conveyed them from deserted places, hungry and thirsty, to their own city.
  • Some were exiled and prisoners, enduring hard labor, because they rebelled against God but cried for deliverance when they came to their senses.
  • Those who were foolish through sinful ways repented and cried to God who delivered them from destruction.
  • The proud, distressed seeing the mighty power of God in stormy seas, and cried to God who delivered them.
  • When Israel was wicked, God made a fruitful land a desert, but when they repented brought bounty on the land and protected the livestock.
  • God punished His people, thorough love, to bring them back, humble their pride, and wake them from wickedness.
    • Proverbs 3:11-12 – “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
    • Hebrews 12:6 – “”For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

Psalm 118

The psalmist opened with praise to God’s steadfast love and salvation, followed by an apparent hopeless situation as enemies surrounded him and “pushed him hard” so that he was falling, but God helped Him. Deliverance is not always immediate. We must endure trials to see if we will trust God. Jesus told the parable of the unjust judge to teach His followers to “pray always and not lose heart” especially when it appears that God is not listening or doing anything about our situation.

The psalm ends with praise for deliverance, confidently entering the gates of God,  victorious because they trusted God when it seemed hope was lost.  You are my God and give thanks for His steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 136

It appears the priest would say the first part and the audience would answer “for His steadfast love endures forever.” The psalm praises God’s superiority, His mighty works in creation, delivering Israel from Egypt, and conquest of Israel’s enemies to give them a home in the Promised Land.

The Darkness of Exile

Finally,  in the darkness of Judah’s exile, after God destroyed Jerusalem to punish the wickedness of Judah, the praise of God’s enduring steadfast love appears as a light. Jeremiah 33 records the promise of Judah’s escape from exile to return to their land, filling God’s house with praise and rebuilding Jerusalem. They would return because His steadfast love endures forever. This thought comforted Jeremiah even in the midst of the pain of exile, Lamentations 3:19-26.

Taking into account all of these things when should we “give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever?”

  • In good times when food is plentiful and we are healthy.
  • In hard times when food is scarce and we are sick and in pain.
  • When our rulers are good, justice pervades the land, and the people are righteous.
  • When our rulers are corrupt, injustice prevails, and the people are wicked.
  • When our faith is strong and we are active in His service and confident in His word.
  • When our faith is weak, we struggle in prayers and service, and doubts arise.
  • When we enjoy the fruits of a faithful life to God.
  • When we have been humbled by the discipline of God and must deal with the consequences of our sin that woke us up to our unfaithfulness or spiritual sleep.
  • When, like Jehoshaphat, enemies surround us and it appears that Satan is prevailing, we can stand our ground in the confidence and hope of the Lord, praying and singing.
  • When we are at death’s door and eternity awaits on the other side.

Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever?”

Don’t Give Your Attacker Ammunition

How strange would this be? Some cops and robbers are having a shootout from opposite ends of a warehouse like portrayed in hundreds of TV shows and movies. Suddenly there is the sound of clicking and one robber yells to the other he is out of bullets. The other robber replies that he has fired his last shot. A police officer yells, “Here you go!” and slides a box of bullets down to the robbers. Foolish, yes? Yet Christians can sometimes give the enemies of Christ ammunition with which to attack.

Expect persecution

The Bible tells Christians to expect persecution. Jesus experienced it, warned His apostles it was coming, and they warned Christians who followed the truth to anticipate opposition and be amazed if it is not present.

  • John 15:18-25 – Jesus told the apostles the the world hated Him before it hated them because He told the truth and exposed its sin. The world would hate the apostles for their association with Him.
  • Matthew 5:11-16 – The Sermon on the Mount includes an admonition that believers are blessed when they are maligned and persecuted for teaching the truth and they share the fate of the prophets before them. Despite this, they should reflect God’s light and be salt and some would glorify God for this display of holiness.
  • Luke 21:12 – The apostles would be persecuted by governments and individuals.
  • 2 Timothy 3:10-13 – Christians will be persecuted
  • 1 Peter 4:12-19 – Those who suffer as Christians should not be ashamed of persecution but none should suffer for sinful actions.

Jesus, the apostles, and early Christians demonstrated grace and strength under the harsh hand of oppressors who ignorantly and hatefully opposed Jesus and those who followed His teaching.

  • Isaiah 53:1-9 – Prophetic anticipation of the persecution of Jesus
  • Matthew 27:13-14 – Pilate was amazed that Jesus did not revile His accusers.
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:1-4 – Paul and his companions preached despite conflict.
  • 1 Corinthians 4:9-13 – Apostles endured abuse and demonstrated how believers should respond to such treatment.
  • Matthew 5:44 – Jesus taught His followers to pray for their persecutors
  • Romans 12:12-14 – Be patient in tribulation and return blessing for persecution.
  • As previous passages taught, we must endure patiently and demonstrate trust in God and love for our enemies.

It is natural that Christians who imperfectly reflect Christ in a dark world, pursue holiness in a defiled society, and teach the truth in the midst of a web of lies and ambiguous beliefs will be persecuted. As Jesus said, we are not of this world. Though some will join with us, most will pity us, consider us a curiosity, while others will revile us and violently oppose us. Instead of retaliation, we must respond in love so that our enemies might see their dark hatred and perhaps glorify God. As Peter said, “keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation,” 1 Peter 2:12.

Arming our attackers

However, Christians can be guilty of supplying weapons to their enemies and hardening their hearts, not by brightly reflecting the light of Jesus but by practicing a worldly version of Christianity that does not reflect the self-sacrifice and holiness of Jesus and approaches the practice of faith, worship, and Christian community with political maneuvering, pettiness, and works of the flesh (anger, rivalries, dissension… of Galatians 5). Such actions confirm the cynicism of the unbeliever, reinforce their reasons for repudiating the faith, and increase their resentment of the interference of hypocritical Christians into their lives. Unbelievers can cite these encounters as reasons Christianity should be rejected.

On a flight from Tacoma to Dallas, there was a couple behind me talking to a friend. They were from a denomination and were talking about the political wrangling in their church and some related churches, disparaging the pastor, describing power struggles within the choir (?), and wondering where the young people were going (I had an answer!). These believers also pontificated on how some Old Testament accounts were obviously not accurate because “God is love” and some of the sayings of Jesus weren’t really accurate. I was glad the lady beside me who was obviously very worldly (her shirt indicated behaviors clearly condemned by Jesus) had her headphones in and slept the whole trip. I imagine if she heard such trash it would reinforce her desire to find fulfillment in the sensual passions of this world since, from this discussion, she could conclude that Christians are obviously political backbiters who don’t even believe everything in the Bible. Such ignorance about the scriptures and worldliness in the denomination would reinforce an unbelievers perception that Christians have nothing different to offer and they are a bunch of worldly hypocrites preaching from a book they discredit themselves.

Dirty LaundryLikewise, I’ve lost count of the times that Christians have spoken ill about other Christians on social media to be supported by unbelievers who demonstrate, by their comments, that such behavior represents their cynical dismissive view of believers. We will not help people wear robes of white when we air our dirty laundry.

Christians know things the world often doesn’t know

Christians are not perfect. We’ve all known the “holier-than-thou” believer who is quick to judge and slow to recognize their pride. But most Christians I have met are well acquainted with their faults and strive towards perfection in Christ. Until we are glorified we will be imperfect in our decisions and how we handle situations. For a people to teach and embrace grace, we need to show a lot more grace towards fellow believers. You will be hurt by others, not because they are Christians but because we are human. Christ tells us to try to work it out amongst ourselves. In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul points out the shame that believers were taking other believers to court because of the impression it gave unbelievers and would prefer to suffer wrongdoing than to demonstrate such behavior before the world: “…but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?”

Not all who claim to be Christians will be saved.  The parable of the dragnet and the wheat and tares in Matthew 13 teach that the kingdom will be filled with wrongdoers who will be separated out in the judgment for their punishment. Some will be surprised in judgment that despite their actions that appeared righteous, Jesus will dismiss them saying He didn’t know them, concluding that not all who call Him “Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 7:21. Unbelievers often think that all Christians, regardless of their beliefs, are the same. We have to shine as lights even against those who claim to be Christians but whose lives do not reflect godliness. We should not give unbelievers another reason to dismiss Christ but provide a stark contrast between those who profess Christ and those who practice Christianity.

This world is not our home. When we seek to advance our cause through the political system and turn our local church into a place of power struggles, palace intrigue, and the satisfaction of worldly appetites we indicate more allegiance to this world and its ways than with our heavenly citizenship. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t vote but regardless of the laws about bathrooms and marriage, we can still follow the teachings of Jesus and teach others to do so as well. It is bad enough that local churches have power struggles but it is worse when they are shared in the local community. In our Christian fellowship, let us heed the words of Paul in Philippians 2: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…” Such behavior allows drives politics from the church building and pride and selfishness from the Christian’s heart.

Our brethren do much good despite their faults. This is the greatest tragedy of airing dirty laundry among brethren before the world: we don’t praise the great qualities of self-sacrifice, holiness, and loving service that characterize so many brethren. Remember, the unbelievers lump us together and will just discount such behavior as the rare deluded believer or the hypocrite who hides their duplicity very well. How often do you see people post on Facebook or mention in conversation about people who came afterwards to confess their wrongdoing, apologize for an insensitive remark or action, or declare that they misjudged their fellow believers? People see the sensational and miss the retractions or corrections, if they are even mentioned at all.

An appeal

Our relationship with Christ will incur the derision of unbelievers who do not care to investigate the truth or have been turned away either by its brightness or stumble having been offended by those who claim to be believers but do not live the word. We will not convince them as they are like those in the parable whom the truth has been snatched and it will not take root. But there is still hope for those who might consider the truth if they saw it in action.

Let us be sincerely devoted to the truth and holy in our lives (Titus 2:11-14). When there is conflict, let us take up the matter privately with our brethren our up the chain to the church (Mt. 18:15-17) but not into the public in plain site of unbelievers. When we highlight the failings of fellow Christians we do not draw them to Jesus, but provide more reason for their resistance to Him. We know that some who claim to be Christians will be lost but the world does not know this. We will be persecuted and attacked by unbelievers but let’s quit giving them ammunition.