In Sunday School yesterday, we talked about dying and suffering for Jesus. We all like to think we’d make the right choice under threat and die for Jesus, and we probably would. But are we willing to suffer for Jesus before then?
If I die for Jesus, then it’s all over and I don’t have to worry about it. But suffering means I have to be doing something about it and making some life choices. In class the questions were asked: Am I willing to lose my job, my livelihood, for believing in Jesus? Am I willing to put my family in danger for Jesus? Am I willing to have my children, even very young children, taken from me because I believe in Jesus?
People across the world who don’t have the freedoms I do, they are suffering for Jesus already. And regardless of when you believe the Rapture will happen, I get the idea from the Bible that things are going to get very, very bad before then, regardless of location or previous freedoms. Suffering for believing in Jesus isn’t new, and it didn’t go away after the “olden days” of early Christians.
Jesus told us we’d suffer and He told us it would get bad, but even that will be good and Jesus will still be with us. (Luke 21:12-19). Remember that last part: Even in the midst of suffering and persecution, Jesus is with you! (See also the story of Stephen in Acts 6-7.)