If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
1 Peter 4:14-16
Becoming a Christian does not transform us into beings that fall well to everybody. On the contrary, it is likely that after receiving Christ become more rejection than acceptance. If as Christians we feel hurt by being rejected by the name of Jesus, then we have not yet been born again. Because being a Christian means to die to ourselves so that is Christ who lives in us. Then we received rejection is not directed to us but to the person of Jesus Christ.
When we fall out of focus of ourselves and are focused on Christ, then we realize that the role is His, not ours. Thus, what happens is good for His glory and bad that we do is for His name. The Canadian theologian Donald Arthur Carson (1946- ) said: “What all His disciples must learn is that being a follower of Jesus involves a painful renunciation of personal interests and turn wholeheartedly to the interests of Jesus.”
Renouncing our personal interests means denying ourselves, which is part of the call to follow Him. As Luke 9:23 says: Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Taking the cross daily means that the path is not easy and we will have problems. As the New Zealand evangelist Ray Comfort (1949) says: “It may seem admirable, and even biblical, suggest that Christianity promises to solve their problems and improve their lives, but it’s just not true.”
And abounding a little more about that subject, the English theologian William Tyndale (1494-1536) said: “The path of the believers is not easy. Being a Christian does not free all the problems. Paul changed humbly ‘with many tears,’ but never fled, he never gave up. The message of salvation was too important so as to not lose any opportunity to announce it. And besides, he preached the message in different ways and to different audiences. However, the message remained the same: Repent of your sins and turn to God by faith.”
Postmodern society has taught us to be politically correct. Tolerance and coexistence, with respect to the alleged human rights have brought a new form of persecution against Christians. Christians are forced to tolerate the thoughts of others while others are allowed to be intolerant of Christians. The martyrdom of Christians was not limited to the time of Nero or Caligula. Today it is practiced daily in many parts of the world.
However, we must bear in mind that if you are a Christian, nobody will chase you because your name is John Doe, but because you speak in the name of Jesus. When you were acting only as John Doe, no one messed with you; but for now they see Jesus Christ in you, persecute and harass you. Do not be ashamed of being persecuted or renounce your faith, the salvation message is too important to falter. God bless you.