Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Would You Run?

I received a forwarded email in my inbox recently titled, "Would you run?" I get emails like this often. Anyway, this was one with a common theme. Would you run? If you were going to die for being a Christian, would you sit there and proclaim your allegiance to Christ, or would you cower and run? Would you accept death like the young people in some of those romantic, and admittedly truly tragic, stories of the Columnbine school shooting? Its true, Christ spoke much of the costs of discipleship. Christ also spoke of those who are embarrassed of His name before others. These are things that are very true and important.

The main point of this blog entry is this: why is it we are so quick to put ourselves in the place of the one who would stay and take the bullet? Its funny. We are so much like Peter was. We insist vehemently that we would never deny the Lord. Jesus could speak to us personally and tell us, "yes, you actually will... and more than once", but we would swear up and down that we would never do such a thing. We put great stock in our spiritual convictions and abilities. How ironic! Peter saw clearly how foolish this is as he denied the Lord three times that night -just as the Lord said he would.

So, lets be real, folks. We aren't righteous in ourselves. I don't care how sanctified we think we are. I don't care how firm we believe we are in our faith. Our tendency is to look upon these issues with human pride or self-sufficiency and a resolve to try harder (and by all means, let us flee from unrighteousness!), but I believe they are primarily placed before us to do the opposite -to destroy our faith in our faith and resolve. As Jesus told Peter, Satan would have "sifted you like wheat" (Luke 22:31-32), but He prayed for him... for us. It is the strength of our Mediator, our Savior, our Intercessor, that makes all the difference.

Praise the Lord Christ for the 1000 times I fall and He restores me. Praise the Lord Christ for the other times that I am proudly content and firm with my own devotion, but then He is gracious to show me, as He did Peter, how weak I truly am.

Next time we thank the Lord, we partake of the Lord's supper, or witness a baptism, let us give thanks in particular for His sovereign calling and shepherding of our blind and wandering souls.


Jeff said...

Good post, Chester Elegante. I have no idea what I would do in a perilous situation. Probably do what I had to do to save myself. If I displayed any "bravery", it would only be grace and Christ in me.

However, don't you wonder how many people in the early church did not shy away from death because they declared Christ? In fact, many WANTED to be martyred. No doubt they were given much grace.. but I have to believe that they "knew" Christ more than most of us do today.. anyway.. not going to ramble anymore..


Tim said...

Hey Jeff,

Yeah, they had the teaching of the apostles, but given what we read in the epistles I would almost say that without the direct and present oversight of the apostles they were probably much the same as we are today. But I agree that it seems the early church was much more zealous and serious about the Lord Jesus. I bet one main difference is the persecution. As you know, persecution weeds out the wheat from the chaff. The chaff are blown away, so all that is left is the wheat... and as Paul reminds us in Rom 5, these trials produce perseverance, and perseverance -character.

The Bible does talk about how it is a privelige and honor to suffer for the sake of Christ. Maybe the fact that many do not in our country should tell us something -not that we need to go out and try to be martyrs, but that our brand of Christianity fits in like a retarded little brother... almost like we are pitied as being ignorant and mindless.