People who are genuine disciples openly confess their faith in Christ.

People who are genuine disciples openly confess their faith in Christ.

Read Matthew 10:32-39

“Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.”

Throughout the church's history, there has been constant pressure to silence the proclamation of the gospel. When the church first began in Acts, pressure was put on the church to remain quiet regarding their witness of Christ. The Jews saw the disciples as a threat, and so they had them arrested and beaten. What was most offensive was the exclusionary message of the gospel, namely that “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This undermined the Jewish belief that the law attained salvation. Under the threat of death, they warned them to no longer speak to any man in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:17).

While the Jews saw the Christians as a religious threat, the Romans saw them as a threat to their religious pluralism. In Acts 14, Paul faced persecution because Paul had the audacity to preach denounce their idolatry. In Acts16, they imprisoned Paul because they saw his message as a threat to their economic prosperity. By the end of the book of Acts, the Romans began to see the message of Christianity as a threat to their political power, and so they had Paul arrested, and eventually, he would be killed by their hands.

Christ himself promised us that if we are to remain true to the gospel, we will face persecution and rejection. Because the message of Christ confronts us in our sin and challenges us to recognize our need for a savior, people react to hostility. In our age of spiritual and moral pluralism, the message of Christ confronts people with the moral and spiritual absolute that points to the importance of repentance and change. As our culture embraces the new morality, it stands in opposition to any adherence to any claim for absolute truth. The message of today is, “believe what you want, but keep it quiet and do not confront any other belief.” But this contradicts the very mandate Christ has given us to call people to a life of repentance and obedience to God’s Word. Consequently, we are pressured to remain silent. You can be a Christian if you want, just don’t try to convert anyone else.

However, Christ calls us to be His witness to all the world. We are called to proclaim the salvation of Christ. Just before Christ left the disciples, he gave them, and us, the mandate to be His witnesses in every location our paths lead us. We are to openly and continually not only confess our faith but call people to a life of surrender to Christ. Furthermore, as he points out in Matthew 10:32-33, our wiliness to publicly confess our faith in Christ is an indicator of the genuineness of our faith. It is one thing to affirm the tenets of the gospel but is quite another to profess Christ when we will face rejection from others. As a genuine disciple of Christ, we are to pray for opportunities to share our faith with other, and when the opportunity arises, we are to profess our allegiance with Christ with grace and boldness.

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