Followers of what is good

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (1 Pet 3:15)

The reminder is always present, that those who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12). Although times may have changed in the persecution the Christian may suffer in 2011 vs the time when Paul was writing to the young man Timothy, the principle remains the same, that Christians are not like the world, and those who follow Christ will endure hardships.  Peter reminds us that “Who can harm you if you become followers of what is good” (1 Pet 3:13), Peter is laying a foundation for those disciples who are scattered about who were teaching others in a time where the persecution of Christians was often severe and very physical. Peter reminds them that “even If they suffer for righteousness sake they are blessed, and to “not be afraid of their terror or threats” (1 Pet 3:14).

We are fortunate to live in a society where the persecution we may face for teaching the word of God is limited mainly to comments made by others, but the time may come in our lifetime where Christians  must once again teach with the threat of a harsher punishment. I have heard the verse above from 1 Pet 3:15 dozens of times in my Christian walk, it is present at many youth days, and bible study classes, but in the context of what Peter says this verse presents an amazing concept, the concept is written in this context is this, although we may suffer persecution as Christians for our beliefs, we should still ALWAYS be ready to answer others with the Gospel and to provide for them a reason for the hope that is with us.

We are still in the beginning of the year 2011, and we have themed this as a year to work in personal evangelism in this congregation.  Programs such as Monday night for the master, and visitation programs, House to house, card writing, and all the other programs we have in place are wonderful things, but they all require the effort of each member to be successful. It is regrettable that there will be those that we may contact who will not be receptive, but our responsibility is to continue to try.  Peter was familiar with the idea of those who may not be receptive to the Gospel, and his message is still clear, to “ALWAYS be ready to give a defense for the hope that lies within you”. I pray that this year will be the year that we do not allow the fear of rejection or possible persecution to prevent us from teaching others the Gospel of Christ. What an honor and privilege it is to be associated with such a wonderful congregation who loves those around them and desires to evangelize this area.

Ande Z