“Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Mt. 5:10-12
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Tim. 3:12
““If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18-19
The homeless man I passed on the streets fairly regularly didn’t hesitate to lash out at me verbally one day when I asked if he was okay. I was worried about the condition he appeared to be in and about something concerning about his dog. A man came up about the same time I did with his own concern about the homeless man. When the homeless man lashed out at me, the man told him he shouldn’t treat me that way. But the homeless man only continued on in his verbal tirade concerning me. I told the man it was okay, walked away, and only when I walked around the corner of the block did the tears threaten to come. But I stopped the tears. This wasn’t about me. It was about a homeless man on the highway to hell who wasn’t just lashing out at and rejecting me; he was rejecting Christ.
The tragedy wasn’t that someone I had tried over time to help had lashed out at me. It was that he had made abundantly clear in the past when I talked to him about the Lord that he blamed his life’s challenges on the Lord and wouldn’t have anything whatsoever to do with God. He was bitter toward God and toward the people who didn’t give him the money he wanted every day to get by. He was down, discouraged, depressed, disgruntled, and deeply disturbed over his life’s circumstances, but the last thing in the world he was going to do was to repent from his sins and commit his life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
He didn’t want to go to soup kitchens and homeless shelters and programs to get help. He wanted people to give him money and food each day, and he was determined to get by without Jesus. He didn’t even so much as want to hear about God at all!
People won’t always act favorably when we reach out to help them. When we talk to them about the Lord Jesus Christ and share the Gospel message with them, they may even hate us and reject us and lash out at us and persecute us. Should we refuse to share the Gospel with people and talk to them about Jesus and help them in whatever way the Lord desires to protect ourselves from the hurt they may cause us? Absolutely not!
We should be sensitive to and submitted to the Spirit of God who will tell us when to share the Gospel with someone, when to help someone, if and when to stick around, if and when to walk away, if and when to return, and whom to reach out to next with the Gospel message and any help He desires we offer. This isn’t about us at all! It’s about the Lord and a world in need of Him!
We may experience hatred, rejection, and persecution when we proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ to people and give to them love, blessings, and provision in His name. But this should never stop us from following His Spirit as He leads us forth in proclaiming Him to a lost and perishing world in dire need of repenting and turning to and receiving Him as forever Lord, AMEN!