|Vol. 14 No. 2 February 2012||
J.C. Choate (deceased)
Many are ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. They are ashamed to let others know that they believe in God and that they are followers of Christ. They are ashamed of the church and are ashamed to proclaim that it is the only church that was bought and cleansed by the blood of our Lord. They are reluctant to speak out against things that are wrong and to stand up for the truth.
Why do people remain quiet? Because they love the world and want to be with the majority in the secular world as well as in the religious world. They want to be popular and accepted. They do not want to be considered narrow minded and associated with the minority. Rather than speak out for Christ, they quietly try to blend with their friends and neighbors, with their family members who are not Christians, so that no one will have hard feelings toward them. Their attitude is opposite that of early Christians who were willing to die rather than deny their Lord. They rejoiced “that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).
The apostle Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17). We read, “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 9:33). Again, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:11). Paul declared, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20).
Paul continued, “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Wherefore I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:8-12).
Again, Paul said, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Hebrews writer in speaking of God and His children said, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee” (Hebrews 2:10-12). Continuing, he penned, “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:16).
Peter wrote, “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that ye might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:16-18). He went on to say, “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief; or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (l Peter 4:15-16).
Christ said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever therefore shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). He also said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
My friend, where do you stand before the Lord? Do you believe in Him (Hebrews 11:6; John 14:1), or do you reject Him? Will you believe and be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16), or have you accepted the teachings of men? Are you a member of the Lord’s church (Matthew 16:18), or do you belong to a denominational church that began with man? Do you wear the name of Christ (Acts 4:12), or do you wear a manmade name?
Remember that in the last day we will be judged by the word of the Lord itself (John 12:48). Please do not reject Christ and His will. Do not be ashamed of Him. Believe in Him, obey Him, and live for Him, and one day He will acknowledge you as His own and give you an eternal home in heaven.