Jerry C. Brewer
The denominational world will tell you that living the Christian life is easy, and even Christians may believe it is. But that isn’t so. Jesus Christ stands as the greatest example that doing good will bring the wrath of evil men upon the righteous. He was perfect, yet enemies hounded Him all of His days and, ultimately, had Him crucified. Paul wrote, “…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18-19). He also said,
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. …The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” (Matt. 10:22, 24-25).
Living right, according to God’s will, is difficult. It brings scorn and hatred upon those who so live. Abel lived right before God and was murdered by his own brother (Gen. 4:38). Of that murder, John wrote, “And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:12). The world hates righteousness and opposes it on every turn, making life difficult for the faithful Christian.
That is especially true within families. Jesus said His teaching would drive a wedge between kindred. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:34-37).
Adult children who hate the truth also hate their parents who live according to God’s will. Parents who reject the sinful lifestyles of their grown children are hated and castigated by those children and their sympathizers. They are called “unloving” by the world when, in fact, they demonstrate the greatest love for their children by warning them to turn them from sin. Love does not tolerate sin. Had that been the case, Jesus would never have died for our sins.
Multitudes of parents today grieve for their children who live in sin. They grieve for those who have embraced Catholicism or Protestantism, and/or live immoral lives, and love them enough to warn them. Yet, rebellious adult offspring react violently, spewing hatred toward their parents and the Lord. They have no pangs of conscience in lying and assassinating the character of parents, “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:10-12).
Any family member who believes living a Christian life among unfaithful kindred is easy is self-deceived. The love of sin and evil ways is much stronger than family ties and will bring wrath upon faithful family members from kindred who hate the truth. But they will some day give account to God for the evil visited upon their parents and other family members. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). Thankfully, God judges righteously. “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: Yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord” (1 Cor. 4:3-4).