Borrowed Truths

The Fellowship of His Suffering (Part 3)

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The Fellowship of His Suffering (Part 3)

In doing the things that a Christian is called to do by our Lord, of one item you can be assured of, you will be rejected. I firmly believe that one of the reasons in our society today that witnessing for Christ has in many ways fallen to the wayside is because of this rejection, a rejection that we take personally, when it is Him that they are rejecting. It is so difficult especially today to not fit in, to not be a part of the crowd, to not be wanted for companionship from not only other family members and friends, but from co-workers that we may be around five days a week or more. Just one of the verses in Scripture that has been of great help to me in this area is John 15:18-22, but it took a while to really understand them. These individuals that I had and have been witnessing to of the glorious love that God has for us through His Son Jesus Christ didn’t just not like me, were not just ostracizing me from their groups because of my desire to serve God by telling them of this incredible love, they hated me.

God has seen fit in His great mercy to choose me out of the world, and so the world, as He promised now hates me, and now that I am hated by the world, they will persecute me, for they are still in the world. This is the cost we are told to count (Luke 14:28-30), and it is a great cost indeed, for He requires of us only one thing when we come to Christ, everything. If you are reading this and have not yet been born again, count the cost, if you are a believer but think you can still have one foot in heaven and one foot in the world, prepare to count the cost, for He suffers no second place in His children’s lives,  if you are in the Lord Jesus Christ and are being obedient and submissive to the will of the Holy spirit, then you have begun to understand the fellowship of His suffering.

In doing these things, as He was, we will be rejected by most of those that we are trying to serve. Some of course, if you have been blessed to be used by the Lord in this area, will come to the knowledge of His saving grace, but most have not and will not. (Matt.7:14) They for the most part will see our service to Him as weakness on our part, a need for ‘a crutch to get through life’, unable to make it on our own, believing that God has a set of scales that He uses to weigh good against bad, thinking that their good works will gain them entrance into the Kingdom of God, “after all, I’ve never killed anybody.” Each time we hear these words, a great burden is laid on our hearts for them, and if  this burden becomes to much and we will simply quit trying, for who wants to go to work every day and fail at their task. We must always remember that for the believer God is not only preparing our hearts to talk to the person in front of us, but He has prepared theirs also, and in His great wisdom it is not always for their salvation, but amongst many other things that only the mind of God can comprehend and we have no right to question, may be that this one will have no excuse when he stands before Almighty God. We understand fully that we are messengers, we are to plant seeds, but to be rejected the majority of the time can be very draining, and has caused many just to quit trying, seeking solace in their local church, and, I am afraid for some, that this place of refuge becomes the main focus of their service, and they simply stop witnessing to the unsaved.

This is indeed part of the fellowship of our suffering for our Lord, for did He not come for all, and how many mocked Him, left Him, ridiculed Him, spit on Him. These that He spoke to are the same ones that we who will not give up on are speaking to, for times do not change the heart of man. We are an unwelcome intrusion into their lives, for it is impossible to bring a man to the knowledge of the grace of God unless they are willing to see that they are in sin, and they will hate you for telling them this truth, no matter how kindly you express it, no matter how deeply you care for their soul, it must be said, those who will be saved must recognize that they are in rebellion against God, and this rebellion is called sin. They will hate you for it.

Granted, there are those who will listen, occasionally, seemingly even responding in kindness, but when they have turned back to themselves or to their friends, the niceties they have shown to you will have been only feigned. Do not despair at these times, “Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:9) If you have been a bold witness for our Lord, then you understand this verse well, and the one or two, or few, that have heeded His call have been worth all the hundreds who have not, and these are the reasons that a great joy enfolds your heart as you press on toward the mark, for you have been blessed beyond measure to have been an instrument in the hand of God for this one you now call brother or sister.

My friends, we serve a God who hates sin, and He has asked us to hate it also. Never stop praying for those who He has put into your path, if they are breathing, there is hope, but do not carry the burden constantly for all that have rejected the message that our Lord has sent you to give. Remember the prophets of old, speak boldly, speak the truth in firm love, for we are speaking to their souls, and where we are going is where we want them to be. But that is not in your hands. We cannot save anyone, that is in the hands of God only, we are message bearers. Invite them to church, of course, bur remember, for most of these you are as close to any church they will enter, and in your presence is most possibly the only church they will attend.

We suffer with Him by being rejected with Him gladly.

Some will openly rebuke you, others will politely listen, then turn their back on both you and Christ, some may even accept the word, but only for a moment, and then the cares of the world, friends mockery, or Satan’s deceiving will abruptly end their path. But for some, O and that it could be more, you will be blessed beyond measure to be present when the angels rejoice, for this person has counted the cost and accepted His wonderous grace and mercy and truly become a child of the Most High God. These rare moments will drive you on, and in time them also, and no matter the trials and tribulations that God allows the unsaved to throw at you, no matter how many reject the message of the messenger, you will press on “towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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