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They Will Know We Are Christians…..

This current age uses many depictions to characterize Christians.  Most of the caricatures they use are not at all complimentary.  We may see news photos or videos of Christians shouting at others across protest lines as folks on both sides of an issue are loudly defending their causes. We have witnessed far too many moral failures among Christians that were caught in some sin. That always results in a “field day” for the media eager to show Christians or their leaders now humiliated having been exposed in a flagrant sin.

Words are frequently spoken with great hostility that readily accuse us of bigotry, hate-speech, discrimination, backward behavior, ignorance, self-righteousness, intolerance, vicious in nature, mean-spirited actions, and you know the many other charges that are so often found in print and spoken with contempt in the marketplace.

All that a Christian needs to do today is to stand upon Biblical truth and a Christian worldview and that makes us bigoted in this dark age.  If we believe in the Creator, we are deemed ignorant.  If we teach young people to live in sexual purity, we are labeled naïve and stupid.  If we defend the sanctity of life of a baby, we are guilty of supporting the “war on women”.

The world has never loved us because the world hated our Master.  Jesus sought to prepare us and all of His followers that we would not be “welcomed” here.   In John 15:18-20, Jesus said,

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

We are most like Christ when we are despised by the world.  We should not think that it is a strange thing to be rejected by them. The challenge that we face is to love them even though they often do not love us.  “Love your enemies.  Pray for those that persecute you and despitefully use you.”  That is our mandate and the challenge left by our Master.  We are in a generation that gives us lots of opportunities to put that truth into practice.

Tertullian, an early Christian author, reported that the Romans would exclaim, “See how they love one another,” and Justin Martyr, a Greek-speaking Christian apologist, sketched Christian love this way: 
“We who used to value the acquisition of wealth and possessions more than anything else now bring what we have into a common fund and share it with anyone who needs it. We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country.                     Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and pray for our enemies.”

         Clement of Alexandria, describing the person who has come to know God, wrote, “He impoverishes himself out of love, so that he is certain he may never overlook a brother in need, especially if he knows he can bear poverty better than his brother. He likewise considers the pain of another as his own pain. And if he suffers any hardship because of having given out of his own poverty, he does not complain.”   (Copied).