by Rei Eusebio
The words of Christ reverberated in my heart as I meditated on the cross today. “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” Matthew 10:32:33. In this life, one could either be for Christ or against Christ. There is no in-between. The people in the time of Jesus’s earthly life observed him, shared the food and heard His teachings. Some of them were healed of their sicknesses. Others saw miraculous works. They followed him until Jesus began talking about “carrying your own cross”, “denying yourself” and many hard sayings. Many of his “followers” dropped out. They decided that committing to God, as Jesus explained it, was not what they really liked. Yet there were others who in spite of the cost, continued to follow Jesus. The issue was not survival of the fittest, otherwise, none of them would last. It was, and still is, about taking by faith the words of Christ as true and reliable Word of God and fully entrusting to him our dear life.
There is no greater privilege than being children of God through Jesus Christ. In any situation, we can confess Christ by our action, attitude and words. Even when our life is threatened, it is not futile to remain faithful to Jesus Christ.
It became clear to the next generation of Christ followers that part of being a Christian is being ready to suffer or, at best, die for him. The reality is that we will always encounter opposition simply because we follow Christ. Paul said, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have” Philippians 1:29-30. History affirms this fact. Oppositions come in different forms, shapes and sizes. The systematic and gruesome killings of many Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Africa and many other places by Islamic terrorists are deplorable and shocking but not surprising. It is, also, not surprising we are being insulted, persecuted, marginalized in the society and made a laughingstock because of our identification with Christ. Not that we cannot and must not defend ourselves (I maintain the right to self-defense when necessary) nor we are spineless but the best defense is to do good works. Jesus said, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” Luke 6:27-28 ESV. For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” Hebrews 10:30 ESV.
To be honest about it, it is a great challenge to be a Christ follower in an unfriendly territory but our hope and assurance outweigh the circumstances. There is no greater privilege than being children of God through Jesus Christ. In any situation, we can confess Christ by our action, attitude and words. Even when our life is threatened, it is not futile to remain faithful to Jesus Christ. By doing so, we can rest assured that he will confess us before our Father in heaven.