2 Timothy 3:12–13 - Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
No one escapes. “All… in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
But the degree to which we’re persecuted is likely tied to the degree we’re a witness of him in the world.
If we don’t say much, we’ll be left alone.
If we speak, we’ll be ridiculed in various ways:
People will potentially be incredulous and/or mock us - “You don’t do X thing!?!?”
People will potentially insult us: “You’re a small-minded bigot! You’re an ignorant, anti-science muppet!”
People will potentially ignore us and pass us over for opportunities.
Meanwhile, as the verse says, they’re deceiving and being deceived, telling each other stories and fantasies about why God doesn’t exist, why his ways are nonsense.
Which side do I really want to be on?
So we’re alienated from some other in the world. Jesus told us to stand with the brethren of old:
Matthew 5:11–12 - ”Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Persecution isn’t a goal in itself but it happens while we merely speak of our own life experience with Jesus. What’s the goal of all this? In us and in others?
2 Timothy 3:15 - “salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Not just eternal salvation but the ongoing change that makes us more and more like him. That “while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse,” we go from good to great in righteousness.
May it be so! May God purify us today a little bit more and allow us to witness to what we’ve seen. Many of us shrink back today. The old question still remains:
Isaiah 6:8 - “I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”