We are not to be surprised nor caught unawares when such an “occasion” of crisis with unbelievers occurs, for every Christian is called to the position of being very “different.”
This is because we belong to Christ.
We are to therefore expect to be misunderstood for our faith and actions in Christ.
They persecuted Christ – He told us to therefore expect it also. He was totally misunderstood.
We shall be even hated for our association with Christ and every instance when we give Him the pre-eminent place.
We are called to non-resistance of any persecution and hatred toward us. We are to abstain from the desire to compel others to do anything for us. We are called to actually love and pray for our enemies.
The 3 Cardinal Principles of our response of all opposition and persecution is:-
1. Above all, I fear GOD.
I do not fear you.
2. Above all else, I believe and trust in GOD.
I do not believe or trust you or promises made in your name.
3. My expectation is from GOD.
I expect nothing from you.
It may safely be said that the Judaizing of the Church (i.e. grasping at promises made directly to Israel – i.e. Jewish blessings) and replacement of Israel by the Church, has done :-
1. More to Hinder the Church’s progress,
2. More to Pervert her mission, and
3. More to Destroy her spirituality,
than all other causes combined.
Instead of pursuing the appointed path from the Lord, which is:-
1. Separation, (note, we are different in our separation, for we belong to Christ.)
2. Persecution, misunderstanding and hatred, is to be expected; it is for Christ’s sake.
3. World-hatred; we are to expect much misunderstanding as to why we give pre-eminence to Christ.
4. Poverty, because we are not to accumulate riches.
5. Non-resistance against evil, rather we are to overcome evil with good.
The Church has used Jewish Scriptures to also justify departure from her GOD-given appointed path to then become involved in:-
1. The Civilisation of the world,
2. The Acquisition of wealth,
3. The use of imposing religious ritual
4. The erection of magnificent buildings, and “mega-churches.”
5. The division of an equal brotherhood into “clergy” and “laity.”
J. A. Short