Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
Have you ever talked to a close friend about your personal struggles or challenges just because you felt you needed someone to know? And your friend simply knowing didn’t change your circumstance at all, but you felt better just knowing that they knew? That’s the sense we get from this section of the Book of Revelation 5-11, A Glimpse of Victory. Jesus lets the Christians at the end of the 1st century who were suffering under Rome know that, not only does he know what they are enduring, he knows how it will turn out—in Victory. And notice, he doesn’t say, “You win no matter what,” he says,
“If you’re faithful to the end, even to the point of death— if you overcome, you will sit with me on my throne just as I overcame and sat down with my father on his throne.” (Revelation 2:10; 3:21) It was illegal to be a Christian in the Roman Empire at this time. Emperor worship was being ruthlessly enforced and anyone who refused was put to death. In other words, you could live out your faith as an idea, but not in practice. You could not be true to your conviction that only God deserved your worship—if you wanted to live, that is.
We’re beginning to see signs of eroding religious freedom even in our country, America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Court cases of business owners being sued for refusing to provide a product or their services for an event that ran contrary to their moral convictions are becoming more and more frequent. It’s becoming increasingly unpopular to be a Follower of Jesus in America. Imagine if you lived in a society where it became illegal to be a Follower or Jesus, or to simply live out your loyalty to his teachings as contained in the Bible? What would you do? Jesus said, “Don’t compromise. Be faithful even to death.” That may seem like a lot to ask, but when you think about it, that’s what he did for us.
It’s a good idea to think about what you would do in a worst case scenario. What will your true colors be? Decide ahead of time. Decide now. If you don’t, it will be too late when the hour of trial comes upon you. How horrible it would be to cave in to the pressure to deny the One who would not deny us, but who gave his life for us.