If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels. Mark 8:38
Three things stand out to me in this verse.
1. We should never be ashamed of Jesus.
2. We live in an adulterous & sinful generation.
3. He’s coming back.
I can remember some of my first experiences standing up for Jesus at school. I really wanted to share the gospel with my mates, but it was so intimidating. The schoolyard is a tough place to stand up for God, because it’s all about the pecking order. The cool kids & the kids that are good at sport, the smart kids all get some kind of recognition in the pecking order. But the kids that stand up for Christ, are a target for bullying. I remember sharing about the Lord in different times at school and being called a Jesus freak, and I’d lose friends and I’d lose a bit of social status. And as a developing teenager with self-esteem issues it was a real test. But I remembered that verse, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for great will be your reward in heaven.” (Matt 5:10)
The truth is I had a very mild version of persecution, compared to believers in North Korea or China etc. But it was a real test for the future.
I remember working in commercial radio, being called a God botherer & a Bible basher. I’ve had relatives and friends have a dig at me many times over the years. I was just thinking this morning about how brave Lyle Shelton from the ACL is after standing up for God on ABC TV’s Q&A program. The Australian Newspaper even had a headline today that said, “Christian thrown to the Lions on Q&A.” I remember when I was on Q&A, that feeling of fear & intimidation when a crowd is against you. Jesus knows that feeling. He was attacked many times. All the Apostles know that feeling. All Christians should regularly know that feeling. If we are standing up for Christ, we will be persecuted. If we aren’t ever being persecuted, maybe you’re doing it wrong? Some people say being a Christian is boring. If that’s what you think, you’re not living the life that we see in the New Testament.
It all comes back to never being ashamed of Jesus. We need to also acknowledge we live in an adulterous & sinful generation. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) And most importantly, He’s coming back! He’s coming in his Father’s glory with the holy angels! When he’s back, those words spoken against us won’t mean a thing! The material possessions we’ve stored up won’t mean a thing! Our academic & financial accomplishments won’t mean a thing! So much of what we’ve done won’t matter any more! We’ve got to put things into an eternal perspective! The only thing that will matter will be what does Jesus think about us. Will he be ashamed of us? Will he say, away from me you evil doer, I never knew you? Or will he say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matthew 25:23)
Lord, Grant me boldness so that I won’t ever be ashamed of you! Help me shine for you today. In Jesus name. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Amen