The only “climate change” I believe in, is the “climate change” that is occurring in our culture towards those that hold firmly to the Word of God. As the number of incidents where Christians are discriminated against are adding up, I believe soon they may begin multiplying! Would you deny your faith? Would you deny Jesus if your job was threatened? What about if your house or children were threatened? What if your very life was threatened? “Deny Jesus, or else!…”
Scripture gives us a glimpse of our human frailty in this area when we look at Peter. Here he is, bold, courageous and proclaiming that he would die before disowning Jesus! Jesus knows their hearts and states otherwise. Later, we know that Peter denied Him by his words, the others deserted Him, denying Him by their actions.
Then Jesus said to them, You will all be offended and stumble and fall away because of Me this night [distrusting and deserting Me], for it is written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.
But after I am raised up [to life again], I will go ahead of you to Galilee.
Peter declared to Him, Though they all are offended and stumble and fall away because of You [and distrust and desert You], I will never do so.
Jesus said to him, Solemnly I declare to you, this very night, before a single rooster crows, you will deny and disown Me three times.
Peter said to Him, Even if I must die with You, I will not deny or disown You! And all the disciples said the same thing. Matthew 26:31-35 AMP
First, we must consider that Jesus says to his disciples “you will all be offended and stumble.”
The dictionary.com definition of offended is:
1.to irritate, annoy, or anger; cause resentful displeasure in
2.to affect (the sense, taste, etc.) disagreeably.
3.to violate or transgress (a criminal, religious, or moral law).
4.to hurt or cause pain to.
5.(in Biblical use) to cause to fall into sinful ways.
When our government, schools, workplaces, communities etc. want to “kill” Jesus and anything that may slightly resemble Him (including you hopefully, if He resides in you), many of us may feel offended. We must recognize that those who are offended, stumble and fall away. Instead, as Mark 4:16-18 points out our faith must have roots!
And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy;
And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.- Mark 4:16-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Why does Jesus tell us these things?
I have told you all these things, so that you should not be offended (taken unawares and falter, or be caused to stumble and fall away). [I told you to keep you from being scandalized and repelled.]
They will put you out of (expel you from) the synagogues; but an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think and claim that he has offered service to God.
And they will do this because they have not known the Father or Me.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
What can we do to increase our faith, grow roots and not become offended and “fall away” when Jesus our Lord and Spirit in us in under attack?
Seven times a day and all day long do I praise You because of Your righteous decrees.
Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Are you in love with His law? Are you easily offended? Do you praise Him all day long?
I pray that we all- “Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.” Col 2:7
Written by JS