Jesus told his disciples that they would face expulsion from their synagogues and death at the hands of people who believe they are serving God. Imagine, an enemy from within your own church family and persecution to the point of death for following Jesus…
1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.
That was the first century. It’s arguably a bit more complicated now….
The Christian church is no longer an emergent church within Judaism. Yet still people are feeling put out of our churches based on differences in doctrinal beliefs on everything from heaven and hell, sexual sin, and universalism. Jesus says his disciples will be persecuted by those who believe they are serving God, yet who do not actually know the Father or Jesus.
In other words, some of us are sheep and some of us are goats. Which are you, Christian?
This is when it’s pretty important to be on the side of Jesus. This is where we separate ourselves from church tradition and added practice and process and we stick to Jesus – we need to abide or remain in him as he taught in John 15.
I am less worried about the persecution than I am about whose side I am on. I want to be on Jesus’ side, because where Jesus is we will find the path to heaven and God’s way. Somewhere on the other side we will find human interest and the use of the Bible to serve such interests.
I’m not saying I am always right, yet I always want to seek the Jesus example, pattern, teaching, and answer…