“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
This verse has always resonated with me. Primarily because it has far ranging scope. In context it shares what you are supposed to do if you are persecuted. You are to be prepared to answer why you have placed your trust and confidence in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and you are to convey these answers with gentleness and respect. In that way your upstanding and persistent moral behavior shows your persecutors that you are what a Christian is supposed to be, which in turn shames them for their behavior.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Our verse for today and the verse above also stress that you need to have an answer. This means that you need to know what the Bible says. This makes Bible study an imperative, because if you don’t know what the Bible says about all the subjects it covers, then you may not have an answer. Or, your answer may be so incorrect or feeble that the person laughs at you. Incorrect or weak answers not only show you in a scripturally ignorant light but brings reproach on our Lord. It also wrecks your testimony. Knowing what the Bible says, through Bible study and research, is paramount.
“…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
John 20:29 (KJV)
You must know what you believe. If you’re wishy-washy about your beliefs, people will not know where you stand. If you act one way at church and another way when you’re away from church, people will question whether you are a Christian or not. Your persecutors will use it against you, and unfortunately, your fellow Christians may use it against you too. You should live-out what you believe and you should believe only what the Bible reveals. The thoughts and ideas of mankind are worthless unless they agree with the Bible.
“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: ...” Matthew 5:12 (KJV)
Humanity dwells in a world that is fallen and corrupted, but filled with many wonderful things too. Please remember though, if you are not saved by God’s grace, the wonderful things you have and experience on earth are your only reward. God is incredibly loving and generous. Humanity doesn’t even deserve the mundane things of this world, much less the wonderful things, yet God provides. After that fleeting reward provided by God, those that aren’t saved spend an eternity in hell with endless torment and loneliness – because that is what they chose. Those of us that are saved and know Jesus as Lord and Savior will be rewarded with the wonderful things of this life too, but also have an additional reward of eternal fellowship with God in His kingdom – because that’s what we chose.
For those of you that don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior, you have the opportunity to choose wisely or choose poorly. Either way it’s your choice.
For those that are Christians, please read, research and know the scriptures. We are called to be a sanctified (separate and unique) people in service to our Lord. As Christians we should also solidify our beliefs – know what you believe and why you believe it – be ready to answer any question asked about your faith and why your hope is in Jesus and Him alone.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13 (KJV)