First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level of their puny feelings, they’ll mock, “So what’s happened to the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first day of creation. Nothing’s changed.”
– 2 Peter 3:3-4, The Message
Last week we were reminded in Peter’s writings that the Gospel is not a fairy tale. It is not a made up story but a transformative reality. Even so, peering from the outside in, the message of Christianity can look nonsensical and naive – sometimes even nuts! Paul said as much in his own letter to the Church: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18, NIV).
If you are a Christ-follower in a world of Christ-deniers, you will absolutely be challenged in your faith. It’s just basic math. The challenge could look like a well-intentioned question from a friend about why you make the choices you do, or a very personal and painful attack on your beliefs prompted by something you’ve done or said. Chances are, you’ll also find yourself on the God-side of some difficult life questions from people who are experiencing honest anger, confusion or frustration. If God is real, why won’t He stop this? Why won’t He fix this? Why would He allow this? If God is loving, where is He now, in THIS?
The questions can be harsh, but they can also be sincere. Seeking takes on a different shape for everyone.
Christianity is not a placid faith. Both Peter and Paul know this to be true, and they want us to know it, too, and be ready. The message of Jesus Christ demands a verdict. It’s uncomfortable. It makes people mad and defensive. It stirs up anger. Jesus is difficult to ignore.
We read many times in the Bible about persecution of Christians who walk with our Lord. It is all but promised we will experience the same, yet we are encouraged to keep walking with our eyes focused on God. We are called to “rejoice and be glad!” (Matthew 5:12)
Why would the persecuted rejoice?
Because He will come. It’s been a long time since the first promise of Jesus’s return. As a people of instant gratification and quick results, we tend to forget that God keeps His promises on His time. And His promise will prevail.
We will be challenged. The questions and the mockery will come. We are to stand firm in the face of it all — even when our faith seems on the wild side of reality, even when the world’s offerings make more sense than what our God says. Even then, we know God is who He says He is, He does what He says He will do.
His Word formed the earth and sent the Flood.
His Word created life and rescued his children time and again.
His promises are never made in vain.
His Word will prevail.