Does your fear of what people may say about you ever cause you to compromise your convictions as a Christian? If not – good! Remain strong. If so – let me encourage you to not fall into cowardice.
In yesterday’s message on Revelation 21:6-8, I mentioned that God said the “cowardly” will be among those thrown into “fiery lake of burning sulfur” on the day of judgment. I mentioned that the word did not have to do with cowardice in everyday life. It was contextually linked with those who may have denied their faith in Jesus at the threat of death. In that culture, many Christians were forced to make a choice between their Christian faith and saying “Caesar is Lord.”
The word for “cowardly” was the same adjective Jesus used in Matthew 8:26 and Mark 4:40 when He asked the disciples who were on the boat on the sea of Galilee in a ferocious storm, “Why are you so afraid…?” The noun form of this word is in 2 Tim. 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity…” The words for “afraid” and “timidity” in these passages is the same word God used in referring to the “cowardly” in Rev. 21:8.
We need to pray for our fellow Christians in Iraq who are being exterminated by Islamic Terrorists. Children are being beheaded, women are being raped and killed as many Christians are being told to “convert (to Islam) or die.” Pray that they will not fall but that the Holy Spirit will sustain them.
But, it’s not just Christians in Iraq who need to be courageous and not fall into cowardice. We can fall into the same trap when we compromise on our faith in Christ. We fall into cowardice when we go along with the crowd and do and say things to be accepted by others. We fall into cowardice when we keep our mouths shut at times we should speak up and stand for truth. Join me and pray daily that we will be courageous Christians.