There is a lot of focus these days on universal acceptance. This concept is a big deal to a lot of church folks. (Hey, can’t we all just get along?) And to be fair, one of the core values of our church is to have a Kingdom vision for ministry. But understand this: when church folks take on the mindset that unity and acceptance is more important than truth, they have completely misunderstood the person of Jesus Christ! Because Jesus Christ is very clear that when He comes into a person’s life, there will be a lack of peace in certain relationships – some are for Christ and some are not. There will be division. When we follow Christ, we’re going to face ridicule, division and sometimes even persecution. There are a lot of well-intentioned Christians that get confused and are pridefully divisive in their self-righteous judgment of others. In their blindness to their own sin, they are quick to point out the sins of others. In that process, they often take on a martyr complex. “Oh, I’m being persecuted for my faith.” Really? Try being a missionary in a country that hates Christians, then talk about being persecuted.
But Christ does want us to understand that when we claim what He claims about Himself, when we take on the character of Jesus Christ, it will not be an easy road. And persecution comes in many forms, so I certainly don’t mean to denigrate any persecution you might have endured in trying to live the Christian life, no matter now big or small. I just want you to understand, it all comes with the package.