This is a really helpful question that actually takes us right to the heart of what the Christian life is like in this present age. Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:12: “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Therefore, every Christian will be persecuted. You can’t get away from it! So yes, you should become a Christian if you’ll be persecuted. Because it’s inevitable for every Christian!
This is what Jesus taught too. In Matthew 10:34-36, Jesus said:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”
This is Jesus’ teaching on what life will be like for those who follow Him. Even in that person’s own family there will be trouble and persecution. Parents and children against each other.
The scale of the persecution within the family (and without) can vary hugely. From annoyance and frustration, to parents actually wanting to kill their child who has now become a Christian. Obviously, too, the greater the persecution is likely to be, the more certain that person will want to be that Christianity is true. And that following Jesus is worth it.
Count the cost
Jesus addresses this issue in Luke 14:25-33:
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus. Turning to them He said: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life – he cannot be My disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has, cannot be my disciple.”
Jesus encourages us to ‘count the cost’. Is following Jesus worth it or not? That’s the point of the story of the person building a tower. Are you willing to take on the commitment to follow Jesus?
It is worth it
As has already been said, that commitment to Jesus could be very costly. It might involve having to leave your family because they want to kill you for following Christ. However, ultimately, it is worth it.
“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
If you become a Christian, you will be persecuted. But be assured that as you testify to and acknowledge Jesus Christ, so too He will acknowledge you on the future day of judgment. You will receive a wonderful inheritance. But if you disown or deny Christ, He’ll deny you, and the torment of hell will be worse than any persecution you’ll receive in this life.
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