Today we remember Thomas Cranmer, one of the English Reformers, who was burned alive for his faith 451 years ago on this day (March 21, 1556).
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it takes to follow Christ and stand for his truths in the culture that is hostile toward both. And I’m not only referring to our pluralistic society, but even within so-called evangelical churches. Due to my limited time and energy, I’d recommend you listen to Mark Dever’s message at 2007 Shepherds’ Conference or read a quick synopsis at Challies.
However, I leave with you some of the worthy quotes on persecutions:
When He [Jesus] told the crowds that they had to take up a cross in order to be His disciples, the crowds left Him and eventually killed Him.The world has no problem accepting and following a religious leader who permits them to stay in their sins; but they will crucify the man who dares to point them to a narrow gate that leads to a narrow way (Warren Wiersbe).
The way to avoid persecution is obvious and easy. To live like the world, or at least to “live and let live,” will cost us nothing. To mimic the world’s standards, or never to criticize them, will cost us nothing. To keep quiet about the gospel, especially the truth that apart from its saving power men remain in their sins and are destined for hell, will cost us nothing. To go along with the world, to laugh at its jokes, to enjoy its entertainment, to smile when it mocks God and takes His name in vain, and to be ashamed to take a stand for Christ will not bring persecution. Those are the habits of sham Christians [John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 (Chicago: Moody, 1985) 222].