My Thoughts . . .
Have you ever been tempted to get involved with a “get rich quick” scheme? Usually, the one who introduced you to it is the one who gets richer while you are left with the “scheme.” Did you know there are some who believe God will bless them with unlimited happiness with no negative down-time if they will become a Christian? That happiness evaporates when the first negative crosses their path. Some will recognize they have been sold a false perception of Christianity. They will learn that lesson or use it as an excuse to walk away from God. Others will be convinced that their lack of faith has eliminated God’s blessings from them. Some will accept that “reason” as valid and try harder to please God with their pseudo perfection. Some will tolerate their failures a few more times. They will either come to understand the truth or will blame God for refusing to protect them from the world’s bitterness.
Some either do not know or have forgotten that Jesus had fourteen apostles. Judas Iscariot was the first to have his expectations shattered. Twelve died through persecution. Only John died of natural causes. Yet even he did not escape persecution. Jesus died upon the cross. He cried out quoting Psalm 22:1, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). God does not forsake, He only fulfills. Jesus was fulfilling Old Testament scriptures to be our sin sacrifice! Christians in the first century were no stranger to suffering, alienation, arrest, and death. Those conditions were not messages from God to individuals that He no longer loved them. It was the world’s reaction to show their disdain for God and His children.
The “get rich gospel” may be preached by some today, but usually wealth is limited to the one preaching that gospel rather than the audience who finances it. One such preacher in Memphis, Tennessee boasted on his TV show, “I want my pie in the sky, NOW!” Apparently, he got the “Now”!
In Jesus’ sermon on the Mount, he forewarned his disciples about future persecution (Matthew 5:11-12, 44; 10:17-20, 22-23). Even in this country Christianity is losing the respect it once enjoyed due to those who are more enamored with the world. Persecutions have been an ongoing event since the first century. They are reminders that that this world in not our home. Jesus told about a rich man and a beggar dying. The rich man lost everything while the beggar gained it all!
Becoming a believer does not guarantee that one will live on “easy street.” It does mean that you will enjoy heaven with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter, Paul, and a host of others who chose to follow God.