By the time I watched, the video had over 16 million views:
You can’t survive it…and your kids die too.
It was a clip of a news anchor’s dire warning to stubborn residents in the path of Hurricane Matthew, and people were taken aback at the bluntness of his statement.
Nobody likes a bearer of bad news. In times of war, delivering it could get a human envoy shot. In ancient Israel, it could cost a prophet his life.
Yet, God instructed Jeremiah to open his mouth: “Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways. Then I will relent and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done.” (Jer. 26:2-3)
Nevermind that previous prophets had been murdered.
‘The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the Lord. But… all the people seized him and said, “You must die!”(Jer 26:7-8)
They heard him, but they weren’t truly listening, and they had refused to – for decades. The opportunity to obtain mercy landed on deaf ears.
As present-day Christians we can relate. Our nation’s ears are prone to clogging too. Still God requires us to be his mouthpiece. To spread the Good News. To uphold standards of righteous living. To call our community and churches to repentance. Even when it causes offense. Even when attempts are met with mockery and insults (hateful bigots, Bible-thumpers, close-minded). Even when being vocal causes certain death: social, political, or literal.
We’re to persist in persecution. “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim. 3:12)
Which is why Paul advises young Timothy, in advance, of the proper response to these things: “As for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of.” (2 Tim 3:14)
Continue.Despite a friend renouncing her faith, root deeper in yours. Despite a professor’s refusal to believe, trust God. Despite a church member persisting in sin, strive for holiness.
We can’t allow ourselves to be swayed by trends and fickle philosophies of this world. We must continue in what we’ve learned. We must remain faithful knowing what is true and – above all – living by that truth.