The Apostle Paul Is Speaking: "Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him but also to suffer for his sake..." PHILIPPIANS 1:27-29 (KJV)
Paul is speaking and is essentially telling the Philippians to, "Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I am able to come and see you or not, I will hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel of Jesus Christ."
DON'T BE ALARMED BY YOUR OPPONENTS
Paul goes on to say, "In no way be alarmed by your opponents -- which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For it has been granted by Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for his sake."
In no way alarmed by your opponents?? The church at large today is alarmed around any offensive part of its gospel. It is more acceptable to be "Politically Correct!”
The church is also scurrying around to downplay any offense of the Gospel of Jesus and trying to make it more palatable or accepted.
Paul is telling us to, "Expect opposition as Believers in Christ Jesus! He DOESN'T say, "Pick your chin up and go out there and do your best!!"
DON'T BE DISMAYED
As Believers today we find the church -- as well as the world is outright refusing to call sin -- SIN!! In effect were to refuse any disheartening perspective.
Recently there was a pastor on television who was asked: "Do you believe that anyone that doesn't follow Christ is on is way to hell? And this was the pastor's answer, "It's really not up to me, it's something that we must leave up to God!!
GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD
People -- "God has left it up to us to deliver the gospel to the world. Jesus himself spoke these words, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. MARK 16:15
Jesus taught and preached the good news and Jesus sent his disciples out to preach the gospel also! We've been told: How to get to Hell as well as How to Get to Heaven!
But a growing number of churches are playing down the biblical elements of sin and repentance. And in doing so the Gospel is being effectively and efficiently trivialized -- repackaged into various forms of entertainment and reduced to immaterial and insignificant!
WHY ARE WE AFRAID IN THE FACE OF OPPOSITION
So the question is, "WHY is this happening?" And the answer is simple -- FEAR!
We are living in FEAR of losing the approval of our bosses, our contemporaries, and our culture! We fear that we will not be invited to sit at the table with the sophisticated!
It's fear of being viewed as "out of touch" or fear of being the worst offenders of human rights!
THE WORLD IS SPEAKING OUT
One member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission suggests: "Any religious system that rejects or doesn't endorse same-sex marriage is effectively in the same category as slave traders and Nazis." (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/battle-gay-rights-over/592645/)
That is "not the minority opinion" either! Still, just look at History: Christians worked tirelessly to end slavery and Christians hid Jewish people in their closets from the Nazis! Today, true Believers are loyal friends to Jewish people.
WE CAN'T AVOID OPPOSITION
But the church is scrambling to avoid any kind of opposition, while the Apostle Paul is telling us to expect it!! He builds his case for fearlessness on two eternal realities. Go back to PHILIPPIANS 1:28 In no way be alarmed by your opponents -- which is a sign of destruction for them -- but evidence of salvation for you!
Eternal opposition is a sign (it gives evidence that something is true)! The opposition is coming -- in the form of "judgment to those that oppose the church because, in reality, they are opposing GOD!"
GOD SEES IT ALL
God sees and is reading the signs of this worlds opposition, we just have to go to God's Word: And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. REVELATION 20:11
SUFFERING FOR CHRIST'S SAKE
Let me show you the evidence, living for Jesus we will have suffering. Remember the disciples?? After Jesus was arrested they huddled together, after the crucifixion, they scattered because they were terrified, they were cowards.
But, after Jesus' resurrection -- they became courageous! The gospel became alive physically, tangibly, completely and undeniably confirmed! Now the disciples were preaching where earlier they were panicking.
LEGAL COMPLICATIONS -- LEAVE THEM IN GOD'S HANDS
The disciples were also arrested, brought before the high court of the Sanhedrin and told: "Do not preach in Jesus' Name again!" The disciples replied, "We will obey God -- Rather than men!"
They were stopped, they were arrested and they were told -- And to him, they agreed: and when they had called the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. ACTS 5:40
How many Pastors have capitulated because they were told not to pray in the Name of Jesus -- Well then, let's just not pray!!!
The disciples were going to continue preaching after they were beaten we are told that they went on their way REJOICING that they had been considered "worthy to suffer shame for Jesus Name!"
My friends, opposition points to a coming punishment for the enemies of God, BUT it also points to our Salvation! It points to the fact that we are genuine Believers.
Yes! There will be opposition for the sake of your faith -- Do not grow weary or afraid! No! Be a loyal follower of Jesus Christ!