8Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
I read this, and the first thought out of my brain was....what am I willing to endure for the sake of the elect of God?Paul was willing to endure imprisonment, beatings, and other such sufferings for the sake of the gospel, for the sake of the elect of God.
What am I willing to endure?
Am I willing to endure anything that one more person might come to know Christ?
How important is this to me?
If I am honest, I have to admit, though it is important to me....I don't want to go to prison, I don't want to lose my home, I don't want to be ridiculed unfairly, I just don't want to. I want to live my life quietly, I want to just talk to people about Christ, I want my life to be an example of Christ. I don't want to have all that suffering and so forth. Am I supposed to want it? To seek it all for the name of Christ?
Would I put up with it if I needed to, for the sake of God's chosen, knowing that in Christ, come what may, I'll still be okay?
I don't know.
What do you think?