“The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac.” (Hosea 9:7)
Have you ever been labeled as a “Jesus freak” or ridiculed for your faith in some other way? I have. And if you have, then take heart, because when you represent Christ and are mocked for it, you are surely blessed!
In Hosea 9, we see the time of judgment approaching in which Israel will go through many severe punishments due to their egregious sins. God had called them to be holy and set apart from the other nations, but instead they took on the idolatry and sin of their neighbors. In verse 17, Hosea concludes, “My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations.”
Israel’s behaviors and patterns of sin were so commonplace, that the prophets who were given God-inspired words of warning were seen as fools and maniacs.
When the world is so twisted, backwards, and flipped upside-down from the standards of God, then anyone who stands for Jesus and His righteousness will be seen as the crazy ones. Go figure that the people who are actually acting like fools and doing ludicrous and harmful things that oppose God, are considered the “normal” ones in this day and age.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5)
These are the ridiculous standards that the world will hold to in these last days, and as the Bible warns, evil will be considered as good, and good considered as evil.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt. 5:11-12)
Jesus tells His followers that we should not only expect to be persecuted for our beliefs as were the prophets, but further encourages us that when we are, we can rejoice and be glad, for our reward will be great in heaven!
Stand strong in your faith and don’t let fear of man rule you. Remember that those who are not of God, will never understand the things of God, and thus you must also expect them to not fully understand you. Pray for them, love them with the love of Christ, and know you are blessed by their scorn.
If I am to be mocked for my love of Jesus, then bring it on.
[From January 30, 2019]