For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it,
you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure,
this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
1 Peter 2:20.
When the individual accepts Christ and begins to profess
his faith in words and life, invariably the world, that eternal
enemy of Christ and faithfully obedient servant of the devil,
will be dissatisfied. The world regards it contemptible, disgraceful,
to live any life but one pleasing to itself, to do and
speak only as it desires. Its rage is directed toward the
Christian and it proceeds to persecute, to torture, even to murder
him when possible. We often hear the know-it-alls and scoffers
say that Christ could have enjoyed peace had he so desired.
The same may be said of Christians; they could have peace
and pleasure if they would but take advice and conform to the
What are we to do? It is a fact that to maintain and obey
the truth is to stir up wrath and hatred. Even the heathen
assert as much. But the fault lies not with the advocate of
truth but with its rejecters. Is the truth not to be preached
at all? Must we be silent and permit all mankind to go directly
to hell? Who could or would heap upon himself the guilt of
such negligence? The godly Christian, who looks for eternal
life after the present one and who aims to help others to the
same happy goal, assuredly must act the part he professes, must
assert his belief and show the world how it travels the broad
road to hell and eternal death. But to do so is to antagonize
the world and incur the displeasure of the devil.
Since there is no escaping the fact that he who would confess
Christ and make the world better must in return for his
service and benefactions heap upon himself the enmity of the
devil and his adherents, we must remember that it is incumbent
upon us to have patience when the world manifests its bitterest,
most hateful enmity toward our teachings and toward our very lives;
when it reviles and slanders and persecutes us to the utmost
for our principles. Peter here admonishes and persuades
Christians unto patience under these circumstances, and at the
same time seeks to comfort them with tender and impressive
words. If you would be a Christian, then be not so terribly
alarmed and so extremely impatient at the torments of the
world and the devil.