There are some people who don’t know it, but they are sitting on death row. I’m not talking about the complacent people this time, or those who are thinking about putting their faith in Jesus. Rather, I’m talking about a select group of people who are determined to prove that Christianity is wrong. They make it their aim to try and “prove” that they are right. They are filled with the spirit of self-justification. Christians are “crazy” people. They “overdo it”. They “take religion too seriously”. They are in need of psychologists themselves. They are “koo-koo”.
Such people don’t know what they are saying and are in great need of prayer. Such people are the persecutors of God’s chosen people. Such people are those that Jesus has commanded us to pray for, as we read in Matthew 5:44: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Perhaps you are in such a situation. You are being persecuted by those who would stand up and condemn you, and justify themselves, and call you crazy.
Well, you are not alone. That is exactly what they did to Jesus, as well. The Bible says that the real reason they persecuted Jesus was because of envy. In many ways, I think it is true today. One of the main reasons why Christians are persecuted is because of envy. They ‘have’ what non-Christians don’t have: peace, love, and joy. They also have a whole family to lean on: the family of God. (Incidentally, this, I believe, is a good example of receiving “100 times as much” that Jesus talks about in the Scriptures: “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” Matthew 19:29)
I admit, it is hard being called crazy and weird by those you love and cherish and desire to come to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is very painful. But I think we all have a lesson to learn in this respect: That those who call us crazy are themselves lost and in need of salvation. It may hurt us “just a little” in comparison to what they are expecting when they stand before the Lord in judgment. And be not deceived. We shall all stand before him in judgment. The lost shall be cast away to eternal damnation. The saved shall inherit untold riches, the best of all being eternal life and an everlasting, blessed, relationship, with the Father. Nothing could be better.
But nothing could be worse for the unbeliever — and I am talking about those who persecute believers, in this case. Should they fail to repent of their sin and find the Savior, the Bible is exceedingly clear: they shall perish and go to hell. They shall be thrown into the lake of fire! At that time, you will not have much to worry about. You will be enjoying eternal, everlasting, bliss, with the heavenly Father who loved you and sent the Lord Jesus Christ to die for your sins. Should we glory in this thought, that unbelievers will go to hell? Absolutely not! May that be the furthest thing from our mind! Instead, I believe that persecution should drive us to our knees and to prayer!
Friends, it is time to look around us and see that those who despise us and think we are crazy are themselves in great need! Consider this a “wake up call” — this persecution that you feel. It is a “sign” if you will — a sign that we need to pray like never before for those that don’t stand a chance apart from salvation through Christ’s blood.
Make no mistake about it; those who are the enemies of God’s chosen people are right now sitting on death row. Their death sentence is sealed, unless they should make an about face and put their trust in the One that died for them. Echoing the words of Jesus himself, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3).
No wonder that Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:44 that we are to pray for those who persecute us. Friends, it is time to make contact with heaven’s throne room, and pray like never before. Don’t leave a person out on your list. Pray and pray and pray, until you have ‘bothered’ the Lord enough so that he is willing to take action and do something about your concern! Leave no stone unturned. These people are sitting on death row.