Since the beginning in the Garden of Eden, man has been both ashamed and not ashamed. Adam and Eve were not ashamed when they were following God’s commandments. (Gen 2:25) They became ashamed once they violated God’s law. (Gen 3:10) The psalmist David asked God to never let him be ashamed. (Ps 31:1,17) Again he said, “Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all Your commandments.” (Ps 119:6)
Servants of God historically have never been ashamed of God and His Ways. Noah could never have been ashamed of God and built an ark during a time when rain had never fell. Abraham was not ashamed to harken to the voice of God to slay his son Isaac. Moses could not have been ashamed of God when he was asked to lead Israel out of Egypt and confronted Pharaoh to let his people go. Elijah could not be ashamed of God when he withstood the 450 false prophets of Ahab and Jezebel. (1 Kin 18) Daniel was not ashamed to pray to God during a time when it was prohibited for any man for 30 days to bow down to any God except the King. (Dan 6:7-10)
There are two things which God does not want us to be ashamed of as Christians. Let us examine both in detail.
I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL
It was the apostle Paul who wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom 1:16) Christians are warned by Jesus that if we are ashamed of Him, that He will be ashamed of us come the day of judgment. “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mk 8:38) Many Christians are faced today with the choice of keeping their mouth shut about the gospel of Christ and working. Many are faced with the choice of teaching about Jesus and having family or friends. If we stand up for the gospel and moral values, we will be the enemy of the world. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:19-20 This is the choice God asks of us, and if we choose the world we shall be lost. Early day Christians were faced with the same choices, and many were either killed or thrown in prison. When we refuse to preach or teach and contend or defend the truth of God, because we are ashamed to do so, come the day of judgment Christ will be ashamed of us and we shall be lost.
Take note of my Facebook page and you will see the end result of me preaching the gospel of Christ. My family and friends are alienated from me because I stand against the evil lifestyles they have chosen. We can not have both God and this world. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matt 6:24) John said, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
I AM NOT ASHAMED TO SUFFER AS A CHRISTIAN
I see on a daily basis Christians suffering for the cause of Christ. These are faithful Christians who have chosen to serve God according to the doctrine of Christ and his apostles. As was promised, all who faithful Christians shall suffer persecution. (2 Tim 3:12) God is not a respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34 f; Col 3:25) When we stop serving God according to His Will, these persecutions will stop. (Gal 5:11) So, if you are not suffering, you ARE NOT A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN!! Faithful Christians have a consolation in that they are not suffering alone. There are many who are suffering in the exact same manner. (1 Pet 5:9,10)
We should be ashamed when we suffer for doing doing evil, but when we suffer for doing good, we should never be ashamed. In fact, we should rejoice in the knowledge that we have been chosen worthy to suffer for the cause of Christ. Peter elaborated on this subject by saying, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:12-17)
It is self evident, Faithful Christians need not hide in secret places, or feel depressed in the fact that they are suffering because they are doing the Will of God. I have suffered severely for more than 30 years, and continue to do so. The apostle Paul even listed all of his sufferings which are far more than we shall have to endure. (1 Cor 11:21-30) Yet, we shall suffer in the same manner as all faithful Christians. God will not make us suffer more than we are able to endure. (1 Cor 10:13) So, if you suffer not but are blessed in this world, YOU ARE NOT OF GOD!! If you do suffer, examine yourself to make sure you are not being chastened for doing evil. If you suffer, but are doing the works of God, REJOICE and be GLAD, for you are worthy to be chosen to suffer even as Christ suffered for us. Remember the words of Peter, “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:” (1 Peter 2:19-21) Therefore, when you suffer for the cause of Christ, even as the apostles who rejoiced when imprisoned and beaten, so should we. (Acts 5:41) “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Phil 4:4)