“Even though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).
We hear of it too frequently.
“He used to be a pastor. But the people in the churches were so mean—undercutting him, criticizing, backbiting, slandering and then kicking him out—that it ruined him forever. He vows he’ll never enter a church again.”
“If this is how God’s churches are, I want nothing to do with any of them.”
“Makes me wonder if the Lord even cares.”
The variations on that sad theme are endless.
But the result, while tragic, is needless: Some of these “wounded warriors” have given up on the Lord and His church.
No one should ever quit Jesus when God’s people mistreat him.
The Lord told us to expect this. “The servant is not above his master. The pupil is not above his teacher. If they called the Master a devil, how much more should His disciples expect it.” (See Matthew 10.)
The Lord was crucified by the religious people, convinced they were doing God’s work.
OK, perhaps not all were convinced they were doing the Lord’s work. But many were.
What would knock you out of the game?
So what would it take, we ask the Christian workers in the audience, for you to walk away from the Lord’s work and cause you to turn your back on Him?
How badly would they have to treat you to make you give up on Jesus?
That is not theoretical nor is the question rhetorical. It’s a real issue, one each of us should face and answer.
I have heard of people who were mistreated by a sibling and who, as a result, wrote off the entire family. One man told me, “He won’t even call our parents. They long to hear from this son of theirs, but he acts as if they don’t exist.”
My parents had six children. While our parents were living, I would make this point: Even if one of my three brothers or two sisters did something to end our contact, there is nothing a sibling can do that would make me quit loving my parents and going to see them.
So, how is it that someone mistreated by a church can walk away from the Lord Jesus?
Someone says, “I’m not leaving the Lord, just His church.”
Same difference, my friend.
Show me anyone in Scripture who managed to separate Jesus from His Body.
He said numerous times, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (See John 14 and 15.)
To love Jesus does not mean getting all goose-bumpy about Him, but obeying Him.
Obedience: That’s the Lord’s love language.