Are You Ashamed?
"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of the Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)
The parallel passage of this scripture is Luke 9:26 and says almost the same thing. This should be a sobering thought to many who wear the name of Christ. For too often, for various reasons, we demonstrate that we are ashamed of Christ and His gospel. This shame is evidenced by the fact that we do not share the gospel message with others we come in contact with. And unless you continue to remind others that you are a Christian, they will soon forget.
The words of Jesus above are hard words for a Christian to swallow. For in essence, Jesus is saying that if we are ashamed of Him or His teachings, we will not be able to enter heaven. This shame is synonymous to denial. Notice what Jesus said in Matthew 10:33: "But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."
Clearly the scriptures teach that Christians can lose their salvation by denying, disowning and even being ashamed of Jesus. If you think about it, you can see the devil at work in this area. Because the devil has failed to get us to live wicked lives, or to cause harm to Christ, he chooses a method that is very subtle and we go along feeling good about ourselves, while at the same time, we are separated from God. It is sin to be ashamed of Christ.
Notice the times where Paul mentioned the word ashamed: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). Neither should we be ashamed of the gospel. Yet how often do we promote the gospel to those who need it? Your actions speak louder than your words. If you have no shame in the gospel, why are you not sharing it?
"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). The phrase "maketh not ashamed in the KJV is translated by other words in most other versions of the Bible and as we look at some of them we get the idea that the Holy Spirit wanted us to have about our concept of hope. Notice:
"does not disappoint" (TEV, NIV, NASB,RSV)
"is no mockery" (NEB)
"will never disappoint" (CEV,EVD)
"we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens" (LB)
"is not deceptive" (JB)
Then again we read: "Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death" (Romans 6:21) In this context, Paul was discussing their former lifestyle and the things they once did. So we SHOULD be ashamed of those things we have done in the past that hurt God, but we should never be ashamed of what God did for us.
"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day" (2 Timothy 1:8-12). "According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death" (Philippians 1:20) If we have hope in the promise of God, and if we share His gospel message, we have no reason to be ashamed, for we are trying to exalt Christ in all that we are and everything that we do. Yet when our actions indicate something different, there is need to be concerned.
Here is a quote from an article I read recently. "Dear reader, if you are ashamed of the Lord Jesus and His words among the wicked in your neighborhood, jobsite, family, friends, etc., He, in turn, will be ashamed of YOU. That is fact, even though you might go to "church" as people say in our day, and live a moral life." (Dan Corner-Fighting the Good Fight Vol 8, #1 from the Evangelical Outreach group). As I think and contemplate this, I realize that he is right on the money.
Part of our "good fight" is to battle against being ashamed of Jesus and His gospel among the wicked, lost, deceivers, and all those in error. Even though we may suffer persecution or fear that we might suffer persecution, let us not forget that the battle hardest to fight is the one within our own selves. We have a day coming whereby we will give an account of our actions and the books of God will judge us. "And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." (Galatians 6:6-9)