I will be persecuted and disowned if I convert to Christianity. Should I follow Jesus anyway?
You should only follow Jesus if His teachings are true, regardless of the consequences. If Jesus and His teachings are true, the only way to receive salvation and live in heaven forever with God is through faith in Jesus Christ. John 14:6 states, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Acts 4:12 adds, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
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But should you follow Jesus even if you are disowned by your family or persecuted? Jesus Himself said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 10:34-39).
The Bible also clearly teaches, "All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). The apostle Paul, the author of 2 Timothy, wrote these words from experience. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27 he wrote, "Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure." He clearly understood and experienced much persecution for his faith in Jesus.
Many Muslims today around the world live in families that will disown them if they publicly follow Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God. Other places interpret Islam's teaching literally, believing a Muslim who converts to another religion should receive the death penalty. These are very difficult situations that only God can fully understand. Yet the Bible's teachings are clear that Jesus is the only way to God and only He can provide eternal life (John 3:16). Persecution may come to those who follow Jesus, yet this is not sufficient reason to reject Jesus Christ. Ultimately, it was Jesus who was rejected and placed upon the cross to die for our sins. We share in His sufferings when we are persecuted, becoming more like Him when we do. As Paul wrote in Philippians 1:29: "For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake."
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