First Responders

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Monday, November 18, 2019

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22

During the tragedy of September 11, 2001, many first responders died while trying to rescue the people who worked in the twin towers. The scene of watching first responders move toward the collapsing towers as other people were fleeing from the towers left an indelible impression in my mind about their commitment to serve others. I indeed became more appreciative of the sacrifice that first responders make every day to the benefit of others.

In today’s text, Jesus sends out the twelve into surrounding villages to proclaim the gospel. Though the Lord gave the disciples authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness, he warns them, “they will be hated by everyone because of him.” The disciples were made to go towards danger and face adversity to save souls for Christ.

Authentic disciples of Christ are like first responders. Our mandate is to help rescue the lost. We are commissioned by Christ to go to evil and wicked places to proclaim the gospel of salvation. At times, our safety and security are threatened. We often get looked down upon, or criticized, or ridiculed, or even hated because of Christ. Yet we must persist in proclaiming salvation in the name of Jesus.

The struggle between the forces of God and the forces of evil has intensified. Secularism is on the rise. The world is seemingly less interested in God, as more people are rejecting the existence of God. These days, many orthodox Christians like me are labeled as uncouth. We are often scorned for adhering to biblical ethics about sexuality and are often labeled as intolerant.

Many of my orthodox Christian brothers and sisters are afraid to speak out. They don’t know how to balance their love for sinners with their hatred for sin. However, as I read Scripture over and over again, I am reminded by the Holy Spirit that to be an authentic disciple of Christ is to be a first responder. That means speaking truth to power in love and saying things that will make some people call us intolerant.

First responders know they will have to sacrifice or even die for others. No fireman goes into a burning building expecting a pleasant experience. Christians cannot expect the world to love the gospel message in its authenticity. After all, even Christ was rejected for preaching truth to religious people. Why then do most Christians want to be accepted by the world?

Because our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ asks us not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, we will indeed be hated by the world. Yet the Lord asks us to stand firm to the end. Many Christians are rejected by family members because of Christ. Some have lost jobs, friends, colleagues, and even their lives because of their faith in Christ. I know several missionaries that are living in countries that are predominantly Muslim to share the gospel. They gladly go to dangerous places for the sake of Christ.

In as much as it is vital to go to church to fellowship with like-minded brothers and sisters, we also have to go share the gospel in places where people may not want to hear the gospel. We should never feel ashamed to share the gospel no matter what we may be called or how we may be treated. Some people think that it was foolish for the first responders to go toward the collapsing towers on September 11. However, the people that were saved by the first responders know that the sacrifice of the first responders saved their lives, and they will be eternally grateful to these men and women who died so they can live.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, please give us the courage to proclaim your gospel, notwithstanding the price we must pay. I pray for Christians that are being martyred for preaching the name of Jesus.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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