Someone to Blame

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

The people of Rome needed a scapegoat—people they could blame for their problems. Writing in the second century AD, Tertullian, an early church father, testified that “if the Tiber overflows, or the Nile doesn’t, if there is a drought or an earthquake, a famine or a pestilence, at once the cry goes up: ‘Christians to the lions!’”

Confirming this attitude, historian Frank McLynn concluded that “the visceral and mindless hatred provoked by the Christians cannot be exaggerated.” Christians were called “scum,” “vulgar,” and “ignorant.” “Perpetrators of hypocrisy.” “Gullible.” “Babbling fools.” “Charlatans.” “No better than dog or goat worshipers at their worst.”

Jesus Himself was described as “arrogant,” an “evil-doer,” a “sorcerer,” a “conspirator,” “a coward and a liar,” and “an author of rebellion and insurrection.”

Today, people sometimes level similar charges against Believers. We are ridiculed and mocked. Our motives are questioned. Some openly doubt our sanity.

Knowing that this would happen, Jesus warned that His followers would be insulted and persecuted. He predicted that people would say “all kinds of evil against you.” However, He said we would be blessed if we stayed faithful and continued to do what is right in God’s sight.

Jesus provided these warnings so we would not be surprised. He wanted us to be prepared: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NLT). And He promised that He would be with us “always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NLT).

Today, don’t be surprised if you face attacks. Determine to stay faithful to Jesus, no matter what other people might say. Continue to let your light shine. And continue to be a witness for Him.