May 22, 2024

Serving God, No Matter What Happens

2 Timothy 3:1-17

“‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. . . .”

—  John 15:20

Are we living in “the last days”? Some people in nearly every generation think so. Yet there is one thing we can be sure of: the problems described in 2 Timothy 3 are happening today, just as in many other periods of history.

People have noted that Christianity has long had a privileged position in the “Western world,” at least since the time of the Roman emperor Constantine, who converted to Christianity. After the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313 and other developments, many of the laws in the Western world became rooted in biblical teaching. As a result, many people have been heavily influenced by the Bible on how to live their lives. This does not mean that all of these people, or even the majority, have been Christians. But Christians in the West have often been free of persecution, and yet that has not been the case in other parts of the world. Nor was this what Jesus prepared his followers to expect. He taught them to expect persecution.

Today Christianity is fading in the West, and so is Christian influence on the laws and policies of Western nations. As time goes on, it may become harder for Christians to live day by day without being persecuted.

But there is no reason to fear or lose hope. The Lord is faithful, and the Lord is King. His kingdom is not of this world, and we are called to serve him, following the teachings of Scripture and living by God’s way of love.

Lord, in the face of many changes today, help us to live truly Christian lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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