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Rediscover the Bible for Life
“Being A Secret Disciple”
By Dennis Lee
In the fourth-century there lived a Christian monk named Telemachus. He lived in a remote village tending his garden and spending much of his time in prayer. One day he heard God’s voice calling him to go to Rome.
When he arrived it was the time of a great festival. Telemachus followed the crowd into the Coliseum. He saw the gladiators stand before the emperor saying, “We who are about to die salute you.” When he realized these men were going to fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowd he cried out, “In the name of Christ, stop!”
He pushed his way through the crowd, climbed over the wall, and dropped onto the arena’s floor. When the crowd saw this tiny figure rushing at the gladiators yelling, “In the name of Christ, stop!” they thought it was part of the show and began laughing.
However, when they realized it wasn’t, the laughter turned to anger. As he was pleading with the gladiators to stop, one of them plunged a sword into his body. He fell to the sand. As he was dying, his last words were, “In the name of Christ, stop!”
Then a strange thing happened. As the gladiators stood looking at this tiny man hush fell over the Coliseum. One by one in dead silence everyone left the Coliseum.
The year was 391 BC, and that was the last battle to the death in the Roman Coliseum. Never again in this great stadium did men kill each other for the entertainment of the crowd, all because of one tiny voice. One voice – one life – that spoke the truth in God’s name!
That story illustrates the power that one person can have when they courageously take a stand for the Lord.
Today we compromise our beliefs so as not to upset the fun or recreation of others. And in churches people are in endless discussions concerning beliefs and values, not so they may keep them, but rather to see now many they can eliminate.
Today people say it isn’t necessary to go to church, to tithe, to get baptized, or witness. Christianity for many is merely a fire insurance policy, a guarantee against hell, but at the same time refusing to follow God.
The Bible teaches us to discover God’s will, which involves finding out what it says, and then living our lives in accordance with it.
Being a Christian means to live a Christ-like life, but also to live it in such a way where others know that we’re Christians. It’s unthinkable for Christians to be secret disciples, and Jesus makes this perfectly clear.
“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:8-9)
When I think about what Christians in other countries go through for their faith and testimony, including isolation, torture, brutality, prison, and death, where being a secret disciple would be the wise thing to do; they will have none of it.
And so in America, the land of the free, there’s no place for secret discipleship. Not to live publicly for Jesus because someone might make fun of us, or that it will stop us from enjoying the pleasures of sin without guilt, is a shame and shows how little we care for God’s glory and how much we care for our own pleasures and reputations.
Dennis Lee is the senior pastor of Living Waters Fellowship in Mesquite, NV.
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