The earnest desire of the true disciple is to be like his Master.  Christ was hated and persecuted by the world, and so will we be, if we are true imitators of Him.  If we speak the truth in love, without compromise, the world will hate us, though we are in truth laboring for the good of their immortal souls.  As they insulted Christ, scorning Him as demon-possessed, so will they do to His faithful servants.  Every foul adjective and epithet in the book has been hurled against the faithful servants of Christ, simply because they denounce sin and preach Jesus as the only Saviour of sinners.  But because we may expect such hateful treatment, we are commanded to not fear men; for, as wise Solomon says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare.”  Fearing men will divert us out of the straight path of humble service to Christ, and will cause us to compromise the Word of God to placate ungodly men.  We are to go boldly forward, trumpeting whatever we have learned from Christ and the Scriptures from the housetops, that all men might hear the good news that God justifies the ungodly, and makes them new creatures designed to walk in good works.

Because we have such good news, and because we have such a wonderful Master, and because eternal souls hang in the balance, we are to trust in the sovereign protection of God.  He Who cares for the sparrow is well able to care for us.  Yes, it is true that wicked men may go so far as to torture and kill us.  But how much more ought we to fear God, who can no only slay our bodies, but is able to destroy both soul and body in hell!  This is one of the fundamental facts of existence: death and judgment.  Men can effect the one, but they cannot affect the other, nor can they escape it.  Let us, then, fear God’s judgment more than we fear men’s wrath, and thus we shall remain spiritually safe.