2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
In your life as a Christian, a hard test that will come along is when a friend or family member is following a different faith such as Catholicism. You have invested much in this person, love and care, energy, memories, emotions, sentiments, and they are an integral part of your life. They know your past, they know your person quite well from youth and have spent years with you. They also have invested much love and care for you, much is intertwined.
So when the topic of faith and the Gospel comes up, the test surely will come. The temptation is to cast both aside, as your thought is possibly hurting this person in your life you care so much for. Those are our fallen thoughts used against us and let me explain why.
Before you were saved, how did you think? Most likely the Gospel was rejected, if you were in a world religion, the thought of God was always secondary to your fight or flight fallen nature. You compromised your thoughts constantly to conform, to fit in, to appease in order to be looked at as someone with a good nature according to societal standards. Everyone around you thought the same way when it came to God, so your goal was to fit in. Your goal was to be accepted by your loved ones, not rejected.
Jesus said in Matthew 7, “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way, few find it”. I call your attention to “difficult is the way”. One saved has been placed on the path to the narrow gate and it will not be easy being shaken off the old path. The Gospel is the difficulty, it is a SHARP SWORD. It doesn’t compromise or appease to fallen natures. Coming from a fallen nature to a new nature in Christ, it is quite easy to realize this.
Our ties from our fallen life will still be in place. Some are in marriages, some have families such as mine who are encapsulated in Roman Catholicism. Some have close friends who they have grown up with and have been there for you in some terrible circumstances and have been there in your good circumstances. So what are we to do?
This is the TEST from God. If you are saved, you KNOW the Gospel which saved you and what God saved you from which mainly His wrath on your sins. Do you cast it aside, or do you stand firm? Do you compromise it and alter it or do you stand firm? A Christian will always stand firm, because they will not spit on the redemption which saved them. It is the difficult test we must endure, knowing that whatever God has planned or purposed in our relationships, it will always be to our good.
Do not fret if you failed this test a time or two, just confess that you have, and grow and learn from it, ask God to help you stand firm and bold. But failing this test continuously should put pause to your own salvation. If you aren’t standing firm, if it is easy to compromise and appease or alter the Gospel to maintain friendships, ask yourself if you are God’s child. It is a betrayal of the Gospel, and should convict every part of a newborn saved Christian if this is ever done or even thought of being done. If others are not standing firm, call them out, expose this so that they too would grow for the sake of the body of Christ.
If the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the power which has saved you, it is a living embodiment now to your new nature!
The test is a difficult one, but holding to God’s promises will always set your mind on the bigger picture. You desire your friends and family saved do you not? Then the BEST thing you can do, the MOST LOVING thing you can do is to stand firm in the Gospel! Compromise, appeasement, alterations are the worst things you could do for them!