they will accept the truth and we shall gain our families for the Lord by setting a faithful example of belief and good works.
24. Why stick to the work despite family opposition? How?
24 The counsel on overcoming family opposition is found in Jesus’ words at Matthew 10:34-39 (Am. Stan. Ver.): “Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law: and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that doth not take his [stake] and follow after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Jesus showed that there would be great crises in the families who accepted Christ and followed in the right way. No Christian must permit family opposition to keep him back from serving Jehovah God and Christ, but the Christian must put the love of Christ first, else he would fail to prove worthy. If others in the family became so violent as to take the Christian believer’s life, then Christ would restore life in the Kingdom time; but if one would back up into inactivity in order to save his life, in the end he would displease the Life-giver and lose everlasting life. By keeping the love of the Lord as of first importance and the other required things secondary, we will properly stick to our work.
How to Stick to It
1. How do business and worldly goods tend to slow down our work?
IN order to maintain our lives we must have a certain amount of this world’s goods. Will worldly goods become a hindrance to us in our Christian work? Will we fall into the snare of the enemy because we become afraid of losing a steady income from our secular work? Pressure is often put on those who have taken up God’s service. They are boycotted in their business establishments, particularly in such places as Quebec, where false religion holds sway. Again, there may be merely threats of financial or business losses. We know that if there is any selfishness or pride in us it will be worked on by our adversary to slow us down in our work. Here is another great test of the Christian’s faith. The Lord has promised to provide all the needs of his servants. (Matt. 6:33) Will their faith be strong enough? Will they take the Lord at his Word? Based upon his knowledge and faith, the apostle Paul came out with a statement of the sensible Christian position: “If we have food and clothing we will be satisfied. But men who want to get rich fall into temptations and snares and many foolish, harmful cravings, that plunge people into destruction and ruin. For love of money is the root of all the evils, and in their eagerness to get rich, some men wander away from the faith and pierce themselves to the heart with many a pang.”—1 Tim. 6:8-10, An Amer. Trans.
2. What part do worldly attractions and our lusts tend to play?
2 Satan tries to make the things of this world appear alluring to those in God’s work. There are many lusts of the flesh which war against the spiritual things. (1 Cor. 10:6-11; Jas. 1:14, 15; 1 Pet. 2:11) There are the pleasures of this life which can be allowed to take up all of our consecrated time. If we have plenty of this world’s goods we may become afraid to lose the easy way of life for the work’s sake. The attractions of the old world can be a cause of looking backward. It happened in the early Christian days and is still happening today. As the apostle Paul testified in his writing (2 Tim. 4:9, 10): “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: for Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica.” Demas had great opportunities of serving God in company with the apostle Paul, but he lost out because he did not stick to his work. By taking the course in life that he chose he could only lose his chances to obtain everlasting life, which he evidently did.
3. How do discord and evilspeaking tend to operate?
3 Our wily foe uses other methods to slow down God’s servants. He sows discord among the brethren. It is often that we are evil spoken of by the world; but when such things come from the mouths of those who are associated in the work it is not easily taken. It hurts deeply. If our faith is not strong, we may become offended and isolate ourselves from other Christians. That is a mistake; it may cause us to stop the work. That is why we must not allow disunity to creep into our ranks. We must quickly settle any differences that arise and keep going forward in the work.—Prov. 6:14, 16, 19; Eph. 4:3, 12, 13, 31, 32; Col. 3:12, 13.
4. Why must we be alert and have a positive viewpoint of our work?
4 Because we are attacked from so many sides by the evil one, we must keep alert and fight hard to go ahead. We cannot afford to take chances with our lives, so we must always have a positive viewpoint. There is danger in being indecisive, pausing on the way to life. We are wise when we understand that once we have made a consecration to serve God there is never any question about how to decide matters.