Are you facing pressure to give up on Jesus?
Opposition. We all face it in some form at some stage or another. And if we're Christians, Jesus has promised that we'll face it.
For you, it might be atheist friends or teachers at school or uni making you feel stupid for believing in God, who we can't see. It might be non-believing friends who want you to go to their parties, to drink and pick up, to abandon all the ‘boring rules' of Christianity.
This kind of opposition can really shake our confidence in what we've learnt about God, and make you think, "Has science disproved the Bible?" "Am I missing out on a full life by not going to parties, drinking and having sex?"
In the face of opposition, Paul's letter to the Christians in a little Turkish town called Colossae has a lot to say to us!
The Colossian Christians weren't facing atheists and partying mates. Their opponents were some very religious people. The Colossian Christians were a young group of Christians. They were new to following Jesus. And they had a Jewish Synagogue (like a Jewish Church) giving them a hard time for following Jesus.
They were saying that Jesus was inferior to their religion. After all, he was just a man who the Romans ended up crucifying. They were telling the Christians that they needed to obey all these old Jewish Laws about what foods you couldn't eat and all the certain times you were meant to wash your hands, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Remember who Jesus is!
The Christians in Collosae were losing their confidence: "Is Jesus really all we need to be right with God?" "Am I missing out on something because I choose to follow Jesus?"
Paul's answer is amazingly simple: Jesus is the best. Jesus is 'supreme' (not the pizza...). Jesus beats religion, and we are missing out on nothing by following him. Why?
Because Jesus is God. Paul says that Jesus is the 'image of the invisible God' (1:15), and that in Jesus, 'all the fullness of the Deity (God) lives in bodily form' (2:9). Jesus is God!
Paul wanted the Colossians to remember who they were following: God in the flesh! And he wanted them to find strength in who they were following. They were not missing out on anything by following Jesus, in fact, they had true fullness in life.
You're not missing out
The message of Colossians is for us too: by following Jesus, you are not mentally inferior. You are not missing out on anything fulfilling that parties and drinking and sex can offer. You have fullness in Jesus, and the promise of an eternity with him and everyone who has followed him.
So stand firm. Don’t give in to the people who give you a hard time. Remember Jesus and don’t give up!
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