ZEAL--Re Reproach.

Q740:2 QUESTION--2--In order for the saints to do their duty, is it necessary for them to be so zealous for the Lord and His work as to bring bitter reproach upon themselves?

ANSWER--Well, it would depend. There is a mild way of doing things that will avoid much of the bitterness and much of the reproach, and that is the better way. You will notice the Apostle Paul's method, when addressing some of the notable men before whom he was called, Felix, Festus, Agrippa, etc. He might have said something in a very braggadocio style that would have aroused the opposition of everybody present. He might have said, What are you? What is the Roman Empire? The Lord Jesus is greater than you all. All that would have been true, but he did not say it. He said, I am glad, most noble King Agrippa, that I am privileged to make my defense in your presence, because I know you are familiar with the things in the Law and in Jewry. You see, he was very complimentary. He did not bring opposition because of foolishness, and that is the lesson that you and I want to learn. The Lord is not going to bless you much for doing foolish things. Be as "wise as serpents and as harmless as doves." Whenever you have done the best you can, don't be surprised if the world, even after you have done them a kindness, should hate you. Our Lord said, "Marvel not if the world hate you and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." You will get plenty of it then. You are to be prepared then, dear friends, for plenty of opposition, and this will be a time for your faithfulness. The Scriptures tell us that whosoever will live godly in this present age shall suffer persecution. If you do not have any persecution, it is a sign that you are not living godly, and you had better hurry up and live godly, so as to have a chance of getting into the Kingdom--only do not make the mistake of acting foolishly. I do not mean to say that I myself have not done things that were not done in the wisest manner, but I hope we are all learning to be as wise as we can.