Posted by: SandreS | August 3, 2009

Suffering the Loss of Religion

… Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach (Hebrews 13:13).

We will now begin looking at some of the venues of special suffering. The first one that we will consider is the loss of religion. Many who profess Christ are seemingly quite comfortable within the confines of religion. They operate there apparently without any qualms. Others, however, must follow their consciences unto Him “outside the camp.”

Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach (Hebrews 13:12-13).

Those of us who have gone forth “unto Him without the camp” see it as a great blessing of freedom; but at any rate it is still a great loss to us. We have seen before that Paul regarded his own religious past as a “loss for Christ.”

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ (Philippians 3:7-8).

Paul lost the honor, reputation, respectability and prestige that came along with his religion. Walking away from one’s religion can indeed be a great “loss.” Though liberating beyond comparison, still it can be a very painful and gut-wrenching experience of suffering: loss of “place,” loss of “purpose,” loss of “friendship,” loss of “identity,” loss of “history,” loss of “belonging,” loss of “fellowship,” loss of “ministry,” loss of “recognition,” loss of “privilege,” loss of “sentimental” things. Only one who has been through it knows of the great suffering associated with it. Nonetheless, with Paul we can say, “those I counted loss for Christ.”

This is suffering that is above and beyond, and it will be copiously surpassed in celestial wealth – in “due season!”

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr
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