Acts 5.41 records, they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
The Church was able to grow from a handful of believers in Jesus into a world wide religion because it has been willing to suffer dishonor for the proclamation of Jesus as the only God and Savior of the world. When the Church has lost influence it has been the result of those who profess Jesus as Savior privately being afraid to do so publicly lest they suffer for proclaiming His ways.
America is currently in a Christian moral decline. The great Christian influencers of the past have gone and most of those who privately confess Christianity and are leaders in business, education, media and government are afraid to identify themselves with the ways of Jesus lest they suffer prestige and revenue. If we wont identify with Jesus from fear of losing reputation or finances what do we truly love more? Ourselves and our money or God?
Recently a hundred year plus organization with Christian roots made a special promotion for the LGBTQ community. Why? It is politically expedient to do so certainly. While most of this organization’s leaders still privately profess Christian values their public works deny the God they supposedly serve. It’s not that members of the LGBTQ shouldn’t be loved or served by this or any other Christian business, they should. It’s that this Christian organization should not go out of its way to endorse their lifestyle if they adhere to the rules of God Who declared the practice of LGBTQ to be offensive to Him.
All disobedience to God is punishable by death and was punished by God upon Jesus at the cross. The appropriation of God’s pardon to His people for their disobedience requires a repentance from disobedience and a submission to obedience to God. An obedience made possible now by the Spirit of God Who works within God’s people to accomplish His will which conforms to His Word.
If the world is to move closer to Jesus, if the Church is to regain its influence in the world, Christians will have to return to a willingness to suffer dishonor for appropriating and proclaiming the ways of God in Jesus Christ. The longer we wait the harder it will be when finally courageous men and women begin to do so.