Friendship with Christ comes at the cost of our former friendship with the world. Today, R.C. Sproul tells us that we should not be surprised or remain discouraged if even our closest loved ones abandon us because of our love for the Lord.
One of the greatest embarrassing experiences of enlightenment I ever had was the first month that I had become a Christian. I became a Christian in college, and I went home for a weekend visit. And when I came back on Friday night to my town, I went to the drugstore where all of the guys always gathered on Friday nights. And frankly, I was their leader. All the way through high school, I was their leader. And when I came back to share with my friends the greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life, the cause of my highest happiness, my discovery of Christ as my Savior, and I sat down and I told my buddies about Christ, I fully expected every one of them to get in line and say, “Way to go, R.C.; we’re right with you.” Instead, they were unanimous in their rejection of everything that I said. And not only did they reject what I said, but they manifestly rejected me and thought I had lost my mind.
For the first time in my life, I identified with Captain Queeg. I was hurt because I told them these things because they were my friends and I loved them, and I wanted them to meet my new friend, Jesus. Has there ever been a Christian who has ever been converted by the grace of God who didn’t want to share that with all of his friends, with all of his relatives? After a while, we learn to be more discreet because we experience that often low-key, but nevertheless real, hostility that is deeply embedded in this world. This world hates the things of God by nature. This world by nature hates Christ. They can have peace with Christ as long as we make sure that we strip Him of His real identity.
But if you look at the biblical Christ and you proclaim the biblical Christ and you follow the biblical Christ with allegiance, you will be despised at some point by this world. That’s why the Bible says, “Beware of the person of whom everyone speaks well,” because if you’ve made friends with the world, you could only have done that by compromising Christ.