In his sermon, “The Dangers of Following Jesus,” John Piper says:
The days will soon be gone, if they aren’t already, when you can assume that it is safe to follow Jesus—to stand for his majesty and his commandments. So I have been thinking much about whether I am willing to pay the price. And if I say yes, where will I get the courage and the freedom to suffer with Jesus?
It isn’t just Islam with its endorsement of holy violence that makes following Jesus dangerous today. Consistent biblical Christians, who don’t absorb the spirit and trends of the age, are increasingly at odds with major forces in our society. And what makes the situation so volatile is that those forces are increasingly strident and increasingly invested with legal sanction.
For example, the Bible commands me and you to believe and stand for truths that are so offensive to radical feminism and to homosexual rights groups and abortionists and the pornography industry that we could easily be assaulted by hired assailants or taken to court for conspiring to deny rights or shot by a fanatic who believes he is serving God.
John 16:2 says, “Indeed the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”
John 15:20 says, “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.”
The more clearly your life shows what God demands of people, the more dangerous will be your life. I think that is what Paul meant when he said in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” The greater your desire to be godly, the more you will offend people committed to unbelief and sin and relativism.
Jesus said, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19). In other words, if you let your light shine for Christ, the children of the light will come and glorify God because your good works, but the children of darkness will not come and will call your goodness many other names.