Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. ~ Isaiah 51:7
Do those professing Christianity fear men and their opinions today? Sadly too many do. They fear losing their lofty social status, their financial position, political power, and academic authority or even just the association of friends and family. Like Peter, they deny knowing Christ whether by their silence, words, actions, or lack thereof.
Sure, they may have made a profession of faith, even done good works in the name of Christ but where is their faith in action? James tells us in chapter 2:17 that faith alone without works is a dead faith. Such folks have no saving faith in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. They have put themselves and their wellbeing ahead of Christ and others while looking back to where they came from.
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. ~ Luke 9:62
The Lord sees such folks as unfit for His Kingdom. If they remain unrepentant and unchanged, they will not enter into Heaven. Most will argue that they were saved and cannot lose their salvation so such warnings do not apply. But they do apply, as our verse makes clear that God is addressing those who are His. We can argue that they turned from their salvation or they were never saved to begin with. It little matters because what is at stake is their final destination.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves... ~ 2 Corinthians 13:5a
Fear of man and his view of us is the work of the devil whose aim is to make us ineffective for Christ and to torment us with guilt. If our faith is true we know that God’s Word is sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) and cuts to the sinners’ heart and brings him to repent and be born again. It is therefore the duty and the privilege of Christians to Glorify God in word and deed.
This is the only way we have any hope of laying aside our fear of man and what he thinks or can do. If we draw closer to the Lord He will draw closer to us. Friends, we cannot expect to be part time Christians and receive anything from God.
When an opportunity to glorify the Lord by defending Him, His Word or the Christian faith presents itsself, take full advantage and let the chips fall where God allows them to fall. Your reward will be in Heaven and just may include the souls of others.