Jesus tells us to fast, pray, and aid the poor secretly, and to hush up healings. We should do these things (that is, fast, pray, help the poor, and heal), but we should not say anything about it. These actions show our love for God and others, but they are not our message. They are what Christians do... but they are to be done as secretly as possible.

Doing nice things like helping the poor can make us popular if people hear about it. The world loves people who blow their own horn. But Jesus says “Don’t talk about it".

So what should we talk about? Jesus said, "Teach all nations to obey everything I have told you to do." (Matthew 28:19-20) Uh-oh! People don't want to hear that.

But it is what we need to tell them.  Even this article is an attempt to do that.

The greatest commandment is to love God and others. We should show this love by giving our time and possessions to those whom we claim to love. (1 John 3:16-17) But people don't want to be told that either. They want to be told that it’s okay to disobey Jesus. We cannot, of course, say this. "Let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:18)

Now we come to the subject of this article:  the one thing that we are allowed to brag about.

After we obey Jesus by telling others to obey him too, he says we can boast about being persecuted!

“When people revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake, rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven... You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world... Let your light shine before people so they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:11-16)

Jesus told us to keep certain good works secret. But here he is saying that people will see our good works and glorify our heavenly Father.  How can they see our good works without glorifying us?

They see our good works by seeing us being persecuted!  Our good work is just keeping our mouths shut and letting them accuse us unfairly.

Paul says, "God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me and I to it." (Galatians 6:14)

Peter says, "It is better that you suffer for well doing than for evil doing." (1 Peter 3:16-17)

The more good we do secretly, the more persecution we are going to get. (John 15:18-21) Did you notice how I said above that the world loves us when we blow our own horn?  It’s not because they admire us; it’s because they can see that we are so vain that we really are not very different to them.  They can understand us wanting to show off.  But they cannot understand us doing good things secretly… just for God and for the person we are trying to help.

The prince of this world (Satan) senses our commitment to God and love when we do good things secretly. If our actions communicate love and an absence of fear about what others think, persecution will be a natural by-product. And if we do anything to make that persecution known, it will lead to even more persecution, because the world hates martyrs.

But Jesus tells us to brag about being persecuted… even though it will bring us more persecution.  Why?  Because God himself gets glory from that.  People begin to pick up that there are better motives for doing good than being praised by others for doing it.  Most of the world lives their whole life without ever seeing anyone truly do things secretly for God.  Everywhere they turn, they see people bragging.  Telling the world how much they have prayed, making subtle references to the fact that they have fasted, reminding us about all the good things they have done for other people.  That kind of love is about the best that the system can come up with and the system rewards it.  

But God has something better, and he wants us to practice it, even though it is going to eventually lead to our execution.  Keep your good deeds secret, but do not be ashamed to take up the cross that comes from doing this. Through your persecution (and it will come if you stay faithful and stay secret), you can bring glory to your heavenly Father.  Jesus did it, and he did not rob glory for himself by doing so either.

Oh, and one other little thought is that when we practice this kind of relationship with God, then he is more likely to give us supernatural power when we need it too.  Just don’t talk about it when he does!

*For more information related to this article, please check out the following video: Bro Dave Ch. #19 - Radical Christian Martyrdom - Survivors, The Apocalyptic Novel

The theory sounds good, but in practice, they continue to be afraid of doing good, because it may plunge them back into that worst of all sins:  trying to work your way to heaven.  Even now they are openly teaching people that they can take the Mark of the Beast, for example, and it won’t result in them experiencing God’s wrath, even though the Bible clearly says that it will.  So, while it promises that righteousness will be the fruit of such a teaching, it simply does not happen.  The only disciplines that they ever get around to are their own churchy disciplines, e.g. listening to lots of lectures about how you don’t have to obey Jesus.