By Ken Blue
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38.
The above verse should be read in its entire context to get the correct interpretation. Many pastors, in their zeal and effort to get sinners “down the aisle,” have quoted it, suggesting that failure to publicly come to the “altar” proves one is ashamed and that he is not saved.
This is a travesty, and it is the pastor who should be ashamed. Why not go all the way and tell the sinner if he is ashamed to get baptized, join the church, start tithing, go soul-winning, and stop smoking, the Lord will be ashamed of him and deny him heaven?
The context is not talking about heaven, the church, or the rapture. Nor does it have anything to do with a particular public profession of salvation. The entire text has to do with Jews acknowledging that Jesus is the Christ and demonstrating it, even unto death. Also, the text calls Jesus “the Son of man.” This is a title concerning His reign on earth as Israel’s Messiah. He is never called Son of man in any of the church epistles.
Notice also, it is not the rapture of the church mentioned here, but the Second Advent, following the Tribulation. Most of the Jews, who acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, will be required to physically lay down their life in the coming Tribulation, if they hope to be resurrected and enter the Kingdom.
There is nothing the sinner must do or can do today to be saved. It has all been done for him! By faith in the finished work of Christ, he is made acceptable in the Beloved. It is not predicated on whether he is ashamed or not. There is no aisle one must walk, no profession one must make, and no church one must join, nor is there a set time one must make a public profession.
Finally, let me ask you, have you ever been ashamed to speak up for Jesus? Aren’t there situations right now, where you are ashamed to speak for Him? Do you think He is going be ashamed of you at His coming? Peter denied the Lord three times! Do you think Jesus will be ashamed of him? If we can’t understand the verse in its context, it is best we leave it alone. Why abuse a verse which was never intended to feed our ego? It is the pastor who uses it to goad people who ought to be ashamed.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.