''Why bother?'' must have been the heart-cry of many early believers. At times they had to endure so much persecution just because they loved Jesus Christ. Not only did they have the threat of imprisonment, torture and martyrdom on occasions, but they also faced job loss, discrimination and the antipathy of neighbours and even family. Was it all worth it? Paul encourages his readers to persevere. God will repay is his message and to fall back into living lives of sin was not to be considered for a moment. God can and does forgive us for our sins, but He cannot do anything about the consequences of those sins. Some have been forgiven by God, but still had to go to prison for their misdeeds. The thief on the cross still died for his wrongdoing, even though Jesus had declared to him: ''Today, you will be with me in Paradise!'' We break the moral law of the Universe at our peril. Paul returns to the practical to urge his readers to seek for opportunities to help others. It is not just for us to respond to a need that is there in front of us, but to be pro-active in our support.
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