One of the greatest theologians of the early church, Athanasius, was born in AD 298 in Egypt and became the bishop of Alexandria on June 8, 328 at the age of 30. He died on May 2, 373 at the age of 75. He is best known for his lifelong battle articulating and defending Christ's deity and worshiping Christ as Lord and God. There were times when it seemed the whole world had abandoned orthodoxy, giving rise to the phrase "Athanasius contra Mundum" (Athanasius against the world). He stood steadfast against overwhelming defection from orthodoxy.
Athanasius fought a war for orthodoxy lasting 45 years - all his life. The orthodox victory was just over the horizon when he died in 373. Although he didn't live to see final victory, history records that Athanasius clearly was the sword God used win that particular victory for orthodoxy. The outcome was the result of his courage, consistency, thoughtful work and writing. No one comes close to his influence in the cause of biblical truth during his lifetime.
We need to remember that our actions in this life will echo on long after our death - either for good or evil. The life of Athanasius still powerfully resonates for good an astounding 18 centuries after his death. This is certainly one of the reasons that God reserves final judgement for everyone until history is consummated at the return of Christ. Our lives can continue to bear fruit - good or bad - after death.
Don't be afraid to stand Contra Mundum for Christ, just as Athanasius did. The cost may be great but your impact will be incalculable lasting well beyond your death.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." Matthew 5:13 [NIV]