Matthew 24:16-18 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (17) Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, (18) and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.
These verses are of course from the Lord’s words to His disciples which we call the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25). Jesus is speaking to them here about the coming destruction of Jerusalem, but we can correctly apply what He says to our own daily lives now as well:
We see that flight from danger may sometimes be the positive duty of a Christian. The servant of Christ undoubtedly is not to be a coward. He is to confess his master before men. He is to be willing to die, if needful, for the truth. But the servant of Christ is not required to run into danger, unless it comes in the line of duty. He is not to be ashamed to use reasonable means to provide for his personal safety when no good is to be done by dying at his post. There is deep wisdom in this lesson. The true martyrs are not always those who court death, and are in a hurry to be beheaded or burned. [J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, p. 318-19]
One of the most deceitful and wicked wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing that I have ever known used to love to push this business upon people. “Oh but just think of your reward in heaven if you willingly undergo this suffering,” he loved to say to people who were being reviled and maligned by some other wolf among the flock. Of course if anyone were to malign HIM, he would blow up in anger and not stand for it for a second. Abusers have double standards you know. Always double standards.