Radical Faith Demands Radical Resolve
"And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." -Luke 9:62 (KJV)
Tradition has recorded that the Apostle John was boiled in oil by the Roman Emperor Domitian around 90AD, but the oil did not harm John. Subsequently he was exiled to the [prison] island of Patmos where he penned the Book of Revelation and then after some years died from old age. All the other Apostles died terrible deaths at the hands of wicked and evil madmen whose purpose it was to stamp out Christianity.
Jesus demands radical faith for those who follow Him. He requires that we give up everything and even pick up our cross if we want to follow Him. Many Christian lives were snuffed out in Asia in the last couple of years at the hands of ISIS. I recall news reports of many children who would not recant Christ as their Savior had their heads chopped off. Folks, this is serious, and demands urgent and radical faith. Have you taken the time to count the true cost of following Jesus in your life?
"Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31- Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32- Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33- So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." -Luke 14:30-33 (KJV)
Western Christianity these days means lots of comfort with minimal persecution. Worship is uninhibited and many services and activities proceed each week with little resistance. There are not many challenges to our faith in terms of counting the cost but there is measuring stick by which we can gage where we are at right now. When you decide to follow Jesus you must deny yourself and be prepared to give up everything. When you know you should read your Bible, you and I make excuses. When we should tell others about the Good News, we make excuses. When we should take a stand in our faith against those who slam Christianity, we cower and make excuses to remain silent.
Take a look at Luke 14:16-24. A big [free] dinner was being given and many were invited yet they all began to make excuses why they couldn't attend. Take a look at the three characteristic reasons or excuses given why they couldn't attend. Could these be the same ones given today?
The Apostles knew the cost of following Jesus; they lived in a dangerous time as Christianity was just getting started. But what about today? The world is trying once again, America liberals are hard at it, trying to extinguish Christianity even right here in America. They are tightening the thumb screws on freedom of religion and Christians are feeling the pressure. Nothing to the point of widespread life threatening but nevertheless some persecution is now starting to take shape. It's time to count the cost of our faith and our dedication to following Jesus.
Are you prepared – have you counted the cost – to lose friends, have family turn on you, be persecuted, perhaps faced with losing your job or even in extreme circumstances face death – all for your faith in Christ?
Jesus said that He came to bring division and not peace (Luke 12:51-53). There will be times when you and I will face these things for our faith. The question is are we ready? Do we have enough "guts" in our faith to face a cauldron of boiling oil as John faced? Or will we shrink back from our position in Christ and take the wide, easy street of little pain? Will we continue to follow the Lord even when our family or friends turn on us or even shun us for following Jesus Christ?
Is our faith built on Solid Rock or on shifting sand?
What will we do in the days ahead if we can't answer these questions now? The world is changing fast and the last days before Christ's return are here. That means the Man of Perdition (Antichrist) could be making his move – hidden for now – to rule the world in the Tribulation. Many evil things are happening and deception is waxing strong. Where are you in your faith today? Are you strong and able to face down with confidence the thought of losing friends, job, wealth, etc? Are you ready for the days ahead? What would you say to those that wanted to do you harm if you professed the name of the Lord? Have you counted the cost of a life dedicated entirely to serving the Lord Jesus Christ?
Faith has to be in our actions as well as in our words.
Examine this verse in Hebrews. Will you shrink back when facing adversity?
"For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him." -Heb 13:37-38 (NASB)
Have you weighed the sacrifice to you personally? It's perhaps time to look in the mirror and make an assessment as to the length, breath and width of your faith. Is it in Christ or is it in the world? Is it in Christ or in people? Is it in Christ or just in your church? These are straight up questions for all of us to face. Jesus demands that we have radical faith, strong resolve in Him and ready to stand tall and not shrink back in any way shape or form.
-BPWatcher, Internet Preacher and Bible Prophecy Watchman
WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT!