Following Jesus in an authentic Biblical way brings us face to face with some of the toughest questions in life. When we choose to abandon what Christianity has come to represent and instead follow Jesus with all of our heart at any cost, we will find ourselves walking a very lonely path. It is far easier to say a simple prayer and attend church an hour each week than it is to forsake everything you have and pursue Christ with relentless passion. Being a follower of Jesus will rarely gain you popularity, wealth or respect. Jesus warned us that we will be despised by our own families, persecuted and even killed (Matthew 10:16-26; Matthew 24:9). For those of us in the West, these can seem to be extreme and foreign concepts. Meanwhile, every day in countries around the world, people are ripped from their homes, tortured and put into prisons with squalid living conditions for the rest of their lives. These people understand what it means to give everything for Jesus.
For those of us who choose to follow Jesus, our lives truly change forever. Our friends and families may not understand and leave us on our own. We will find our worldviews challenged and our deepest convictions overturned. When you make Jesus Lord, your life will change dramatically and that is the whole point! You cannot encounter the Creator of the Universe without being fundamentally and radically changed forever. More and more people across America and the world are seeking what it means to truly follow Jesus. They are turning away from the tried and true answers that have no Scriptural basis. The prosperity gospel, legalism and the lure of materialism have stolen the glory that belongs to God alone. He is our provider, our refuge and our strength; we need nothing other than His love to sustain us yet we have sold him out for the comforts and pleasures of this world. This world is not our home; we are spiritual beings destined to spend eternity with God and make our home with Him. How sad it will be to reach the end of our lives to discover how great is the pale of our possessions when compared to the riches of His Kingdom.
In the coming weeks I’m going to be addressing some of the specific questions our commitment to Christ presents to us. These are tough questions with even tougher answers. We cannot grow unless we are prepared to face the truth and then live in it. I’ll give you my thoughts on freewill, war and pacifism, religious holidays, the modern church, tithing, living separated, wealth and many more. I’d love to address the questions you have as well. Above all I’d like not to necessarily persuade you to align your thoughts with mine, but rather to start a dialog between passionate believers who have one goal: to zealously pursue the mission of Christ without apology or compromise. Each Thursday we’ll tackle a new question and hopefully dialog about it for the next week. Think of it as “Tough Topic Thursday”. This will work best if you join the conversation via the comment system or emailing me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org). We all have something to learn from each other, and if we do so in a spirit of unity, we can truly shake this world with the love of Jesus.
Living for Christ is dangerous, difficult and not at all popular. I hope you’ll join me in seeking the real truth about the way Jesus told us to live and in carrying out His commands. It might get lonely out there but Jesus promises to never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Dare to live the life you were created to live by fully serving the One who died for you. He is worthy of our devotion and He is worth whatever it may cost.
Question: What tough questions do you struggle with as you endeavor to follow Christ?