Continued from here.
Before you flood my inbox with outrage over this topic, let me assure you that I believe that having a close, deep, personal, and intimate relationship with God is worth any cost. I have paid heavy costs for my own relationship with God. I have lost friendships that were dear to me. I have been rejected by extended family. I have been fired for refusing to violate God’s law and look the other way while my employer did something unethical. God has richly blessed me for all I have lost to follow Him. I have found that following Jesus is worth any price I must pay.
In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:33).
I don’t think most people take the time to estimate the cost before receiving Jesus as Savior. They come to a place where they realize their current eternal destiny is hell and don’t want to go there. Receiving Jesus as Savior seems like a better option since then they can avoid hell and go to heaven when they die. (I’m sure it’s less than flattering for God to know that so many people choose Him solely as as a better alternative than hell.) But Jesus wasn’t looking for people to change allegiance solely to avoid hell. He said,
And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).
I see no option in the Bible to receive just enough of God to avoid going to hell but otherwise return to living your life however you feel like it. And carrying your cross and following Jesus is not simply warming a pew for an hour on Sunday mornings. Carrying your cross and following Jesus means you no longer get to live your life however you want, and yet I don’t think many Christians get this memo before deciding to receive Jesus as Savior. I believe far too many people are seeking to call Jesus Savior without calling Him Lord, and that is the underlying reason for their misery.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace looking into an empty wallet with insects flying out of it. Courtesy Bitmoji.]