Convincing the church to sell Christianity as a way to achieve benefit, rather than offering Christianity as a way to be a benefit to others, is Satan’s most insidious deception.
Jesus did not die just for you – he died for everyone. Jesus invites you to participate in his death and resurrection. Baptism and Communion aren’t symbols of receiving a crown, being seated on a throne, and being given a mansion. Baptism and Communion are symbols of Suffering, Sacrifice, and Service. They are symbols of our participation with Jesus in the redemption of a world of people who are lost, and dying, and broken.
“I am crucified with Christ…” (Galatians 2:20)
“Buried with Christ in Baptism…” (Romans 6:4)
“Are you able to drink from this cup I drink?” (Matthew 20:22)
“Drink of it, all of you.” (Matthew 26:27)
“The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve.” (Matthew 20:28)
“Follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Being a servant – that is, following Jesus – isn’t popular or comfortable. Following Jesus won’t make you one of the Cool Kids. To be sure, following Jesus has its blessings, but they are the blessings of satisfaction, not the blessings of luxury. They are the blessings that come from hard work, not the blessings that come from relaxing. Following Jesus is work, then rest – not rest, and more rest. Jesus will reward you richly – but first, following him will cost you everything.
Are you ready for this kind of Christianity?
Books by Bob Young