[b]"Forsake COWARDLY CHRISTIANITY"[/b]
-extracts by Jesse Morrell.
"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up
his cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23).
I perceive many unspoken attitudes in the hearts of Church-goers
today. "I'll live for God so long as it doesn't damage my reputation."
"I'll live a holy life so long as it doesn't negatively affect my
relationship with my family." "I'll pray for God's Kingdom to come
so long as it doesn't touch my finances." "I'll preach the gospel so
long as it doesn't land me in prison." Ultimately this is saying, "I'll
follow Christ so long as there is not a cost, so long as there is no cross."
All of these attitudes stink with the stench of the wisdom of men.
They smell of the fragrance of the spirit of the world, and are
entirely contrary to the wisdom and knowledge of God. This is the
cowardice which has replaced Christianity. But the wisdom of God,
the knowledge of the Lord is not to seek to save your life, but
being ready and willing to lose your life for Christ's sake. (Luke 17:33).
Christianity begins when men and women are willing to lay down
all that they have for the purposes of Christ. Until a person gets to
the point where they are willing to be crucified with Christ, to be
willing to let go of all in order to gain Him, they have yet to reach
even the entry level of Christianity. This mentality of total
abandonment unto Christ is not to be the exception for the
Christians life but is to be the rule for all Christian lives.
Being a follower of Christ, boldly and loudly proclaiming the gospel,
living a holy life, will surely cost you your entire life. The path of
Christ is the path of martyrdom. The path of Christianity has
always been lit by the light of burning martyrs. Though not all
Christians will die the death of a martyr, all Christians are to live
the life of a martyr.
The modern comfortable Church must be transformed into a
conquering Church and that will happen only when this heroic spirit
of Christianity is recaptured. We must so value souls and so love
Christ that the anthem of the Church becomes "His Kingdom at any cost!"
As an old hymn says,
"There is a love constraining me
To go and seek the lost;
I yield, O Lord, my all to Thee
To save at any cost"
But when our Christian encouragements consist of, "just stay out
of trouble," "don't get arrested," "don't make people angry," "be
safe," "don't be a nuisance," "don't be a martyr," then it's no
wonder the devil and his kingdom continues to advance and gain
more and more power in our country and in the rest if the world.
The salvation of souls must be viewed more valuable then the
securing of our own lives. A soul winning Church is a Church that
would rather see their own lives taken than to see the souls of lost
men to be damned.
Cowardly Christianity never poses a threat to the powers and
principalities of darkness. Cowardly Christianity never grabs hold
of a generation and re-shapes history. Only Courageous
Christianity is Kingdom Christianity. A pampered Church is never
a powerful Church. A comfortable Church is a crippled Church.
But Christ wants a crucified Church, dead to the love of praise,
practice of sin, and pleasure of the world.
E. M. Bounds once wrote that a Christian "must throw himself,
with all the abandon of a perfect, self emptying faith and a self-
consuming zeal, in his work for the salvation of men. Hearty,
heroic, compassionate, fearless martyrs must the men be who
take hold of and shape a generation for God. If they be timid time-
servers, place-seekers; if they be men-pleasers or men-fearers; if
their faith has a weak hold on God or His Word; if their denial be
broken by any phase of self or the world, they cannot take hold of
the Church of the World for God."
The Church which fears neither death nor man but only God is an
unstoppable Church. Their very blood becomes drops of water to
the seed of the gospel. To silence the Apostles the devil needed
to resort to execution. Is that true of us today? Will the decrease
of your popularity or favor silence your lips? Will the prospect of
suffering and pain hinder your speech? Or will you all the more
boldly proclaim the gospel and dedicate your life for God's purposes?
We must rid ourselves of all thoughts of self preservation and
replace it with actions of self-sacrifice. Our attitude must be that of
Christ who said, "Not my will, but Thine, be done." (Lu 22:42) Our
perspective must be that of Paul who said, "For our light affliction,
which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which
are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things
which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are
eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Lay down your life with all of your hopes, dreams, and desires for
the sake of Christ and His gospel and pick up the cross, seeking
not to save your own life but to give it for the Kingdom of God.
The gates of hell will shake and the hosts of hell will tremble when
the heartbeat of the Church becomes, "His Kingdom at any cost!"
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon