Sunday, July 15, 2012

Counting the cost of following Jesus

Dear Christians, may we never regulate the teachings of God to one group or circle of friends while entertaining other groups or circles of friends with only worldly chatter with an indifferent attitude for their souls with no warning (Luke 16:28) of the wrath of God which is to come (Colossians 3:6). Knowing that if they do not repent and believe in our Lord Jesus (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 4:10-12; Acts 20:21) that their souls will perish in hell for all eternity (John 3:16;  2 Corinthians 4; Revelation 21:8).

Count the cost of following Jesus (Luke 14:28). As believers we will be hated by the majority of men and women because of Jesus (Mark 13:13). We will be excluded, insulted, and our names will be rejected as evil because we follow Jesus (Isaiah 66:5; Luke 6:22). There will be distress and suffering which is tribulations (Matthew 13:21; John 16:33; Romans 5:3). Experience hardships (2 Corinthians 6:4). We may be tortured (Hebrews 11:35). There will be harassment, isolation, imprisonment, fear, and pain which is persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). We will encounter various trials and our faith will be tested (James 1:2, 3). We may be arrested and killed (Matthew 24:9). Knowing that it is hard to enter the kingdom of heaven (Mark 10:24).

We are to lay aside the old self (Proverbs 16:6; Ephesians 4:20-32; Ephesians 5:3-5; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:17), Turn away from evil (1 Peter 3:11). Imitate (1 Corinthians 4:16). Strive to enter the narrow gate (Luke 13:24; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Do not love our lives in this world (John 12:25). Do not crave the things of this world (1 John 2:17).  Expecting the Lord to discipline us because He loves us (Hebrews 12:4-11).

We are to obey the Gospel (Mark 16:15; Luke 6:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:8)   Love our enemies and pray for them (Luke 6:35). Use the law to bring people to Christ (Psalm 19:7; Galatians 3:24). Expose the deeds of darkness wherever it is found (Ephesians 5:11). Be kind to everyone, able to teach and patient when wronged (2 Timothy 2:24). We are to advise, urge, warn, encourage, help, give, love, confess our sins, share burdens and pray for our fellow brothers and sisters-in-Christ (Romans 7:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 5:14; James 5:16; 2 Timothy 2:22: 1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 13:13).  And so many more verses.

Charles Spurgeon wrote, "Have you no wish for [all your friends and] others [including your enemies] to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself, be sure of that."

"The saving of souls, if a man has once gained love to perishing sinners and his blessed Master, will be an all-absorbing passion to him. It will so carry him away, that he will almost forget himself in the saving of others. He will be like the brave fireman, who cares not for the scorch or the heat, so that he may rescue the poor creature on whom true humanity has set its heart. If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” Charles Spurgeon

Rejoice, leap for joy and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great (Matthew 5:12; 6:4,6,17-18; 10:42; Luke 6:23; 6:35; 1 Corinthians 3:8; Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 11:6; James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 22:12).