04 November 2009

Counting the Cost

Have we counted the cost to follow Christ? Or, is the Christian life a barrier against the outside forces of evil we don't like? Is worship a weekly gathering of saints or is it a social club that insulates you from the ugliness of those people you don't like? John Stott tells us in his Basic Christianity that....The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half-built towers - the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ's warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so called "nominal Christianity." In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a descent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved; enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great, soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience. No wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism.

The message of Jesus was very different. He never lowered his standards or modified his conditions to make his call more readily acceptable. He asked his first disciples, and he has asked every disciple since, to give him their thoughtful and total commitment. Nothing less than this will do
(page 108).

These are powerful words written to us in a time when we need to count the cost for following Christ. Is Christ your hobby or your passion?

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