“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
– Luke 14:26-28
Every time I read this scripture, I am challenged. Why? Because the average presentation of the Gospel today contains nothing of the cost of following our Lord Jesus Christ. However, since we have become disciples of Jesus that means we will also share in the sufferings that He suffered. Jesus himself said,
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. – John 15:18-19
So why do I bring this up? Because many of us in the Western world have never experienced true persecution up to this point. I believe this time of ease is coming to an end. In recent years, we have seen an increased hatred towards God and His people. A hatred that shows no sign of relenting. As Christians, we must be ready for the inevitable persecution to come. We will need to stand on the firm foundation of Christ and pray for the perseverance to endure the tribulations that are on the horizon.
Will this be easy? Absolutely not. Jesus makes that clear in Luke 14. He states that your allegiance must be to Him no matter the outcome. You may lose friends and family. You may lose your job. You may even lose your life. But that is the call that Jesus has placed on those who desire to follow Him. We must be willing to pay any price, so that as we share in these sufferings (like Jesus), we might also be glorified at His return (like Jesus).
I know. It’s not the most uplifting message. But try to think of it like this. Jesus went before us as a forerunner. He suffered. He was rejected. He was betrayed. He was killed. He also did all of these things willingly because the purpose of His humiliation purchased redemption for those who might put their faith in Him.
How about you? Are you willing to suffer in the same manner? Are you willing to lay your life down for Jesus in the same way that He has laid His life down for you?
I can think of no greater honor than to suffer for His namesake. In doing so, we show the world that we have considered the cost of following our Lord and any consequence it entails is worth it. Why? Because in the end we will gain so much more.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
Hold firm to this truth. For when Christ comes back, He is coming with His reward and we will enter into a glory that will far surpass these light and momentary afflictions.
May the Lord bless you and keep you until that Final Day. Maranatha!
AV Manager, Last Days Overcomers