Ladies, please excuse me while I address the men.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus invited a ragtag group of men to follow Him, and follow Him they did, most to a martyr’s death. Sometime during the 20th Century, Jesus’ command to follow Him into war [spiritual war] became replaced with “Come join me in a personal relationship, be my best friend forever.”
Guess how many times the Bible presents Salvation as a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ”? CORRECT, ZERO!
Some brilliant person came up with this great idea of repackaging what it meant to follow Jesus in hopes of making such a commitment more appealing and easier to accept.
What have been the consequences of the “personal relationship gospel”? I can think of two right off hand:
1) Countless “Christians” have walked away once difficulties arose because their BFF seemed nowhere to be found
2) the lack of men in churches today has become a shameful tragedy.
Gentlemen, can I just invite you to follow Jesus? Yes, He has promised to never leave nor forsake us, but when in battle, who would want to be forsaken, who would want to be left behind? No, men; follow Jesus and I promise you an adventure of a lifetime. You will encounter difficulty, opposition, trials, adversity, and much, much more. You will be commanded to count the cost before signing up, and what might those costs be? Jesus demands EVERYTHING, not some conditional, half-hearted gesture of support. You will be guaranteed to face challenges you cannot fathom.
But my friends, all the difficulties, all of the challenges, all of the mountains you encounter can be overcome through Jesus Christ who strengthens you.
Gentlemen, Jesus Christ does not want to be your “Best Friend Forever”, He wants to be your King and Commander!
See you beaten, battered, and bruised, but still standing at the finish line!