I was posed this question today, and it’s challenged me.
The question is: If someone came to your church or your home with a gun and told you to renounce Jesus or die right there, what would be your choice?
I like to think I know what I would do in this situation. Of course, I want to be found faithful. Christ said that if we deny Him here, He will deny us before His Father. I do NOT want to be denied before the Maker of the Universe.
We hear a lot about “choice” these days, don’t we? On this, the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, the airwaves are inundated with the word “choice”. We do have a choice, God, in his mercy, gives us that choice, it’s called “free will”, and He is a gentleman, he will not force us into choosing His way. But, we are told in His Word, that our choices have consequences. If we choose His perfect will for our lives, it brings life. Choosing to exclude, or ignore His will, brings death.
The choice to follow and serve Him is presented in a much more subtle way these days than a gun to the head. “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” are all just as deadly, but much more subtle. Will I choose to serve God and others, or myself. Will I choose humility or pride? Contentment or instant gratification? If I am in a habit of choosing the latter of each of these choices, I might as well have put a gun to my head myself.
The truth is, if I live a life of self-service, I’m dead already and don’t know it.
Only in taking up my cross and following Christ can I enter into the life that He offers, that abundant life. It’s a paradox, isn’t it? The greatest in the Kingdom are those who have humbled themselves in service. Contentment doesn’t come from what we accumulate, but from what we give away. Abundant life is not in self-sufficiency, or self-love, or self-gratification…that life is in dying to our self, and coming alive in Him.