Thursday, 8 February 2018

Following Christ requires Total and Absolute Self-Denial, with No Exceptions or Qualifications

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

(Luke 14:28-33)

The Christian faith is a faith of self-denial, with no exceptions or qualifications. Some may say that this is to promote "asceticism", as a cunning ruse to justify their pleasure-seeking and treasure-seeking ways. They accuse all those who promote self-denial as "ascetics", dismissing them as lunatics, or slandering them as evil pharisaical hypocrites, out of their wickedness.

The irony, for such accusers, is that asceticism is not the true self-denial which Jesus commanded at all. Rather than seeking pleasure and treasure, in satisfying one's pride in such things, it seeks pride in fulfilling the Moral Law or in some other thing, including man-made rules. 

This is in contrast to the true self-denial Jesus commanded which is to forsake one's whole self, which is far greater than what any ascetic would say. The ascetic gives up some earthly things to gain other earthy things, such as recognition for 'good works' or the praise of people. He does not give up all things for the sake of Jesus Christ. Therein lies the problem, as despite his 'good works', he is not saved from the wrath of God.

The true self-denying follower of Christ gives up all things, no matter what the cost, and does not have any regard for the gain he or she makes. That is the heart of what it means to be a true follower of Christ. True self-denial is to totally forsake all things, including good things, all for the sake of Jesus Christ, out of love for Christ. 

Such is hard saying, and many cannot accept it. That is why Jesus said few will find the way to Eternal Life: 

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

(Matthew 7:13-14).

The way to Life is not easy but absolutely worth it. Nothing can compare to it. So, seek it and never settle for the broad way, for in the end, it lead to nothing but your destruction.

So, if you are not a Christian, know this: you have sinned against God, breaking His Moral Law. Since God is perfect, good and righteous, He must punish you for breaking His Moral Law. That punishment in eternity in Hell. But God does not want that for you, as He is a God of great mercy, love and grace. God became a Man, Jesus Christ of Narazeth, to die for your sins. This was so that He could take away the just punishment due to you, so that God can pardon you of your sins against Him. You broke God's Moral Law, Jesus paid your fine, so that on the Day of Judgment, God can dismiss His case against you.

So, you need to turn from your sins (repent) and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone. You cannot rely on any of your good works, as our works are filthy rags before God. Repent and place your faith in Jesus Christ while you still have time.