I recently heard Pastor David Platt pose the question, “Will we sacrifice our lives so others will come to know Christ?” This is a cutting and important question. Are we willing to give up some or all of our freedom, financial security, social standing, and comfort for the sake of seeing others come to know Jesus? It’s easy to say we want the world to be saved, but when it comes down to how much it will cost us personally, we tend to balk.
I know this is true about you because it is true of me and the evidence would say it is true of the Church at large. We who claim to be disciples of Jesus are often coming up short when it comes to fulfilling the great commission and making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
Following Jesus is costly. It is never easy and there are no exceptions. Jesus told us we would face trouble if we dedicated our lives to following Him (John 16:33). The picture He painted of a devoted life (Matthew 10:16-22) is not one any of us would sign up for if not for the overwhelming love and sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. We serve Him because of what He has done for us and how much He loves us. When I look around the world and see how much Christians endure for the sake of Christ, I am both ashamed and humbled. As of this writing, I am free to worship and pray any time and any place I choose in the country in which I live. At worst I will face ridicule and scorn, which is nothing compared to the torture, imprisonment, and even death our brothers and sisters around the world face for expressing their beliefs.
In the West, Christianity rarely costs us our jobs or our lives. Things are trending in a way making it very possible this will change and probably sooner than anyone wants to think or believe. But right now, we can still serve Christ and tell others about Him with almost total freedom. Yet, we aren’t doing it. Why are Christians who share the gospel under great threat and intense pressure doing it so much more often and effectively than we who don’t face the same pressures? It shouldn’t be this way and we should all examine our hearts to determine why it is so.
At the core, I believe we are not willing to sacrifice what we have in order to share the gospel with those who so desperately need it. We like our lives just a little too much to disrupt it by speaking up and standing out for the glory of Christ. In other words, Jesus isn’t worth more to us than our comfort, security, and entertainment. God help us and forgive us. What are we doing with our lives? What does the way we are living say about what we think of Jesus? Will we sacrifice our lives completely in order to bring others to know of His love? Jesus found us worth suffering and dying for. Do we find Him worthy of the same?