Featured in the August, 2016 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
“I have this terrible toothache, but don’t upset me by suggesting I go to one of those dreadful dentists.”
“I really want a college education, but don’t tell me I have to quit following my baseball team around the country, so I can be regular in classes.”
“I truly want to get my debts paid off, but don’t upset me by telling me I have to quit my costly habits of gambling and smoking.”
“I am lonely as a bachelor, but don’t tell me I should get married and get tied down in some relationship for life and lose most of my freedom.”
“Yes, I am unemployed, but I get disturbed when I think of getting a job and having to get up early every morning instead of sleeping in.”
“Yes, I really want to be a Christian because I want to go to Heaven, but don’t bring up all that discipleship stuff, because I prefer Christianity that is lite. Yes, Jesus will upset you! When you become a real Christian, you become a “new creation”. “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”
(II Corinthians 5:17). Your whole life has turned upside down or more accurately right side up!
Your thinking changes as Paul the Apostle says, “Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”
(Colossians 3:2). No longer are you “conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Jesus was uneasy with big crowds following Him because He knew their insincerity and selfishness. John 6 is a good example as He fed the 5,000 and after that large numbers of people began following after Him and He spoke hard truth to trim the crowd. By the time He finished with them, we read in John 6:66, that many did not follow Him anymore. They were upset by what He taught.
On another occasion, great crowds accompanied Him and He turned and said to them, “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” (Luke 14:25-27).
It is clear most people want a smooth quiet life and avoid being upset by anyone, including Jesus. Most people have an unspoken: “Please leave me alone. I’m satisfied with my life the way it is. Don’t bother me.”
Jesus will upset you. He came to save you, not only from your sin but from yourself; because if you do what you want, instead of what He wants, you end up eternally lost. Some smooth entertainment style preachers have a new Christianity without a cross, so, there can be a crowd that is not upset.
However, the words of Jesus still stand, “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).