Counting the Cost to Be A Christian
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 straight is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it – Matthew 7:13-14.
Christianity is something that differs from religion. Religion is based on what you can do or not do to be saved by works. Christianity is doing what the Word of God instructs to do or not do. It does not pick and choose which Scriptures they will submit to. Basically, religion allows people who profess they are saved to continue to do what they were doing prior to accepting salvation.
Mary was a young girl when the Father chose her to be the mother of our Lord and Savior. She was espoused to be married to Joseph. Mary was a virgin and one that loved God. When the angel came to her and informed her she was going to have a child, her only question was “How can this be, when I have not known man”. After receiving her answer, Mary willingly submitted to what the Father wanted her to do (And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her – Luke 1: 37:38). Mary could have refused the offer wondering what would be said about her as well as what would have been done to her.
During Jesus’ time, women who were having sexual gratification without marriage was stoned to death if caught, Mary was having a child and she was engaged to be married to Joseph. Sex without being married was enough to get her stoned, then it appears she was unfaithful to the one she was engaged to be married to. Mary’s only concern was to please the Father who had chosen her. She was going to be talked about, no longer was she going to be respected, and most likely thrown out of the synagogue as well as her neighborhood, plus losing the man she was engaged to be married to.
Mary submitted to the Father’s request, and the Father dealt with Joseph about marrying Mary. Because of Mary’s submission to the Father, many would receive salvation through her Son, many would escape hell and enter into heaven because of His death, burial and resurrection. Her yes brought salvation to many nations and nationalities. Her birthing Jesus was spiritual, not only was she giving birth to Jesus, but she was giving spiritual birth to others through her Son.
Just like Mary, the Father has chosen Christians to be saved through His Son, Jesus, the Christ of God ( Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you – John 15:16. Each Christian should be giving spiritual birth through their prayer, fasting, ministering to others about Jesus’ salvation.
Choosing to submit to the Father will sometimes make you lose friends and associates because you’re no longer living as they are. Those in your family that have not chosen salvation will no longer want to be in your presence because the light in you will show their darkness. Choosing to be Christians doesn’t mean that you will be loved or liked. Just as they hated Jesus, they will also hate you, this is when you have truly become a born-again Christian.
A born-again Christian differs from just being a Christian. The Pharisees and Sadducees were Christian and they murdered Jesus not just because He was professing to be the Son of God, but the works He was performing by His Father and He was leading others to His Father. Professing Christians were now being truly saved through Jesus’ teaching.
True Christianity is living a life that is submitted to the Word of God. What He instructs to do the Christian will do it, and what He instructs not to do, the Christian will not do. True Christianity means the Christian no longer practice sin, He or she is dedicated to the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Being dedicated to the Trinity will make you one with them and will enable the Christian to give spiritual birth.
True submission to the Father causes the Christian to no longer enjoy the pleasures of sin but being godly vessels the Father can use to bring others to His Son. The problem with those who profess to be Christians and continue the lifestyle they were before professing salvation has not allowed the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sins. The Holy Spirit brings truth which causes one to be convicted of their sins that will lead them to true salvation.
True Christian causes one to deny themselves (Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me – Matthew 16:24). The power of God only works through those who are willing to forsake all and follow His command. Now following Jesus doesn’t mean you will be liked by others, it also causes you to be a candidate that Satan will send his attacks through his co-host. Being a child of God doesn’t exempt the Christian from heart-ache, physical pain, rejection, suffering in finances, suffering in their marriage because of their submission to the Word of God, denying your self sexual pleasures if you’re not married as well as being lied on.
Becoming a true Christian will cause one to deny themselves of their desires and only want what the Father wants for them. Sin is pleasurable and it only lasts momentarily, if death comes when committing the sins, Hell is everlasting. Whatever the Christian has to go through because of their submission to the Father doesn’t compare to being a vessel the Father uses to birth spiritual babies as well as the joy to be welcomed home by the Father!