After choosing to follow Christ for salvation, ‘then what?’ There are life choices; all sorts of choices that must be made and within the directions of the Master. Remember that you are now a slave of righteousness and free from the grasp of sin unless unwise, selfish and foolish choices are made. However, there is one thing certain, the Believer will not, cannot live in sin. “Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. 6 If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:5-10 HCSB.
Everyone who entertains the idea of ‘becoming a Christian’ most often does not wish to do the hard things that are involved because they are spiritually blind to what they find. Most of us hear just what we want to hear and the silence toward truth is deafening. The reason is simple: “there is absolutely no darkness in Him.” Furthermore, there is absolute separation from that darkness when anyone chooses to follow Jesus Christ.
“Now great crowds were traveling with Him. So He turned and said to them: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, 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. For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one who comes against him with 20,000? If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple. Now, salt is good, but if salt should lose its taste, how will it be made salty? It isn’t fit for the soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out. Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!” Luke 14:25-35. The key to this statement from our Lord may not be what most think for it has nothing to do with the word ‘hate,’ but rather the key to the passage is, “calculate the cost.”
Becoming a Disciple or Follower of Jesus Christ is quite expensive even though the gift of salvation is absolutely free…it is absolutely ‘priceless’ for it is free and without obligation for Christ bought every Believer with the price of sacrifice at the Cross. “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10. Salvation is God’s gift extended to everyone who is willing to believe in the finished work of Jesus at the Cross for everlasting life. These willing souls were “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” And for these reasons and more Jesus said this to His Disciples, “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14. (Please read all of Matthew chapter 7 for the contextual relevance of Jesus’ statement here.)
The choice to follow Jesus Christ in salvation is not meant to be easy, no, not at all. The consistent trail toward Heaven is filled with perceptual difficulties that are incomparable to anyone’s imagination. False doctrines have resulted because too many have decided to make the pathway to Jesus and toward Heaven an easy escape from life’s realities. Sin has been softened and liveable and acceptable at many levels, AND moral absolutes have been put aside. There is no bigger lie than saying that a Believer, a Follower of Jesus Christ is able to live in sin and go to Heaven.
The choice to follow Christ is replete with difficulties beyond imagination, but is filled with unbelievable possibilities found only in Him. Jesus said this, “So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:7-10.
The choice to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is THE wise choice to be made, but must be understood as being the choice of spiritual endeavors complete with losses and victories that lead to spiritual sanctification. Hold on, the Ride of Your Life has only just begun.
Jesus is Lord.