Monday, April 2, 2007

Count the Cost

I was 19, lost in the fog of drug abuse and crushed under the weight of self-loathing, when I remembered something I had once known about Jesus. I picked up The Way and started reading the Bible between bong hits. About 3 weeks later, a knock at my door revealed two Campus Crusaders doing their witness thing.

They wanted to "share" a little booklet with me that would tell me how I could receive Christ. I may have been a burn out, but that didn't mean I wasn't polite to strangers. I invited them in and listened with interest. At the end of their presentation they asked me if understood all they had shared, "yup," I answered.

"Did I believe it?" they wondered. "Sure," I said, "and added, "that's the coolest thing I've ever heard!" "Then let's pray to receive Christ right now!" they pressed. "No," I said, "can't do that." Why?" they asked incredulously. "Because I'm not willing to give up everything to follow Christ," I answered naively. I had been reading the Bible and I knew one couldn't follow Jesus just by acknowledging him mentally and not changing the direction of his life. I wasn't ready to do that.

They thought going through everything again would shake my reticence, and so, pencil in hand marking the words on the page as we read, we did it all again. They asked again, and I resisted again. We discussed, I resisted, they got upset, I kicked them out. I didn't receive Christ for another two years. Thank God my life didn't end before my resistance to Christ did.

I wish that we would stop playing the "bait and switch" game; that we would stop, in blatant distrust of Jesus, sugar coating the gospel. This non-evangelistic evangelism is demeaning to Christ, to the cross, and to all those who have faithfully gone before. This is not some frivolous social club, it's the kingdom of God. It comes at a price and those saved need to count the cost,  at least that's what's spelled out in the Word.

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