Will You Give Up Your Life?

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   “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Mt. 7:21-23

“[That person] is not following me,” I sensed the Holy Spirit say to me one day in regard to someone I knew.

But that was impossible. Wasn’t it? The person went to church, praised and worshiped the Lord joyfully, gave glory to God all the time, gushed to others about Him, had a Bible, attended Bible studies, taught others about the Bible, served God diligently and steadfastly, prayed continually, and gave regularly to God and others. If anyone was a Christ follower, that person was. Right?

Do not be deceived. Not about yourself. Nor others. The words Christian and Christians are used a total of only three times in the entire King James version of the Bible. The word Christianity is not used even once. Yet how many of us are caught up in projecting ourselves to the world as “good Christians” doing a good job at “Christianity”? I speak from experience. For years, I had a relationship with Christianity, churches, Christians, pastors, prayer meetings, and the Bible. I did not have a rock solid relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I was playing the role of Christian, playing Christianity, looking like a “good Christian” on the outside (despite being a Jewish believer in Christ, mind you), and living utterly for myself and my own desires. I was not living for Jesus Christ, nor doing what is required of a disciple of Christ, most importantly denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Jesus which includes OBEDIENCE. I was trying to hold onto my own life and God at the same time. But this isn’t possible. A true Christ follower has to forsake his own wishes, wants, and ways, to give up his own life and realize if he professes faith in Christ as Lord that his life now belongs to Christ as Lord. This means saying NO to ourselves and YES to God.

To call Jesus Lord and not live accordingly is not only deception. It is dangerous. And ultimately deadly. Eternal life is for those willing to lose their own lives, to die to themselves, and to live for Christ instead.

We may be able to fool all the world around us, but there is one we will never fool. Jesus Christ. And it is before Him we will one day stand and have to give an account of our lives. And it is Christ who will turn away many from heaven because they played the role of “good Christian” while never truly following Him. Is God speaking to you right now?

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