Monday, August 1, 2011
While I agree with all of the above, I think we could also classify this current culture as the culture of Cheap Grace. What do I mean by cheap grace? Grace that costs you nothing.
But isn't that the point of grace, that's it's free? Yes, grace is given freely but after you receive that grace, it costs you something to keep it. It costs God His only beloved Son to give that grace to you. Are we so arrogant and unappreciative to believe that nothing is required of us but to accept it?
I know this is going to rub some people the wrong way and I know that most Christians have been taught that all you have to do is accept God's grace, which is to believe in Jesus, say a prayer of repentence, and you're in, but if you take Scripture as a whole, it says so much more than that.
I was reading in Luke 14 the other day and these passages jumped out at me.
If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:25-17
Jesus then goes on to say that you wouldn't start contruction on a building or go to war with another country unless you first sat down and counted the cost to make sure you could finish the building or win the war. So, why do we jump on the salvation wagon without considering whether we are willing to pay the price?
So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:33
When was the last time you heard an altar call that listed the high cost of following Jesus before asking people to make a decision. Yet, shouldn't we do that? Wouldn't it be the right thing to do? Have you ever signed a contract you hadn't read through thoroughly? Of course not! Yet, we do this all the time in our churches. And what do we get? A bunch of people who have no idea what they are getting into. They just want the rewards. They want to be forgiven and go to heaven. But are they really willing to pay the price? Often times not and we see so many drifting away, leaving the church, angry at God. They wanted cheap grace. But God isn't into cheap grace. He hands it out freely, but it's not cheap.
At the end of Luke 9 Jesus was also talking about the price for following Him. Several people had asked to follow Him but they weren't willing to give up certain things. At the end, Jesus said:
Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God
Do you get the sense God wants total devotion and complete commitment? He wants us to put Him first and follow Him unconditionally. I can show you a thousand verses that say that very thing. Then why do so many in His church make His grace so cheap? Being a follower of Christ will cost you. It will be worth it! But it will cost. No, I'm not talking about works because we can't earn our way into Heaven or into God's grace. I'm talking about a condition of your heart. Is He the most important thing in your life? Does He occupy your thoughts? Are you desperate to be with Him, read His word?
Are you willing to do whatever God asks of you? No matter what.
How can we not give Him our all after what He's done for us?