Lori Roeleveld is a teacher, a writer, a blogger and a lover of Jesus. You might have seen her comments here, which were so on point that I had to go to her blog and check it out. I recommend that you check her stuff out too. She is one of the best bloggers out there writing at the intersection of faith, current events and daily life. But this post — it blew me away. In its accuracy, applicability and timeliness — it’s a dash of cold water, and all of us needs it right now.
Maybe It’s Time for You to Quit Jesus — Lori Roeleveld
It might be time for you to quit Jesus.
I want you to consider that.
Seriously, take time and ask yourself some hard questions.
Why did I start following Jesus? Why am I still following Jesus?
What if following Jesus starts to make my life uncomfortable? What if people I know start to dislike me because I follow Jesus?
Or it costs me my job? Or it separates me from friends, family, my own children?
What if this war for souls gets more real than a culture war?
What if it’s more real than liking some posts on Facebook or sharing a well-written op-ed? What if I feel Jesus wants me to open my mouth with people I see every day,
Or change my life Or take a major risk Or give up my security?
What if following Jesus draws the attention of the enemy towards me? What if following Jesus costs me my plans, my status, the respect of my peers, my dreams?
It’s time to ask these questions, loved ones. It’s time.
This past week, there was a big controversy because World Vision made a decision to embrace employees in gay marriages and then reversed their decision when people withdrew their support of their mission because of it.
Gay marriage isn’t Biblical but neither is refusing to care for orphans, so, go figure.
Some celebrity Christians spouted off about being disillusioned with evangelicalism because of it.
There is no “-ism” that died for you on the cross and it’s healthy to lose our illusions.
War does that. It strips us of our illusions and forces us to consider what we truly believe – what hill we’re willing to die on.
But I have to wonder if all these Christian talking heads have read one of the gospels recently?
Jesus loves us. He loves us enough to die for us but He said some tough things Absolutely tough.
Jesus didn’t tell us to believe in ourselves or to accept ourselves the way we are or to hang out and be authentically “us”.
Jesus told us to give up on ourselves.
To abandon our lives where we stood. To shed any illusion that this story is about any one of us and to pick up our crosses to follow Him
Or go home.
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his lifewill lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” Matthew 16:24-27 (ESV)
He said this to the crowds.
To hard-working citizens with bank accounts and stable situations he said – deny yourself To lesbians, gays, and straights he said – deny yourself To the holy and the hard-up he said – deny yourself…
…Or following me isn’t the life for you.
And when masses of people turned away after hearing those words – He didn’t chase after them, Or send out follow-up questionnaires Or ask His disciples how He could tailor His message to win them back.
Nope. He let them go.
Believers in other countries already know what I’m sharing with us in the Western church in this post: this whole war for souls, this kingdom come, is getting real and it’s only going to get harder from here.
So, now is the time to ask the hard questions.
This is a time for courage.
The Holy Spirit counts cowardice and faithlessness in the same list as idolatry, sorcery, and murder:
“The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:7-8 (ESV)
If it doesn’t take courage to live the life you’re living for Jesus, if you don’t have to deny yourself or lay anything down then maybe it isn’t Jesus you’re interested in following but just an “-ism” or a movement or celebrity or a life philosophy.
That’s fine. That’s your choice.
But following Jesus, well, that’s a narrow road. So, loved ones, maybe this is the time for you to quit Jesus.
Or to reacquaint yourself with His word, put your armor on, and take your stand behind Him.
If that’s your choice, brace yourself. It’s going to be a bumpy ride and it’s going to get darker before we all see the Light.