Most that attempt to read this won’t like it. However, it is not my mission to make you comfortable, but it is to challenge all willing to listen to improve their standing with God.
Right here someone will scoff, saying that we are not required to increase this standing. That God loves us as we are. Then you have just made the Bible moot, and the crucifixion a waste of time.
Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. 28 And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
So what does it mean to “give up your own way?”
In the KJV the verse goes like this:
“let him deny himself….”
Let him deny – aparneomai – to deny, looking back to what was originally refused; “strongly reject” (especially the source). That is, utterly refusing to recognize the original source involved. Can imply “ignore, disown, or repudiate”
Now as we live our lives all of us make plans and have desires. Many of these desires are focused upon one thing. Us.
The desires for wealth, for luxuries, for leisure. These are all things that become something to not continue to seek after, but to, if not totally reject, lower their import in our lives. Why? Because you are hanging on to your life, and Jesus Christ made it clear, doing so will lead to you losing your soul, not saving it. This is fortified by 2 Peter 2:
“20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit. “And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”
Humanity will always seek after the here, the now. Yet Christ made it clear that we are not to do this.
Matthew 6:19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
To store up treasures is seeking to have more money than you need to live, not a comfortable life, but a life that will sustain your existence till you are called unto the next life. To seek after clothing, and fancy vehicles are things that are able to be eaten by moths and rust away. Fancy possession that others would seek to steal are of the world and not needed by those that truly seek to follow Jesus Christ.
1 John 3:16 – We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. 23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?”
The answer is: It is not. So if God’s love is not in this person are they still of the vine of Jesus Christ?
John 15:1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Many think they are a part of the vine. Yet due to not following the commandments of the Bible are not bearing fruit upon the vine. God Himself cuts them from the vine and they are burnt within the fire. They are no longer apart of Jesus Christ, they are no longer saved, but are of the world. They are cast into the fire of damnation by their own actions and desires for worldly wealth and possessions. The very things they are required to give unto their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, they keep and horde for themselves.
This is how most that call themselves “Christian” are today and they are blind unto the truth, and it is truly something to weep about. For they are the lukewarm, and spit out of the Body of Christ.
Revelation 3:15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. 20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. 22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
Follow the commandments of the Bible. Live modestly, do not break the laws of man that do not go against the Bible and change those that do. Stop seeking after the here, the now, the contemporary. Seek after the eternal life that we are promised by Jesus Christ and not after the riches of the world. For as long as you do, you seek to lose your salvation, by your own hand.
2 Timothy 4:1-5