Sunday, May 17, 2015

THE COST OF COMMITMENT

BEING A CHRISTIAN IN AMERICA carries very little cost. But it should! Considering the cost that our Lord and Savior paid for us upon the cross our commitment should be high.

This week I read a blog post from Greg Strand (Director of Biblical Theology and Credentialing, for the Evangelical Free Church of America) and I was greatly convicted by what he wrote about the cost of commitment, specifically referring to the high cost involved for those who are willing to be baptized into Christ’s Church located in Asia.

Our greatest fear in getting baptized revolves around embarrassment of standing dripping wet in front of a large gathering and mumbling out some word about our belief in, and desire to, follow Jesus. Not a high cost factor, if you ask me. But think of our brothers and sisters in Asia and consider what Strand writes.

A Christian missions agency in South Asia, listed a series of questions that church leaders must ask new believers who are considering baptism. These are the seven questions asked to help determine a new convert’s readiness to follow Christ:
1. Are you willing to leave home and lose the blessing of your father?
2. Are you willing to lose your job?
3. Are you willing to go to the village and those who persecute you, forgive them, and share the love of Christ with them?
4. Are you willing to give an offering to the Lord?
5. Are you willing to be beaten rather than deny your faith?
6. Are you willing to go to prison?
7. Are you willing to die for Jesus?

“If the new convert answers yes to all of these questions, then leaders invite that person to sign on the bottom of the paper that of their own free will they have decided to follow Jesus. But here’s the risk: if a new convert signs the paper and is caught by the government, he or she will spend three years behind bars. The one who did the evangelizing faces six years in prison. If you were being baptized, would you sign? If you were the pastor, would you perform the baptism? Would you consider it a joy and privilege to do so?”

Now, that’s paying a high cost of commitment.

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