Since the gospel centers around Jesus Christ, I include the entitled article with some remarks of my own at the conclusion.
“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house.
He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty-three when the tides of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race, and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on earth as much as that One Solitary Life.”
Surely we owe this Christ a debt that cannot be paid by material things. We can say a lot, but words mean little without individual allegiance and personal convictions. What does He mean to YOU as an individual?
Following Christ means more than just acknowledging that He lived. It means at least three things. First, it means one MUST make a CHOICE. After Paul told king Agrippa that God, through the prophets, had foretold “that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles” Acts 26:23. Agrippa was forced to make a choice. Paul asked, “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe” v.27. Agrippa’s choice was to say, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian” v.28. Almost has never been sufficient. Pilate was faced with a similar dilemma when he allowed the people to crucify Christ. He was unwilling to choose Christ over popularity. See Matt.27:17-26.
Secondly, following Christ means one must make a CHANGE. Note Acts 11:26 “…And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” From the day of Pentecost people could see in the disciples of Christ a change of life. By their conduct even the enemies could only say “…and they realized that they had been with Jesus” Acts 4:13. Later, Paul wrote of this change to the Ephesian Christians, “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct the old man, which grows corrupt, according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness” Eph.4:20-24.
Thirdly, to follow Christ means one must accept a CHALLENGE. Peter writes to the followers of Christ: “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you … On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” 1.Pet.4:14-16. When challenged, Christians must not fear. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” Rev.2:10.
A choice, a change and a challenge! All three must be made, and met, in order to truly understand, follow and serve the ONE SOLITARY LIFE.
– author unknown
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