I was reading about Youcef Nadarkhani who is being asked to recant his faith in Christ. He is facing possible execution though a Christian has not be Mayrtered in Iran since 1990. Still, he may die for his faith, and he is in jail. His faith is costing him and his family. It is dangerous for him to profess his faith in Christ. When the judged asked him to recant his faith in Christ, he replied, “I cannot.” These simple beautiful, and bold words made all the dirfference.He isn’t afraid, and he isn’t backing down. People around him are being strengthed by his faith.
Christians in most western countries don’t get this. We don’t know what it means to risk anything for Christ. In some towns, Christianity is the “in religion” You gain social, political, and business advantages by aligning yourself with Christ. It’s almost as if following Christ is a means of gain. This is not what Jesus taught. He said”Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, NIV).
Do most Christians even know what that means? Are we giving up anything for the cause of Christ? Have we taken up our crosses or our we sitting on our couches?
I have been reading about people who have committed their lives to share the gospel in different nations. It costs something to share the gospel in another country. At the very least, you have to move. You have to live in a foreign land and be separated from your friends and family. St Francis Xavier (1506-1552) carried the gospel to the far east. It cost him much. Sure, he wasn’t perfect, but neither are you. And, neither am I. He left on this trip without even knowing the language. It is said by the time he reached the Far East. He spoke the language as well as one who was born there. He took a risk, and people came to Christ because of his action.
Many Christians are stuck in the rut of inaction. They refuse to do anything for Christ. They’ve been to McDonald’s more times in the past few years then they’ve shared Christ. I hold nothing against McDonald’s, but if you’re hungry for a Big Mac then you are to share your faith someone who is lost, your priorities are warped. Is your faith even real?
The line between faith and obedience is so thin it can cut to the deepest parts of our hearts.