When you grow up in church, you get used to hearing all of the great stories in the Bible. You know the ones…Moses leads the Israelites to the Promised Land, Noah’s Ark, David slays Goliath, etc. All of these stories are extremely important in the larger context of the Bible, but they don’t tell the whole story. These are what I like to call the “feel good” parts of the Bible. As believers, we know that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. We also know that Jesus calls us to be His followers and bring other people closer to Him. If you really dive into scripture, you’ll find scripture from Jesus that makes you feel uncomfortable…like a balloon hugging a cactus.
In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out the demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from you me, you evildoers!’”
When I read that scripture I am floored. Jesus basically tells us that many of His followers will be told at the end of their lives, “Away from me, I never knew you” instead of “Well done my good and faithful servants.” This is inherently the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and at its core, offensive to our individual earthly plans and aspirations.
We talk in youth group a lot about being lukewarm Christians. According to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we can’t afford to be lukewarm Christians. Christ has to be our rock and everything we believe, say, and do must come from Him. Over the years, I have discovered the best way to grow in my faith is to read the Bible and become uncomfortable with the way I am living my life. While Jesus gives us much to hope for, He wants us to be offended by His message and seek Him for EVERYTHING. Jesus knows we can’t do life on our own terms and He’s waiting for us to say, “Lord, I need you.” In 2020, let’s get comfortable being uncomfortable Christians.