We as the church embrace the parts of the gospel that we like and plaster them on our signs, posters, wristbands, t-shirts, and memory verse cards, and we ditch the rest. We take to heart the parts that save us and ignore the parts that convict us. Is it really OK for us to pick and choose? Are we really worshipping Jesus, or some idol of our own creation that vaguely resembles Him?
What if Jesus visited our churches? Just imagine. Would He be impressed by the really cool worship band, or the conferences and classes and programs, or the brand-spanking-new building, or the number of people in the sanctuary? I don’t think so. I think He would be appalled. I think He would be appalled at our selfishness, our focus on material things, and our lack of love.
You see, the same Jesus who calls us to come to Him said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, follow me.” The same Jesus who was moved with compassion commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. The same Jesus who went to prepare a place for us had no place to lay His head. He said, “If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Have we broadened the straight and narrow? He told us to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. We are commanded to take care of orphans and widows. He said, “If any man take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”
Was Jesus being serious?
We are supposed to be like a Man who never did anything wrong, yet was hated; who was a King, yet came to serve. We are supposed to love like He loved. We are supposed to live like a Man who died.
So I just want to know: What if we took that seriously?