The Call of the Cross
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
25 'For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
26 'For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (NKJ)
In a day of comfort and ease it is not popular to talk about sacrifice and suffering and dependency. Yet the Gospel has always had that challenge. It started with the Cross of Jesus and ends with the conflict of the ages.
The Cross has become a symbol of despise and shame
Illus. High School fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Homecoming Parade Cross on their float.
Declared by the school board as a symbol of hate.
1 Corinthians 1:18
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.(NKJ)
The Gospel has always been delivered in the atmosphere of opposition and danger and we are not be surprised by that ourselves
'In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.' (NKJ)
There is an enemy of our souls that does not want us to declare the gospel in its fullness and power.
There is a conflict! Story of those who did without during the second world war. Whenever something was in short supply! They responded with: 'Yes, but there's a war going on!'
If you take the cross out of the gospel you make it impotent. It is the cross that is the central theme of the Gospel. If there was no cross and blood shed there would be no forgiveness of sins. It becomes nothing more than an human philosophy.
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, w ...
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