Bible reference: Acts 20:22-24
Some tele-evangelists seem to portray that being a Christian makes everything great. But Scripture doesn't line up with this thinking.
People hated Jesus. We enter by the narrow gate.
Everyone has a ministry. It is a 24/7 ministry. God has given every Christian a ministry of reconciliation. We are conscripts, not volunteers. We obey God. Ananias went when the Lord directed him to go to Paul. Paul went as the Lord directed him. Why didn't Paul think that these afflictions seemed easy. He didn't see himself as a volunteer but as a servant, a soldier, there under orders to serve his Commander.
Example: Chaplin McKenzie (in first world war). He served his Commander, Jesus Christ on the battlefield.
Scripture does not call us volunteers. The problem is that volunteers can choose to serve, not to serve, or leave all together. Conscripts obey. Jesus goes with us, to toughen up. If we don't toughen up, we will fall over. If you're drafted into the army, someone saw something in you.
We obey orders, even on the front line. It takes a lot of nerve, it's frightening, but we serve anyway, because we are under orders. Jesus went on the cross, he sweated blood.
We live in a country where it's easy, but one day it will change. Soldier's are under orders. They are not free to quit. Sometimes you get hurt; toughen up. Police, firefighters put their lives on the line, it's tough.
When people don't want to hear the Gospel message it can be tough. We're not to quit. Our job is not to build big churches, great programs, traveling the world; our job is to tell about Jesus Christ.
To finish the course, you must recognize that you are a conscript. Jesus paid for our sin. Don't fall into the trap of looking at your sin. Obey Jesus. To find out how good Jesus is, you have to get to know him.
Jesus is the driver of our motor vehicle in our life. You can't get to an intersection and fight over the wheel.
Paul was willing to die for the Saviour. God is still calling us to take the Message to a world that needs it.
People think that one option in becoming a Christian you can go to church occasionally, enjoy your life, accumulate stuff, volunteer a little, someday go to heaven.
But Paul didn't have that option. He gave up everything, time, money, stuff, own choices. Some people give up all the comforts of Australia and go across the world or around our own country. They give up all to obey and deny ourselves to do the will of the Lord.
Jesus called people to radical self-denial. Jesus has a different view, a different way of doing things. He's calling us to his cause. He calls all of his people to be super committed.
Revelation 3:16 - people who are lukewarm won't be there.
There are lots of people who have been killed for Jesus Christ. Be thankful that someone cared to tell you about Jesus. It will mean hardship at some level. It may mean people will chuck off at you, you may miss out on promotions, be subject to abuse. We will suffer affliction. But then comes the glory of God.
Why do I want to sign my life to Jesus if I will suffer affliction? Well the world is short term, but forever is a long time. Once you give your life to Jesus, you don't have to fear.
You will live either with Jesus forever or live forever apart from Him. For Christian's we don't face separation from God, we live each day for our Lord.
We must live in light of eternity, real glory comes when we are with God on heaven.
Live totally abandoned to Jesus.
To finish the course, you are a conscript not a volunteer. GOD CHOSE YOU out of all the people in the world.