I have been called many names…radical is one of them. But what is radical? Most use the word radical as describing something weird, crazy, stupid or out of this world…and they are right.
Yet radical is more than a slogan, more than a cool sermon title. Radical should be what the world calls you, what lazy Christians call you, and that should be the norm…sadly, it’s not. To understand what I mean ask yourself these questions:
What is Jesus worth to you?
What would you do for Jesus?
What would you give up for Jesus?
It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. Jesus said they would, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for Him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily…
But who do you know who lives like that? Do You?
I want you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. We have twisted what Jesus actually said about being a disciple to fit our thinking. Jesus said to be followers, to leave everything, to forsake everyone and take up the cross and follow him…Jesus was saying that He was Someone worth losing everything for. As we see from Scripture that real Christians, real disciples seem radical.
Luke 9:57-62 tells the story of Jesus and three people. The three people all seem to want to follow Jesus, but Jesus talks them out of it. You see to follow Jesus, you must be Radical, that is Normal to Jesus and Radical to everything else, most get talked out of it…
You see for me to talk you out of following Jesus, I only have to show you how radical, radical really is. Its found in three statements given to three people by Jesus in Luke 9:
57 As they were going along the road,someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 And Jesusaid to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
First Statement – The End of Myself
A man comes and says I will follow you Jesus, anywhere. Jesus replies “will you follow me to the end of yourself?” The end of yourself means: “Total Reliance on God”
Second Statement – The Great Why of God
A man comes and says I will follow you Jesus, but let me go bury my dad. Jesus replies “He’s dead, let him be buried by the dead, follow me in blind obedience.” The great why of God means: “God has a Global Purpose from the Beginning till Today” and you don’t have to figure it all out, God has it under control.
Third Statement – There is No Plan B
A man comes and says I will follow you Jesus, but let me say farewell first. Jesus replies “don’t say your going forward while your still looking backwards.” There is No Plan B means: “Going is Urgent, Not Optional”
The answer is clear. The will of God for you and for me is to give our lives urgently and recklessly to making the gospel and the glory of God known among all peoples, particularly those who have never heard.
- Will we refuse to sit back and wait for some tingly feeling to go down our spines before we rise up and do what we have already been commanded to do?
- Will we risk everything, our comfort, our possessions, our safety, our security, our very lives, to make the gospel known?
Such rising up and such risk taking is the unavoidable & urgent results of a life that is RADICAL, radically abandoned to Jesus. Have I talked you out of radical living yet?
//For more on this subject go to http://www.thecitychurch.info/sermons and watch the sermon “Radical” which I will be preaching on January 8th 2012 at The City Church.