As we move into the post Christian world, we are going back to a time when the Way was indeed “narrow” and “few were chosen.”
The cheap grace of following the world in Jesus’ name is not grace at all. It is a lie we tell ourselves to keep from having to “chose this day whom” we “will serve.”
Sadly, it is also a delusion. Trendy jesus, pragmatic jesus and all the other false messiahs these theological snake-oil salesmen are selling having nothing to do with the real Jesus Christ Who was crucified on Calvary and calls each succeeding generation of Christians to “pick up your cross and follow Me.”
Following the real Jesus exacts a price. As the Light is smothered by the ever-encroaching darkness of humanity’s fealty to its own passions rather than the living God, the price for those who do not accede to the darkness goes up exponentially.
We may be willing to be friends with those who serve other gods, but they will not be friends with us. We may find our careers truncated, our friendships forfeit, our lives troubled in many ways when we follow Christ. He told us this would happen. If the world hates you, remember that it first hated me, He said
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I am not sure what this author means when she speaks of the "post-Christian world," but it seems to me that the message of Jesus regarding the "narrow way" is the same today as it was when the Master first explained what that way was to be. Yes, we must sacrifice...but primarily I believe we must scarifice our tendency to rely on others for our truth about spiritual realities.
But when she says that "following the real Jesus exacts a price," I think she is right-on. If one looks beneath the surface of many of todays Christian religions (the religions ABOUT Jesus), one can't help but see that rather than inspiring congregants to do the Jesus-like things, they encourage people to follow church-like things; follow our rules, do the things we tell you to do, believe our theology, and don't think for yourself, because that is too dangerous for you. This is the hallmark of the religions of evolution - the religions of fear.
How different is the religion OF Jesus which tells us to seek the Father's will in all things - to refer to the true authority of God-within-you; to seek truth and be not afraid to embrace the truth where you find it; to dedicate your life to loving and serving others. And the hallmark of this religion is true fellowship and incontrovertable EXPERIENCE with the living God, not with a set of outworn beliefs and practices that are placed upon you as a burden of existence.
But there is a price that has to be paid, and yes, it is a challenge to follow this religion of spiritual freedom. The Urantia Book teaches:
195:9.6 Primitive man lived a life of superstitious bondage to religious fear. Modern, civilized men dread the thought of falling under the dominance of strong religious convictions. Thinking man has always feared to be held by a religion. When a strong and moving religion threatens to dominate him, he invariably tries to rationalize, traditionalize, and institutionalize it, thereby hoping to gain control of it. By such procedure, even a revealed religion becomes man-made and man-dominated. Modern men and women of intelligence evade the religion of Jesus because of their fears of what it will do to them—and with them. And all such fears are well founded. The religion of Jesus does, indeed, dominate and transform its believers, demanding that men dedicate their lives to seeking for a knowledge of the will of the Father in heaven and requiring that the energies of living be consecrated to the unselfish service of the brotherhood of man.
The Urantia Book contains a beautiful discourse by the Master himself about the three kinds of religion that are present in our world today. We can all benefit from reading this discourse again:
THE DISCOURSE ON TRUE RELIGION