ALL OF YOU & NOTHING LESS
By Akin Ojumu
It has become commonplace to find Christian assemblies filled with unregenerate souls who have been promised they could come to Christ all on their own terms. These lost sinners are told they don’t need to change a thing in their lives to be considered born-again.
“Just come as you are and be yourself, and everything will be alright,” is the welcome message printed in large fonts and bold letters, and posted prominently at the church entrance. And sure enough, they come in droves, totally unchanged, and they forever remain unchanged.
There’s no greater dereliction of Christian responsibility than to fill up membership roster by luring perishing souls with the promise they could come to Christ on the conditions they themselves have set and on terms that suit their unregenerate flesh. Engaging in such seeker-friendly gimmicks in order to attract to the Church sinners whose hearts are unbroken and untouched by the Gospel of Christ is a great disservice to the sinners who are bound for hell.
No one can come to Christ on their own terms. Those bound in chains of sin aren’t in any position to negotiate the conditions of their release from bondage. If anyone wants to come to the Savior, he or she must be willing to do so on the Messiah’s terms.
Those who come to Christ on their own terms are weak-kneed believers who will just as soon bail on Christ at the slightest difficulty or adversity. Such fair-weather Christians are fickle-minded deadwoods who have no allegiance to Christ and whose lives bear no resemblance to Him.
Christ Himself is He who sets the rules of engagement of any relationship with Him. It is Christ who sets the terms by which we come and relate with Him. And His terms are pretty clear. Deny yourself. Decline yourself. Disaffirm yourself. Disavow yourself. Dismiss yourself. Disallow yourself. Disapprove yourself. Take up your cross. Follow me.
Christ wants all of you. To follow Him, you must be willing to give up everything and nothing less. Just like all the other faithfuls who have come before us and who followed Christ with all their lives, you must commit to laying down your own Isaac if ever you want to belong to Christ.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26 NASB).
“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (Matthew 16:24-26 The Message).