“I have been writing this volume while residing in Germany for a teaching trip. I am humbled by penning these 95 theses in the same country as Martin Luther did many years ago. I submit these to the evangelical church of our day and pray that God would allow anything of truth in these pages to bend and change men’s hearts back to God.” – Greg Gordon – It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival. – A.W. Tozer I am currently reviewing and commenting on 95 theses to the modern evangelical church “revised”! by Greg Gordon. The following discusses the cost of the call.
We are living with an epidemic of cheap grace in the Church. Flippant confession, shallow consecration, superficial surrender. Luke 14:28-30 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. In speaking with a friend from a different religion, he stated that one of the reasons he could not believe Christianity because it was just too easy to become a follower of Christ. On one hand, that’s the point. Christ died on the cross, bearing our sins. He paid the price so that we may be forgiven. And while we do not earn our salvation through works, there are requirements. We must have faith in Jesus, repent of our sins and we must love God with our whole heart. When you look at the lives of the disciples, you see that they gave up everything to follow Him. That leads us to our next thesis…
Since the inception of the Church, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached with the requirements of repentance and discipleship. Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. In many churches, there seems to be a divide between ‘follower’ and ‘disciple’ (or, in many cases, that last group may be the clergy or paid staff). Such a segregation cannot be found in the Bible. Everyone who would count themselves followers of our LORD must repent of sin in their heart. Their love for God must be at such a place that they love Him more than their own family…so much so that their love seems like hate by comparison. This may seem like a lot to ask people. Therefore, we must first show others the extent of their sin, and the fact that every man deserves eternal punishment. Only when the heart tenderly accepts this truth will it be prepared to count the cost. The book of Romans does a most excellent job of laying this out. For those who count themselves among Jesus’ followers, the above verses (and many more like it), help them to know where they stand with Christ. If one does not meet these requirements, then they know that they need to work on their faith. Yet, as long as they recognize the need, and are willing to come to Him, there is hope, as He is faithful and just to forgive all who seek Him.