How can we grow in our passion for evangelism to the point that we would be willing to go to prison for our actions?

Hi Stuart,

I’m from the Philippines and what a privilege to have this avenue to ask you directly. I am a follower of Christ and is still everyday trying to seek and understand what should that translate to everyday. I belong to a group of young church leaders who, while being full-time company workers, still has the heart to serve the Lord in ways that we can, be it financial, acts of service, prayer and devotion. With the challenge of modern life and a great deal of distractions for Christians including comfort, pleasures and preoccupations, there is a greater need to bridge the secular life and the christian life (if such myth is believed to be real in the mind) as should be having no distinction as a Christian. Can you give us your perspective or share tips and experience of how we can develop the same passion as one gripped by the message of the cross, to the point of willing to be imprisoned for the sake of the gospel in our modern setting? There is this ongoing struggle for many Christians who are comfortable in our freedom and preoccupied with the world that there is the dissonance of a powerful message that costs you to lay down your life for a friend and an environment where you are not required to do so.

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Hello there and thank you for your question.

I think the big failure of modern Christianity, is to neglect Discipleship or to offer in some instances what appears to be a 2 stage model as an option. In this approach, you can be a believer and be "saved, so your ticket to eternal life is stamped and you are forgiven. It is a minimal demand option, and just requires belief. If you are really serious, you can opt for stage 2, which involves serious commitment, deeper study, more defined obedience and a life of worship dedicated to service. For many, Christianity lite (the 1st option) is what they want, but I ask whether this so called option is an option?

Jesus calls us to “follow Him”. We either do or we don’t. The teaching is laid out in the Gospels (see Mt 5-7 + John 14-16) as is the cost. The primary choice in all of life, for all of us, is what will we love? Christ does not share His Throne with any nor does He ask for a part, or a portion, of our heart. He asks for all of it. See Mt 22:36-40.

I would recommend books like The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard and Basic Christianity by John Stott. I would encourage you to read them and absorb their messages. These, and many others like them, offer a compelling and demanding vision of the Kingdom of God and the call to obedience. The issue then is for those of you facing your context and circumstances, to read them, think about them, pray about the vision and ask so what? what would this look like here? How would it be if we chose to live this way in this context and in these times?

God will speak. His word and His way are there for us, if we come with an open heart and a seeking attitude. These slightly older voices, may offer wisdom and insight, that may be of use as you process. I believe you are asking the right questions. May God help you as you seek, as you study and as you face the hard choices.

I hope this helps.

Regards, Stuart.

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