Most of us like to travel light, with the wind in our back and solid ground beneath our feet. We want a life with a wide gate and a broad road (Matthew 7:13-14). There are travelers that are fortunate enough that do not face hardships or a taste death (Matthew 16:28). If we do become too comfortable on the broad highway to nowhere, we ought to ask ourselves whether we are still following Christ (Luke 9:57-62). In this world, the followers of Jesus shall face trouble (John 16:33). Jesus recommended that we look for the narrow gate that leads to a narrow road (Luke 13:24).
What should be troubling to Christians is that we have a religion with no price tag. We have been led to believe that God has handed us a gift with no strings attached. It is unconditional love. Human efforts or works nullify the gift of grace. The sacrifice of Christ covers all our guilt and sins past, present and future. All we have to do is accept Christ in faith and we are on our way to eternal bliss. Some make it a bit more difficult by asking us to confess our sins and feel sorry for what we have wrongfully done. We have turned our Christian faith into an easy road. And we are no longer in a hurry to get where we are going. Like the thief that died with Jesus, we too can use our last breath to ask Jesus to save us (Luke 23:42-43).
We live in an age of presumption. It is based on the assumption that because of Christ’s suffering we shall have it easy. Paul punched a huge hole into our presumption. He wrote, “it is when we share in His suffering that we shall share in His glory” (Romans 8:17). The world is expected to hate Christians (Matthew 10:22). It becomes tragic when Christians persecute Christians (Matthew 24:9-14; Luke 21:16). It was about 10 A.M. that morning when the children chanted, “Last night the light shone brightly in our dance hall.” At home, mother explained that it was a reference to the Church of God people that met for fear of persecution at nights by candlelight. The reference was to my father who had tried to please some Nazi by dancing with a lady. Several years later, drunken refugees were ordered to behave by my father, who was in charge of night patrol. They responded singing, “A Baptist is no devil and no Christian.” Not too long ago, I too was told to cool it in a church because morality became an issue. Here I was on an easy road that became difficult to get off, and to follow Christ is becoming harder and harder. The line of demarcation between world and Christianity is hardly visible in our culture.