See, these secondary actions—loving the afflicted, visiting orphans in Africa, or caring for God’s creation, don’t cost us anything if we do them seeking a paycheck in the form of man’s praise.
If our motivation is to roll with the most modern trend, then our actions are all eternally useless (James 2:17), unless they are done out of a simple overflowing love for Jesus, a response, if you will, to having been eternally atoned for on that day at Golgotha.
And that love will quite possibly cost us the reputations we so desperately try to keep polished behind the P.R. of cultural normality.
I wonder, after sexy Christianity goes out of style, how many radically committed Christians will remain in our high schools, colleges and work places? And right after American culture moves on from Africa, humanitarian aid, human rights and issues like the AIDS epidemic and human trafficking crisis, as I promise it will soon, what will our radical faith look like?
When being a “sold-out follower of Jesus” and “living simply so that others might simply live” loses its cultural luster, what will be next? What happens when stones start being thrown at people who identify themselves with the dead man? I have no doubt that there will be a faithful remnant, but I also acknowledge that they might just be hated and persecuted just like Jesus promised.
Who will remain and what will it take to stick with Jesus until the end?
I believe A.W. Tozer has said it far better concerning his generation than I may be able to concerning mine. But regardless, I find his observation to be curiously relevant:
“I do not recall another period when ‘faith’ was as popular as it is today. ‘If only we believe hard enough, we’ll make it somehow.’ So goes the popular chant. What you believe is not important. Only believe. … What is overlooked in sexy Christianity is that faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood, it can and often does lead to eternal tragedy. For it is not enough that we believe; we must believe the right thing about the right One.”