What does it cost to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? A few hours each week? A change in vocabulary? Not going to R-rated movies? Not getting drunk? 10% of your income?
What if following Jesus Christ would cost your life? Would you still choose to follow Christ? If professing “Jesus is Lord” would cause you to be reviled, shunned, beaten, even killed, would you still profess publicly and confidently? Here are links to two stories about believers who counted the cost, and decided that Jesus was worthy of their life and their death:
Out in Ithilien where the majority of the population is Ismaili they are notorious. If a local goes by a foreigner’s home to have any kind of discussion there is a good chance that a member of the secret police will be waiting on their doorstep when they get home. If they don’t like the answers to their questions then a person could lose his or her job or be threatened in a variety of ways. Most people live in fear these guys…
The head of the secret police stood up and addressed the crowd. After just one or two pleasantries he looked back to Kili and Fili and asked them if they had in fact become followers of Jesus as they had heard. Kili replied that yes, they were followers of Jesus. Then he asked, ‘Why?’ Fili replied that Jesus was the way, the truth, and the life and that because Jesus was in fact God’s son that they had to follow Him.
Dave Black‘s wife, Becky Lynn, describes the life of several Ethiopian evangelists in a recent report on his blog (Friday, March 7 at 7:15 am):
D & E, because of severe persecution (imprisonment, stoning, eviction and inability to find merchants willing to sell them food) for the past 3 months, have taken a time of rest in Gondar, and are now repositioned in another village. This new village is on the road toward Sudan. Please pray for them to remain strong & willing to suffer for our Lord. And pray for His grace and provision as they begin a new ministry in this new village. They are planning to remain in this new village for a period of time, to allow the hostility in the previous village to die down; then they plan to return to the first village & continue the work. Also pray for the new believers in the first village. They need discipleship. In the short time (about 3-4 months) that D&E were able to operate in the village, many came to Christ; even while they were imprisoned, they led 5 to the Savior!! Of course, now these new believers are also facing persecution (shunning, beating, etc.) by the Orthodox. As you pray for D&E, please also remember these new believers who are the spiritual children of D&E.
Have you counted the cost? Is following Jesus and speaking up for him worth your status, your health, your death?