“For whoever would wish to save his life will lose it, but whoever would lose his life because of Me will save it” (Luke 9:24).
In the kingdom of God, the surest way to lose something is to try and keep it, whereas the best way to keep it is to let it go. Christ turned from the fallen world of Adam and spoke about another world altogether, the kingdom of God, whose laws are diametrically opposed to those of the kingdom of men.
The true believer, then, is a child of both worlds; he lives among fallen men, of whom he is one, but has been called and chosen to live in another world, the world of the kingdom of God. Religion resolves this dilemma by trying to live a heavenly life after an earthly pattern, which is what Paul referred to as “carnal” living; “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1).
The world has been so integrated into our Church services that it is taken for granted that this is the way things should be; religious entertainment, worldly music, pride of ministry, glorification of men; this is what A.W. Tozer referred to as “golden calf Christianity”.
Religious leaders will answer this charge with the triumphant assertion; “but we are winning souls!” But winning them to what? To true discipleship?; to taking up their cross and following Jesus?; to self denial?; to separation from the world?; to crucifixion of the flesh?; to putting off the old man?; to absolute surrender to the Lordship of Christ?. Of course not!
Religion is bored with Christ and must echo the empty vanity of the world’s philosophies. What a shocking contrast to the attitude of the disciples when Jesus left them;
“And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God” (Luke 24:52-3).