Following Jesus is easy when life goes smoothly; our true commitment to Him is revealed during trials. Jesus assured that tests will come for his followers (John 16:33). Discipleship requires sacrifice and Jesus never hid that cost.
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing some of your closest friends?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means leaving your family?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your reputation?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your job?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your life?
In some places in the world, these consequences are a reality. But notice that the questions are phrased: “Are you willing?” Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean that all of these things will happen to you, but will you take up your cross? If there comes a time in your life when you are faced with a choice -- Jesus or the comforts of this life -- which will you choose?
Committing to Christ means taking up your cross daily, giving up your hopes, dreams, possessions, and even your own life if necessary for the cause of Christ. Only if you willingly take up your cross can you be called His disciple (Luke 14:27). The reward is worth the price. Jesus followed his death-call to himself (“Take up your cross and follow me”) with the gift of life in Christ: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25).
So the idea that all you have to do is have faith, a faith that doesn’t work through love, a faith that stands there mute and blind, a faith that ignores the poor, the hungry, the homeless, orphans, is a false idea. of the faith that Jesus taught.
He did not teach a dead faith and has promised to judge each of us according to our works.