Imagine if you can, being locked out of acceptance. Imagine walking up to the doors of your church and having the entry blocked and even locked at your arrival. Upset and furious you decided you will worship somewhere else only to find out that all churches and houses of God refuse to allow your entry. How devastating, upsetting, furious would you be? How is the feeling of being rejected indefinitely from a place that worships the name of a gracious God? Would you blame yourself, would you blame others, the world, or would you blame God?
Imagine that you are also part of a society and nation that has locked you out. You have no rights. No voting booth, no representation, a corrupted justice system, and a hatred for your practices. You are promised no jobs, no help of unemployment, no constitution promising your right to happiness, no declaration of the exercise of freedom. You live in a nation where you simply obey, or are punished.
Locked out of your faith, and locked out of your country, this was the reality for early 1st century Christians. The choice was either to accept Christ and be denied everything else, or accept everything else, but deny Christ. For those who knew, followed, and chose Christ, they knew the risks involved. They counted up the cost and saw that everything was a loss considering the surpassing greatness of Jesus (Philippians 3:8). There was no compromise; Jesus had to be everything because they had nothing else left.
Today we can have Jesus and rights, and a voters card, representation, assistance, citizenship, justice, and acceptance. We live with this notion that Jesus does not demand us to give up anything and therefore we make the mistake of diminishing the value of Christ. Earlier followers had to trust and acknowledge that Jesus could take care of everything, today we can say we believe in Jesus but live with the delusional idea that we ourselves can take care of everything. We do not rely on Jesus because we are mistakenly convinced that we can rely on ourselves. We have effectively eliminated the sense of need for our creator; even Stephen Hawking articulated that there was no need for God the creator.
We must open our eyes and make the honest decision that Jesus is either our everything or he is nothing. Jesus must be the whole and complete truth, or an utter complete lie. Jesus must leave us completely fulfilled or we must say he fails to satisfy.
There is only Jesus. He is the bread of life and he does fulfill (John 6:35). Jesus is the complete truth, way and life, there is nothing else (John 14:6). He is everything the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). Try to toss everything else away, and you will find that you have so much more.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ - Philippians 3:8