Matthew 16:24-26 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?
1 Corinthians 1:20-21 Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
We live in a time when the world is filled with things that promise to make you feel younger, to reverse the effects of aging, things you cannot afford to life without, because in a word they are lifesaving. From dishwashers to deodorants everything is promising that you cannot live without it. The world is working full time to do everything possible to save its life, and all the while the click continues to tick, and that very life is slipping away. You see, for all the advances of medicine, for all of the discoveries of science, there is nothing that the world can do to change one fundamental thing - and that is, that the wages of sin is death, and that we are all sinners. We want to save our lives, because we can see that we are facing death - that's how 9/11 changed the country - we saw that we weren't safe - that all the bad things we've seen in other places in the world can happen even here. We have seen that we are willing to sacrifice our freedom and our liberty to someone who promises to make us feel safe. What price are you willing to pay in order to feel safe?
There is no place where the world and God are more in conflict that when it comes to how to save lives, and the reason why this is important is because we don't have enough time, or energy or resources to follow both the world and God. Itís a simple black and white choice, whom to you choose, whom do you follow, in whom do you trust? Is your song "I did it my way"? or is it "Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness"?
God tells us plainly, that according to the world's wisdom, God's plan of salvation is foolishness. Every day we are bombarded by messages telling us what we can do to be happy, healthy and find fulfillment - we feel that we must do everything in our power to be all that we can be. And in the face of all the hype and glitz of the world - the word of God calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow, to let go and let God., to abandon ourselves into the arms of God - it is a frightening thing - we so want to do it ourselves - but there is one simple reason why - for while there are many promises and many plans there is only one way to heaven, one way to find peace with God, one way to receive the forgiveness of sins - and that is in Jesus.
You could win the whole world, you could live the American dream, you could find everything the world desires - but without Christ, you will perish - and all the things of the world - well, the world is passing away, and the gift of salvation in Christ is for now and for all eternity.