I’m watching how Green Berets train on The Military Channel. What these guys voluntarily put themselves through to prepare for battle is some of the harshest training imaginable! Deprived of sleep… extreme physical hardship… lack of food… psychological assaults… and that is just the beginning. This just determines if they are accepted into the program in HOPES of becoming a Green Beret.
In every class more than half wash out due to quitting or not being able to handle the physical, emotional, or psychological stress. And they are never short of candidates wanting to be a Green Beret.
Jesus was (And still is) the ultimate Green Beret drill sergeant when it comes to being a Christian. There are many who like the idea of being a Christian… they like the idea of not going to hell… but when it comes to what it means to BE (Live as) a Christian, that is where they turn away from Christ. Let me explain… because not everyone can be a Christian… given Jesus’ commands, expectations, and requirements.
Mt 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Lk 9:23 If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory…
Lk 9:58 Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. 62 No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.
Lk 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Lk 14:33 Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Jn 6:66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
There are many other verses I could list that show that Jesus made it very hard to follow him. Jesus was purposefully honest about the extremely high cost of being a Christ follower… and many chose not to follow. Not everyone is willing to choose suffering… hardship… tribulation… difficulty… persecution… losing family and friends… or death. They aren’t able to be a Christian. Jesus said as much in as is recorded in Matthew 13:20-22…
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
Not everyone can be a Christian… according to Jesus’ words.