The Gospel Christ preached calls us to a selfless, sacrificial, often uncomfortable lifestyle. It cannot be blended with a consumeristic, selfish, and greedy culture.
It does not promise wealth or good health. It does not ensure that we will be happy. We are to choose joy in our circumstances, but that speaks nothing of happiness. Jesus did not recruit people to His cause by promising them the world. He promised them a reward far greater than anything on earth, but as for their lives on this earth, He told some of them that they were destined for torture and death (John 21:18).
Jesus promoted a Kingdom built upside down. The least shall be the greatest. The last shall be first. The wealthy are poor, and the poor shall be rich. When people came to Him and said they wanted to follow Him, He often pushed them away. He told a man to sell all of his possessions before following Him (Matt. 19:21). He told another to ignore his family responsibility, to not go back home to help bury his recently passed father and to “let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matt. 8:22) These men walked away, and Jesus didn’t stop them. He didn’t try to serve up the Gospel on a silver platter, pleading, “Wait, maybe I can make this sound a little more appealing to you.” Perhaps our churches today should take note.
Jesus wanted followers who were dedicated to His cause. Willing to drop anything and everything. Willing to “hate” their family for the sake of the Gospel (Luke 14:26). He had no intention of surrounding Himself with lukewarm followers. People who claim Him when convenient, thank Him when things are going well, and have no intention of leaving their comfortable, safe lifestyle.
If we truly seek God's heart, we will realize that "our" money is not our own. It has been given to us that we might bless others. There is no room for a selfish and lavish lifestyle while others around the world are naked, hungry, and dying of preventable disease. When others have not heard His Gospel. We cannot claim to know the heart of God if our hearts are not broken for the things that break His heart. The widows, the orphans, the hungry, the naked. The least of these.
If you believe that Christ is Lord, you must believe that He spoke the words of God. We cannot pretend that He did not mean some of the things He said. We cannot ignore His words that we should "give to anyone that asks of you." We cannot say that His call to "Go and make disciples of all nations" only applies to some of us. We either follow Christ and believe His words or we don't.
When it comes to Christ and culture, there is a distinct fork in the road. You must choose which one you will follow.