The “Calling” Into Missionary Service, Pt.3

<<This article is a continuation of  parts one and two>>

Typically, on the last night of Bible Camp teens flood the stage during invitational time for diverse reasons.  Some come full of emotion being the last night of camp where they have heard about Jesus all week and want to make a decision of some sort ranging anywhere from just “doing better” to unconditional surrender. Decisions like these filled with emotion are often called “camp decisions” and carry a bad meaning for their shortsighted resolution. While many of the decisions are noble and truly made for the glory of Christ fail to yield any fruit and the effect rarely last longer than a week or two after they’ve arrived home.  It isn’t fair of course to say that every emotional decision is unfruitful, as I share in my own personal testimony that I first surrendered to Christ during Bible camp.  But the problem isn’t what goes on at camp, the problem is what goes on at home. Soon after arriving home, Mary Jane or Billy Boy return to the “things of this world”, whatever they may be.  Many of the things a typical Christian boy or girl return to are not sinful in themselves: Xbox’s, TV, iPod’s, toys, clubs, sports, boyfriends or girlfriends, etc.  So why cannot an emotional decision made at the altar before Christ be enough to overcome the things of the world?  Why does the love of these earthly things so quickly over power a decision to follow Christ?

Perhaps when these decisions were made, they were not prayerfully given the proper time to “count the cost”.   Once a young scribe (writer) came to Jesus perhaps after hearing Him preach a stirring message on eternal life only through Him.  So impressed and so moved by the compassion of God, the young scribe says to Jesus, “Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”  Now as admirable as this was Jesus response wasn’t immediate acceptance, instead of receiving a quick admittance to service the young man received a disclaimer, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”  In other words, decisions to accept the calling to Christ must accompany the counting of the cost.  Jesus told the young man, (in my own words) “Son, I don’t have anywhere to lay my head, and neither will you if you decide to follow me… are you sure your ready?”

Jesus explained in Luke 14 that its unwise to take on the task of following Christ if you are unwilling to pay its dues.  To go along with our description of Camp decisions, it’s not enough just to make an emotional and haphazard decision to follow Christ, but a careful and counted choice in running the race in the pursuit of Christ until the end.  With that being said Jesus continued to preach, “likewise whosoever he be of you that cannot forsake all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple”.  It’s comparatively easy to go forward during an altar call, but it’s all something different to mean business with God once you get home and it’s time to forsake your stuff.

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