Monday, August 24, 2009

Deliverance from Mormonism and the Cost of Discipleship

Yesterday a young man who had been raised in the Mormon religion came up to me at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in California. He was about 25 years old and was wearing a big smile and a "Not of This World" tee-shirt. He said that he wanted to let me know that someone from the church there had given him a copy of my CD entitled "Mormonism: Investigating the Life, Teachings, and Claims of Joseph Smith." He said he listened to it and that God used it to open his eyes to the fact that Mormonism was not a Christian religion. He has since left the Mormon religion and has started attending the Calvary there in Chino Hills. He said that his Mormon family has been devastated by his decision.

Indeed there is a cost for all who decide to abandon the traditions and beliefs of their families to follow Jesus. Many who decide to follow Jesus end up being despised by their own families. Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household" (Matthew 10:34-35). Losing the approval of our families is sometimes one of the costs of being a disciple of Jesus. But the price is infinitely worth paying. I would rather know my God, my Savior, and my Creator than have the applause of my friends and family.

Have you lost the approval of some of your family or friends? Have you suffered some form of persecution for your faith? My friend, be of good courage! Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12).

It has been tough season for the young man I met yesterday. He is setting out in a different direction than his entire family. Would you say a quick prayer for him that God would remind him that he's not alone (Matt. 28:20, Heb. 13:5)? I think he said that his name was Joshua (God knows).