“Christ would have all who profess and call themselves Christians reminded that they must carry the cross. They must lay their account to be despised, afflicted and tried, like their Master. He would have no person enlisted on false pretenses. He would have it distinctly understood that there is a battle to be fought, and a race to be run – a work to be done, and many hard things to be endured – if we propose to follow Him. Salvation He is ready to bestow, without money and without price. Grace by the way, and glory in the end, shall be given to every sinner who comes to Him. But He would not have us ignorant that we shall have deadly enemies – the world, the flesh, and the devil – and that many will hate us, slander us, and persecute us, if we become His disciples. He does not wish to discourage us, but He does wish us to know the truth.”
~ J.C. Ryle
You probably won’t hear anything like the above quote preached from the stages of most of today’s megachurches. If what God has promised to those who would be his disciples is actually taught, instead of the promises of better jobs, great sex, awesome self-esteem, more ‘stuff’ than can be imagined. . . ad nauseum, the folks in the theater seats (with or without Starbucks and popcorn for the show) to pay for the buildings, great audio/visual equipment, television style sets, and all the ‘pastors’ listed on their Web Site. would vacate the premises faster than the crowd at a rock concert when the pyrotechnics set the stage on fire.