Everyone wants to be courageous, and everyone wants to know love; however, not everyone wants to have faith, and not everyone wants to please God. Therein lies the tragedy—without faith in God and a desire to please him, sustained courage and true love remain impossible ideals that will ultimately leave their pursuers ashamed and remorseful.
Even Judas, the apostle that betrayed Christ, died in shame and remorse because he could not find it in his heart to believe in Christ.
Contrariwise, the apostles Peter, John, and Paul, who through faith sought to please Christ, became valiant heroes of the faith whose love and courage are legendary.
They, with open eyes, saw Christ’s truth and responded to his call with humility and determination. They learned that life is a crucible of the soul in which true love and real courage are forged from the furnace of affliction and trials in which the dross of selfishness and cowardice are purged from the hearts of believers.
So, it is no wonder that not everyone signs on for the experience; it is no cake walk. Only the desperate, the valiant, and the brutally honest will venture onto this harrowing trail.
For most, it is not now a matter of the reality of Christ, it is that following Christ becomes all too real. There is no place to hide from his searching eyes; there is no way to rationalize compromise, and the only safety net provided is his mercy.
Many would rather take their chances depending on their own wits, intelligence, and natural courage. Even when these things fail them, they will take refuge in excuses and commiseration with fellow unbelievers who will assure them that truth is a myth and that faith in Christ is the last refuge of the inept and cowardly.
These temporary comforts will be shown to be less than adequate when they come before the throne of judgment and have to defend their life based purely on their own efforts. At that moment they will cringe and writhe in the knowledge that they don’t have one shred of pure faith that would grant them entry into paradise. “Depart from me; I never knew you” will be the last words that they ever hear.
— Brad Heilhecker