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If Anyone...

Jesus said:
“If anyone would come after me, he must

deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

                                     Mark 8:34

Deny himself
        Get rid of prior incorrect beliefs.  Be willing to accept new information about God that makes sense. 

Take up his cross
        Teach the message (new information about God) correctly, and it may kill you. 
        [For Jesus, the message he taught about God did kill him].

Follow me
        Listen to Jesus.  Pay attention to what Jesus says about this Father.

 

But people have a problem:

Isaiah 30:10

Smooth things.  Pleasant things.  Illusions.  Deceits.

They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right!  Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.”

                                                                                                NIV

They say to the seers, “See not;” and to the prophets, “Prophesy not unto us right things.  Speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.”
                                                                                                KJV

In other words, people who fail to think for themselves are reluctant to be taught anything new concerning their present beliefs.  To discard previously ingrained beliefs and teachings by the religious elite, such an act would be tantamount to being thought of, at worst, as traitors, and at best, as fools.  But, if anyone makes the right choice to follow Jesus, they must do the three things that Jesus mentioned to them.  For those who are courageous enough to disagree with the religious establishment regardless of the outcome, a person needs to be reminded how the religious authorities treated dissidents, especially The Man Born Blind: “they threw him out” of the synagogue! (John 9:34).  And even if that be the case, there is still no reason why a person can’t know God and have a personal relationship with him. 


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