"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
The cross means death, that follows by glory in resurrection, but cross is not and it should not be an Idol. If the cross is not visible, this cross will mortify the deeds of the body of sin as in Romans 8:3 & Colossians 3:5. Philippians 3:10,11 and Hebrews 11:35 say that if we endure suffering conformable unto his death, we will attain glory as unto his resurrection. Jesus Christ has begun the teaching of the cross to his disciples. The preaching of the cross includes the unseen cross of every true Christian. Cross is not an ornament to wear or to carry for decoration with dignity, but it is an instrument of death. The cross will kill you and people will laugh at you as you die. It is your true cross. Hebrews 12:2 … “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” So also as in verse 3, we must also endure our cross, looking forward to our rapture. Romans 8:17 says “... we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” We are not expected to escape the cross, but to endure our cross, and to mortify our body of sin on our cross. If preachers say that Jesus has died on the cross so that we don't have to face the cross, it is false teaching.
As Christians, we all love the cross of Jesus Christ and we love the shedding of his blood on the cross. We also shed our crocodile tears to be a part with our congregation. We hope that our sins are taken care of his cross and his blood. And we are so relieved. But, if we look at the scriptures, we feel that it may not be the case. If we suffer with Jesus or for Jesus Christ, may rule with him. But, we don't want to rule with him. We want to get to heaven and roam around just because of the cross of Jesus Christ, not because that we suffer. What is wrong with that? Nothing wrong with this logic. It is good common sense and it seems good wisdom. But, 1 Corinthians 1:20 says, "... hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" In several places Jesus Christ tells us to follow him with our cross, but not to escape our cross because he was on the cross. Luke 9:22 says, “Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” It shows that our cross is inevitable for our eternal life. We wish that his cross could be proxy for our cross. But, his cross is the actual wood cross, but our crosses are invisible that will mortify the sins of our body. Our eternal life is through our cross. For a detail lesson, please click on this link: "Cross of Christians." Thank you.
God Bless You