The congregation stood to sing an invitation song when a young woman stepped away from the pew and walked down the aisle toward the preacher.
“I want to be baptized for the remission of sins,” she told him, “I want to become a Christian.”
She was so very happy when she walked from the waters of baptism that morning. She was a new child of God. She rejoiced before us as she pledged to give her life to her Savior.
Three hours later, after a meeting with her mother-in-law, she decided never to return to the church. She had been convinced her husband and his family would disown her and take her child. The burden was too difficult to bear. She let the church know of her decision through a relative.
The Lord Christ unites people, but he also divides them. Jesus should have been accepted as Lord and Christ by the Jews. He should have been adored and worshipped by them, but many rejected him. The scribes and Pharisees opposed him and wanted him killed. Jesus told his apostles they would be handed over to the courts and beaten (Matthew 10:17).
The rejection of Jesus would extend into families. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
The sword of God’s truth can unite or divide people. It isn’t how Jesus preached the gospel that was the cause; it was the decision that makes the determination.
For the young woman who was so excited to be baptized, the cost of discipleship was just too high. But, if one loves father, mother, son, daughter, or even husband or wife more than Jesus, then one is not worthy of the Lord (Matthew 10:37).
Yes, Jesus brings a hard choice with him. Basically, however, the decision is either salvation or condemnation. Such is a decision we all must make.