I just wanted to share an amazing story I read in an amazing book the other day.  I will tell it in my own words, as I don't have the book in front of me.

Setup:  A man had been convicted of murder, and sentenced to death.

The time comes, and he is led out of his cell, to walk the long, dark corridor to the execution chamber.  Leading him, and following him, are guards and prison officials.  The one out of place man, it seems, is a priest.  He is reading from a book in a monotone, ritualistic manner.

The prisoner, being led to death, asks the priest, "What are you reading to me?" to which the priest answers, "These are your last rights.  I'm reading to you about heaven, salvation, and eternity...Heaven and Hell."

The prisoner was enraged, because this "man of God" seemed so uncaring about what he was reading, and was claiming he knew the way to heaven, even for a man such as him.

The rest of the way to the execution chamber, this man, this murderer....preached.  Here is what he said, "How can you speak in piety, and know the truth, and not be passionate about it?  I'm going to hell, and you know a God who loves me so much, that He would still save me?!........and yet you speak with no unction....no passion....no conviction?  If I knew the way by which men like me could be saved, I would crawl on my hands and knees across fields of broken glass and nails, shouting the message all the while. And yet, you speak as a man who is reading a novel, not the Gospel!  God have mercy on your soul priest."

Wow.  So, I end with  questions church.  Do you know the gospel of Christ Jesus?  If you do, are you willing to go through pain and blood and persecution to share it?

Is the gospel of Christ Jesus worth losing your job, and being unable to support your family?

Is the gospel of Christ Jesus worth losing your family?

Is the gospel of Christ Jesus worth being despised by those you love?

Is the gospel of Christ Jesus worth being hated, even in the  church, because you're so radical that you hate sin in the body as God hates it, and love the body, as God loves it, so  much that you can't let it live in an unhealthy manner?  Because a man doesn't despise his own body, but nourishes it, and makes sure that it's taken care of.

Are you willing for all of these things, if it means you are a workman approved by God for the bringing of Good News?

Here's a closing thought:  We honor every drop of blood that Augustine, Paul, Luther, Edwards, etc... spilled for the cause of reforming the church to Christ.  They were hated in their day, the following generations were the one's that honored them.  They only sought God's will.....no matter the cost.

Are you willing?  Am I?

in His love alone, I love you all.