Unfortunately, the answer is “No.” Jesus said “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).
What did Jesus mean when He said that we must deny ourselves? Denying is when you don’t enjoy what the world enjoys. You can’t say that you’re a Christian when you go out and live like the world. The Bible says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Jesus also said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it…” (Matthew 16:25)? We have all heard people saying “we only live once, let us enjoy it.” A pastor once said, “If you’re born once (natural birth) you will die twice (natural death + eternal death), but if you’re born twice (natural birth + conversion) you die once (natural death) and live forever. Jesus confirmed, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 asks, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” These verses are more than just talking about what we put into our bodies…but what we do with our lives. Our actions should reflect Christ in us and we know how Christ was rejected by the world for He lived a good life.
We are told not to love the world: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). And James adds, “Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4). God will surely bless all that walk in His steps (Proverbs 3:5).
In His service,
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