The problem with sayings is that people often forget where they came from. For example, there are those who think that, “The Lord helps those who help themselves,” is in the Bible. Benjamin Franklin was the one who originated that proverb.
Many non Christians speak of bearing their crosses, meaning that they endure difficult people and situations. This is totally untrue, even if Scripture does exhort us to bear adversity with patience.
Christ explained what bearing the cross meant in Matthew 16:24 )(KJV). “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.'”
This verse is abundantly clear that taking up the cross means to follow Christ. This is much more serious than following somebody on social media sites. Disciples literally followed their teacher around and learned his teachings. Jesus isn’t in the flesh today but we still follow him, or we ought to, with the same devotion eleven out of twelve disciples showed back then.
Remember the rich, young ruler who came to Christ and asked how to obtain eternal life. That man figured that outwardly obeying the law was good enough. But the Lord knew his covetous heart and he pointed out what he should do. Mark 10:21 (KJV) states, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, ‘One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.'”
Neither does carrying a beam mean taking up the cross. Some people might get that idea from Luke 23:26 (KJV) which says, “And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.”
Scripture is clear about what bearing one’s cross means. Every disciple except Judas Iscariot suffered for their solid trust in Christ. Martyrs also refused to cave to the demands of non Christians to deny their saviour. Hebrews chapter eleven is filled with the accounts of those who refused to bow to foreign gods. Even today, believers suffer for holding fast to their faith in Christ.
And there’s no taqia in Christianity like there is in Islam. We can’t lie to unbelievers in order to further the Christian cause. Neither are we called to avenge ourselves as Muslims are commanded to do. As Paul wrote in Romans 12:19 (KJV), “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
I’ll be writing more about the diametric opposite teachings of Islam and Christianity in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? All other belief systems, including Islam and atheism, are based on works we accomplish. Only Christianity teaches the truth that we can’t save ourselves, no matter how hard we try.
On Monday, I’ll be writing about how much money we must give to God’s work.