Introduction - Boy, are we all different! The world is colored by a vast array of personalities, opinions, and interests. Aren't we glad we are not all the same--dull...
Can We Make a Deal?
One question we hear a lot today is, "Can I be Christian and ________?" Can I be Christian and gay? Can I be Christian and party? Can I be Christian and sleep with whoever I want? The questions go on, filled with most of the items on Paul's "NO" list found in Galatians 5:19-21.
Unfortunately, many well-meaning Christians don't know how to answer. We try to tip the scales in favor of Grace and forget that there's another side called Truth--a combination Jesus always held in perfect balance. He already gave us the answer to these questions when He included the account of the rich young ruler in three of the four Gospels.
An all-around decent guy came to Jesus with the same question: "Can I be Christian and keep my old identity?" This guy was a believer. He had no doubt that Jesus was who He said He was, and he wanted in on it. But He wanted to make a deal. He wanted what Jesus offered without giving up His old life. Jesus said no. And He let the guy walk away. Then He added the chilling clencher, "How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!"
I don't think Jesus has changed His answer, and we don't have the authority to change it either.