Francis Chan is calling on Christians to be willing to give up their lives for Jesus and not compromise the Gospel by hiding behind otherwise good causes.
Speaking on the main stage Saturday night on the National Mall before tens of thousands assembled from all 50 states at America's Tent of Meeting sponsored by Awaken the Dawn, Chan encouraged believers to be willing to lay down their lives for Christ and to not shrink back from being bold.
"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?" Chan asked, citing the Words of Jesus in Mark 8:36.
"I'm promising you, if you try to save your life, you're going to lose it, but you're not going to regret it."
Chan, 50, who leads We Are Church, a network of house churches based in the San Francisco Bay Area, mentioned that he has reached a point in his life where he's getting rid of more and more stuff. And there is no point in trying to have it all, he said, and protect ones life from all possible forms of suffering.
"We live in a time when Christians are starting to change their theology because they're ashamed of the Words of Jesus Christ, because it's not popular," Chan continued. "We can busy our lives with good things that aren't the most important thing, and I feel like there's a cop-out in Christianity today."
Many are willing to care for the poor, fight human trafficking, and work toward racial reconciliation, he added, and he counts himself among such people. And those are all good, important, biblical causes, he said.
"But I'm just noticing that there are very few people who are spreading the Gospel," he said impassionedly. "And I think I know why."
"I've never been persecuted for feeding the poor. I'm applauded for that. No one's persecuted me for my fighting [against] human trafficking. They applaud me for that. No one gets angry at me because I want unity in the Church, racial reconciliation or even reconciliation between denominations."
Persecution comes, Chan said, when he shares the core truths of the Gospel that are not politically correct.
"When I tell someone that they are by nature an object of wrath, and that they have to stand before holy God and that there is no name under Heaven by which you can be saved except by the name of Jesus Christ. And when I call out sin for what it is in Scripture, I get persecuted."
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