Is it possible to be a Christian if you are not prepared to die for Christ?

This is clearly a very provocative question and one that is guaranteed to stir up a lot of argument if you mention it during a dinner conversation. In the western world we run the risk of seeing Christianity as a lifestyle choice: something that makes my life even better than it already is. Yet the reality is that for most Christians around the world, this question is a daily reality. A recent report claimed that every five minutes, a Christian is killed for their faith somewhere in the world.

If we go back to the witness of the early church, their answer to this question was very clear. To be a Christian meant to follow Christ to the cross and to be prepared to die with him and for him. St Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the church in Rome as he was on his way to his death, saying that he was happy to die so“that I may not only be called a Christian, but also be found one.”

As uncomfortable as the question may be, it is important that we face the reality of what it means to give all for Jesus. If I have heard the call to follow, am I prepared to follow him all the way?