When Abraham was commanded by God to leave Ur-Chaldeans, he left his nation without doubt. Abraham kept walking farther from his homeland and never sought to turn back, even though he had the likelihood to withdraw.1 Abraham’s action was similar to his crucified Ur-Chaldeans, and he was crucified to Ur-Chaldeans. Since his departure from Ur-Chaldeans, he decided to sever ties with that nation. Abraham’s life becomes inspiration and pattern of our Christian faith. Having faith means disengaging with the old world. It can be understood when Lord Jesus reminded believers not to have the pace of life as Lot’s wife who looked back. The work of salvation provided for Lot’s family failed upon Lot’s wife, because she looked back. Lot’s wife was apparently unwilling to cut ties with her heart against what was in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot’s wife’s body slid out of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, yet her heart was still there. Sodom and Gomorrah were supposed to have been crucified to them (Lot’s family), and they should have been crucified to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Believers in the first century could believe and followed Lord Jesus if they had the principles as written by Paul: But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.2 For believing in Lord Jesus and following His path, they should lose everything. They might lose their besties, friends, companion, or even family. They might be excluded from their society, they even had to bet towards their loved ones to be jailed or killed. While they themselves were persecuted and might end in death vile such as beheaded, crucified, burnt alive, etc. This condition was described by Paul as the world had been crucified to them and they themselves to the world. These sufferings became greatness, not something to be ashamed of, due to producing the eternal weight of glory.3
Can this life principle be applied or valid for us today? Surely the answer is yes. The truth of God’s Words has eternal value, until the Lord comes back again and all that was prophesied have been fulfilled. The issue now is how to implement those Words. Like Abraham left Ur-Chaldeans and lived his journey, so do believers leave the pleasure of the world and live into the journey. Living in the journey means not flattering the world as permanent comfortable dwelling, but as the opportunity to prepare ourselves to meet God in His Kingdom. It must be understood, accepted, and applied that the world is not our home.
When we claim to believe, then we have been absorbed as “not of this world”, just as Lord Jesus who is not of this world. This principle must be absolutely applied in the life of believers. That was why Lord Jesus said: In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.4 If one cannot be a disciple, it means he cannot be processed to be changed by God. Hence, what does it mean to be a Christian? This verse is not difficult to be understood at times of persecution, because they were brought into the condition where they should leave everything to be believers or not at all, thus in no way be saved. In this case, we understand why Lord Jesus said that before following Him, one must fist compute the cost. Because following Jesus Christ is very difficult. Troubles even immense hardship will produce unspeakable great blessing. These should become greatness or pride of the believers.
1) Hebrew 11:13-16; 2) Galatians 6:14; 3) 2 Corinthians 4:17; 4) Luke 14:33