As we have come together to worship tonight as a community, it is my privilege
to open God’s Holy Word with you and share the words of Christ to “Come to Him, and
follow”, which we are all doing tonight.
Listen to Christ calling His disciples to follow Him, as recorded in Mark 8:31-
“31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise
again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke
Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter,
saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the
things of men.”
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them,
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for
My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the
whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his
soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His
Father with the holy angels.”
In this calling to “take up our cross and follow Christ”, the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes to us of what we wrestle against, or struggle with, in our journey.
From Ephesians 6:10-12, we read:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c]
against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
One clear example of the principalities and powers and “spiritual hosts of wickedness” which we wrestle against, but which Christ overcame and still overcomes, is the evil that took place in Charleston two weeks ago.
On a Wednesday night at 8:00 pm, Christian brothers and sisters gathered for a night of prayer and study. At 8:16 pm, a visitor, Dylann Roof, joined the congregation. After sitting with them for nearly one hour, he opened fire, killing nine. Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45; and Myra Thompson, 59.
Just a man trying to save his thoughts and correspondence