Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25, ESV)
There is an self-centered spirituality that many people embrace that doesn’t require a personal God. This mindset sees each individual as his or her own ‘god.’ All of us have an empty place in our souls that was meant to be occupied by God, and God alone. Something must fill that lonely place in our inner being. If our soul is not filled with God’s Spirit, then we will only be full of ourselves. Only a Jesus centered life is capable of true fulfillment in this life, and in the life to come. Jesus is,” the way the truth and the life.”
The self-centered religious person will even seek to use Jesus and some of his teaching while rejecting God’s moral laws. Those who have this mentality seek to live life according to a spirituality that they have created. There is no self denial, it’s all about personal happiness. But true freedom and happiness comes when we give up the ‘Jesus’ of our own imagination, and embrace the Jesus of the Bible.
Many simply fear hell, so they add as much Jesus as they can to their self-centered religious idolatry. While many simply deny the reality of the Deity of Jesus Christ, and assume that they are part of some cosmic god-consciousness. They seek to free themselves from all God ordained boundaries that he has set up for our own good. It is a challenge to all of us to flee those things that God opposes, because we are all so easily drawn away for him into our own idolatrous ways.