“Lord kill me if I don’t preach the Gospel.” It is the first line of Lecrae’s song, “Go Hard,” and it is a prayer that most of us are terrified to utter. For if we pray such a prayer, we know that if the Lord grants us our request that one of two things will happen: either our lives will be radically changed so that everything we think, say, and do revolves around the Gospel, or we will be killed. And more often than not, neither of those two options appeal to us. For if we must live for the Gospel, we would forfeit the lives we desire to live, and if we do not and are killed, we would lose our life so that we could not live the lives we desire to live. Either option produced by such a prayer requires that our lives in this life become forfeit for the sake of the Gospel.
For the apostle Paul, this prayer was the prayer of his life. For, instead of regarding this life as worth living for and indulging in, he regarded it as rubbish, and it was for this reason that he was able to say, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Ph. 1:21). For his heart’s desire was his Lord Jesus Christ and to glorify his name, and he knew that whether he lived or died, his Lord ruled both the living and the dead.
And in spite of the doctrines of “easy-believism” that so grips our churches, this call to find our greatest satisfaction in our Lord is not a call relegated to the Pauls among us, but it is the call of every Christian. For all of us who were foreknown by God were predestined to be conformed to image of his Son and are therefore called like him and for his sake to be “killed all the day long” and to be regarded as “sheep to be slaughtered” (Rm. 8:29, 30, 36). All of us who are God’s elect are called to be as walking dead men in this life, living our lives dead to this world and alive to Christ, finding our greatest satisfaction in God and knowing that nothing can separate us from his love in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rm. 8:39, cf. Rm. 6:11).
It is for this reason that Christ said, “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Lk. 9:24), for our salvation rests in our forfeit of this life for the sake of the life to come.
Therefore, Christian, are you able to pray, “Lord kill me if I don’t preach the Gospel”? Are you willing to lay down your present life and your worldly desires and ambitions now for the sake of him who called you? If not, you have no basis on which to found your hope in a future salvation.