I’m often viewed as the guy who always has to have a deep theological discussion on just about anything (and I kinda like that view). I wanna find the theology in everything. But somethings just aren’t worth it. Somethings are not “a hill to die on” so to speak.
My friend Tim and I do a podcast every week. A couple of weeks ago we discussed a recent trip he took to Hawaii where he met a couple that had just spent three years in Haiti and are now in the youth ministry. As they discussed various theological topics, Tim’s new acquaintance looked over and said, “Some things just aren’t a hill to die on.”
Before we recorded our show we talked over the topics we were covering and he told me that story, and as he told it we both sat back and asked, “What hills are we willing to die on, and are they worth dying for?”
At first glance there are lots to die for. Baptism, views of sin, hell, election, the sabbath, dispensationalism, covenant theology, etc. But in reviewing our list we had to ask, “Do any, or most, of these topics permit or restrict you from heaven?” The simple answer is no. In fact 99% of the doctrines, topics, and beliefs we listed were not ones that permitted or restricted one from heaven. They were simply beliefs, convictions, interpretations of passages of scripture. They were at least conversation topics, at most biblical topics. But they were not worth dying for.
Whether we agreed or disagreed with brothers and/or sisters in Christ on these matters, we will still see them in heaven one day. If I hold to Credo-Baptism and you hold to Pædo-Baptism, we will still one day be worshiping the same God in the same heaven by the blood of the same Jesus. There is no sense in arguing to the point of sin over these topics if ultimately they bear not weight on the eternal outcome of the regenerated soul.
So what is worth dying for? The Gospel.
We could go on and on about what is truly worth dying for such as the efficacious blood of Jesus, his resurrection, the virgin birth, the sovereignty of God, etc. But it is all simplified to The Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the hill every Christian must be willing to die on. Why? Because Jesus died on it for us. Literally. He carried the weight of the world and died on a hill for us. Read that last sentence again.
That is why we must die on the same hill which is the Gospel of Christ Jesus, the resurrected king, Alpha and Omega, amen. Everyday we must walk up that hill, dig our heels into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and be willing to fight to the death for its cause.
But in dying for the Gospel, what is it that we are dying for? We are dying for the glory of God and the salvation of sinners.
In a Christian club on a high school campus that one of my students runs, she presented a message on Christian courage. On one of her slides she cited a certain case in which a murder took place with 37 witnesses. We get the “bystander” effect from this case. 37 witness and not one had the courage to stop a murder in progress.
We are no different. We see people every day on the fast track to hell, living the wrong life, and we do nothing about it. We lack the courage to climb the hill of the Gospel, shouting from its very height the everlasting life that Christ Jesus offers, digging in our heels to give a defense for the Gospel.
One Resurrected Jesus. One Gospel. One hill to die on, and we daily neglect to die on it.
We are the 37 bystanders watching millions walk straight into hell. Be the bystander doing everything you can to stop the destruction in progress. Wake up every day willing to die for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.