The problem with cancer is not that it causes harm (like a virus). The problem is that cancer cells do nothing.
Cancer cells take resources from the body and give nothing back in return. They just grow and take the place of functioning cells. Soon there are so many cancer cells doing nothing that an entire organ can die causing death in the whole body.
Unlike normal cells, cancer cells lack purpose. They don’t do anything and what they do do doesn’t help the body. Its not that they can’t do anything. They choose not to. Recent research indicates that cancer cells are actually stem cells gone bad . They are Stem cells that have denied their function to heal.
Sound familiar? Every cell in the body fulfills its function except for a cancer cell.
The Body of Christ has this same problem – at least in Texas. Many of us have no purpose. We just receive and receive but we give little or nothing back. Just as cancer can kill a human body, our spiritual cancer is killing the Church here in America.
Are you a cancer cell? Do you give (disciple others, serve, share the Gospel etc.) or do you just take? Does your whole spiritual walk revolve around partnering with God to help others? Or does it revolve around your own holiness and knowledge of God? If so you need to die, because you are killing the body.
There is only one thing you can do to fix a cancer cell. You must kill it.
“Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, [Jesus] said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul ?” Mark 8:34-37
So what do you do if you have cancer? Well, Jesus gave us some great advice.
“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life . Otherwise, you cannot be even your own life . Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. ” Luke 14:26-27
Let’s try that verse again with some ellipses:
“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate … by comparison … your own life. “
To be apart of the body you must love Jesus more than you love yourself. Normal cells have a self destruct mechanism called apoptosis . If they see they are doing harm to the body they will self terminate. It is when this self destruct mechanism stops to function that cancer begins to spread. Healthy cells must continually die and so do healthy Christians.
Now there is a difference between a cell that won’t help the body and a cell that can’t hurt the body. There are some in the body of Christ who we could call God’s special people. These people have disabilities that limit their ability to contribute. There is a huge difference between “can’t” and “won’t.” We have a lot to learn from God’s special people.