All those who have been born-again desire to glorify God and lift up the name of Jesus Christ, there are no exceptions. “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” (Psalm 98:4) The problem seems to be that that is as far as they are desirous to go, they do indeed attempt to flee and abstain from the evils of this world, they want their heart of stone to be changed into one of flesh, (Eze. 36:26) but their generalized focus in this life remains upon them, at times allowing the Holy Spirit to transform them by the renewing of their minds, (Romans 12:2) but for the most part they abstain instead of searching for more of our Savior.
They are indeed saved by the grace of God through faith, (Eph. 2:8) but they have no desire to be crucified with Him, they will die only in part to self.
A complete and total reliance on the provisions of God in humility is the life of the one who has determined to get up on that cross and die to self, nothing matters to them but Jesus. To be born-again is necessary to enter into the kingdom of God, there is no other door but the Lord Jesus, (John 10:9) it is not necessary though to be a part of the fellowship of His suffering, (Phil. 3:10) that must be sought after, even requested. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)
Here is the crucified life, it is to be hated by the world, to be despised by those that hate Him who was hated first. (John 15:18)
Many stand with great flowing tears as they witness the sight of the Beloved torn, bleeding and dying on that cross. Many rise in great rejoicing at the sight of the empty tomb, but few obey the commandment, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24) These know a great joy in their heart, but will only profess it in selected company, they love to tell the story, but only to those who also know it, they congregate together at the appointed times, but they still live in the world. They will die only in part.
The Holy Spirit can, but will not, empty a man of all that is in him save for Christ, but He will not, that decision, that action of our life must be done by us, we must make the decision of how much of the Lord Jesus we want, of how much of us that we are willing to sacrifice for Him. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) That verse speaks of the one who is willing to lay down his life completely for his One and only abiding true Friend, it speaks of the one who desires to be crucified with Christ, and to know the fellowship of His suffering, (2 Cor. 1:5) and that man is indeed rare in these days.
The old hymn says, “Where He leads, I will follow,” many have sung it, few actually perform this action.
The crucified life has no fear whatsoever of the future, they are secure in the Beloved, circumstances hold no sway over them, they understand and believe completely Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” The desired consequences of every movement and thought of their life is that God would be glorified, it is their sole purpose.
The mocking’s and ridicules roll off their back, they feel sorrow for those that attack them in such a manner, for they know their end if they do not repent. Embarrassment for Christ is foreign to them, they are ashamed only when they have not been profitable, and that is always directed in repentance to their Savior, begging and praying for more strength each day to honor Him more, and to never dishonor Him in any word or deed.
One can be born-again without completely dying to self, no one can be crucified with Christ and return to the life they once knew. And not one of them has ever regretted one single moment of their life after that death to self, they say with Paul their only one true regret, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12)