What is a Christian? Does it simply mean that you believe in God? Do you make it a point to go to church on a Sunday morning? Do you take the time to pray at some point during the day? The word Christian in our modern society has become so versatile, that many individuals who are fans of Jesus, have been fooled into believing they are followers. Did you know that in the Bible, the term Christian was hardly used? The word disciple was used to describe what a Christian truly is, and that word is used quite often in the Bible. In order for us to become a follower of Christ, we must understand the meaning of being his disciple.
When you study the Bible, you come to realize that when Jesus calls out to people, he does so by uttering "Follow Me." What does that mean exactly, take a look at this verse from Luke 9:23-24 where Christ makes it clear what following him requires: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
In order for us to become a true follower of Christ, we must deny our own selfish desire and needs. This is a very hard order, therefore many of us become fans of Jesus instead of followers. You see in order to become a disciple, we must put our focus on the lives of others, leaving our individuals lives as an afterthought. It is imperative that we take up our cross, for this is the ultimate sacrifice. Think about that for a moment, in the days of Christ, execution by the cross was the most humiliating and torturous way to die. Why? Well none of us wants to die, but it goes even deeper than that. In fact Christ is telling us we must deny ourselves our own desires, and be willing to put our very lives on the line for him! We must be willing to give everything including our very life. Jesus promised to each and every follower of Christ that when we are willing to lay down our life for him, we will find true life in him for all eternity.
A follower of Jesus has centered his life upon him, where a fan of Jesus doesn't mind going to church on a Sunday morning, as long as he isn't asked to attend another service. Its okay to say a prayer in church, and maybe again at night before bed if there not to tired. It's okay to close the church doors, because it costs too much to keep them open for the few that desire to assemble. Thank God, Christ did not consider the sacrifices he made for us, in the fashion that we do. In order to become a true follower of Christ, we must change our entire lifestyle. Including the way that we act, think, and speak. This requires not only deep commitment but individual sacrifices. The old sinful person must die, so that we become a new person in Christ. Our churches must stop conforming to the worldly views, and go back to Christ's view. True followers of Christ must unite and not undersell the Gospel. In fact, instead of watering down the word of God to build up Sunday morning attendance, we need to focus on what are between the pages of the Bible
Jesus instructs on how to become followers of Christ, instead of merely fans. Churches have to change but in order to do so, it will take every believer to accept that they must change and be a true follower of Jesus instead of a seat warmer in a church service. As a body of believers we must be willing to sacrifice comforts when needed, to keep the church doors open. I'm often taken aback by the lame excuses we offer in justification for ceasing to preach God's word. Have we forgotten that where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there also? Do we take for granted the torture Christ endured for each and every one of us? Fans convince themselves they are justified to put worldly pleasure at the forefront of their lives. They have lost their faith, no longer relying on Christ to provide their needs. The sad reality is that our ministers no longer stand on the solid foundation of faith, and therefore neither does the congregation.
It's easy to be a fan. Fans are here today and gone tomorrow. Following takes commitment. Following takes sacrifice. Unfortunately the church today is filled with fans rather than followers. How many fans fool themselves into believing they are followers or Disciples of Christ? A true disciple of Jesus understands the level of commitment that is required, lest they be fooled on Judgment day.
Our lives our made up of so much in this world today, that we often forget to take the time to do the things we love. My entire life has been filled with both the love I have for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and writing.
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