The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 2/28

Posted on | February 28, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 2/28

Scripture reading: Luke 14:25–33

Stating the Obvious

Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)

 

The word “Christian” no longer communicates its original meaning. In the New Testament (where, incidentally, the word occurs only three times) it referred to those persons who were modeling their lives after the One to whom they had given total allegiance: Jesus. Today the word refers to everything from moral behavior to political opinions. Those who use it often feel constrained to attach an adjective up front so that listeners better understand what they intend: “right wing,” “fundamentalist,” “born again,” “social activist,” etc. Consequently, I have decided to avoid the term “Christian” whenever possible. The word just isn’t helpful in most settings to convey Gospel truth.

The term used more frequently in the New Testament to describe someone who has put his/her faith in Jesus is “disciple.” In modern language, the word might be translated “apprentice,” “student,” “learner,” or “follower.” Many today who would be quick to call themselves a “Christian” would hesitate to identify themselves as an “apprentice” of Jesus, and rightly so! We have become a nation where most people take it for granted that you can be a Christian without being a disciple. Unfortunately, even in the church this is often the case. Brothers and sisters, these things ought not to be! It is time to stand up and state the obvious: You simply cannot call yourself a follower of Christ if you are not following Christ! Jesus sent us into the world to “make disciples,” not to mass produce “Christians.”

Nowhere is the bankruptcy of the church more apparent than in how we invite people to become “Christians.” People are asked to “say the prayer” and “invite Jesus into your heart” so that “you can go to heaven when you die.” Frankly, I search the Bible in vain to find examples of this method of evangelism. I do not mean to denigrate past or present methodologies for leading people to Christ, but I do mean to abolish the naive notion that such activities produce disciples. Such behaviors may start the process, but they must never be confused with the ultimate goal.

A disciple is someone who has made a conscious decision to respond to the invitation of Jesus: “Follow me.” From that day forward, his primary focus in life is to be with Jesus, to do what he does, and to become what he is. This new life is not based in obligatory religious duty. Rather it is the grateful and passionate response to an incredible opportunity from God himself that dare not be missed!

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45)

 

Dear friend, the real question for us today is not whether you have been baptized, joined the church, said the prayer, read your  Bible,  or  have  orthodox  theology. The real question is this: Are you Jesus’ apprentice? Are you a disciple? Are you following Him? For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:14).

 

 

 

 

The so-called “sinner’s prayer” is one of those tools that make it

alarmingly easy for someone to consider himself a Christian,

when he has absolutely no understanding of what “counting the cost”

(Luke 14:28) really means. —A. W. Tozer

 

 

 

point to ponder What logic makes it possible for someone to call himself a Christ follower when he is not following Christ?

 

prayer focus •     For God to reveal any roadblock (sin) in your life that is keeping his power from working in you.

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