The concept of being a Christ follower is hard to grasp at times. In my readings this week in and around the “internets” this week I have read several postings from people who claim to be a follower of Christ but have trouble with following what the Bible has to say. In other words, they are often like the people to whom Jesus was referring when He said “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ when you do not do the things that I say?” Luke 6:46.
Following Jesus is not an easy task. If it were, more people would do it. But it seems that you cut yourself off at the knees when you make a statement that you are a Christian, but you do not follow what the Scriptures have to say. Someone accused me the other day of being one of those people who believe that only Christians are going to heaven. I shared with him what Jesus had to say in John 14 wherein He proclaimed to be the way, the truth and the life; and that no man can come to the Father except through Him. So (to paraphrase CS Lewis) when Jesus made this statement he was either crazy, lying, or truthful. The man replied that it was obvious that Jesus never uttered such a statement and this is one of the many places in the Bible that is made up. Shockingly, this man still claims to follow Christ. How can you follow Christ and at the same time, discount the veracity of His Scripture? The short answer is, you cannot! You may follow some philosophical teachings of Jesus, but you are not following the Risen Christ.
You never meet a Marxist or a socialist who does not cling to the very words of Karl Marx. You never meet a Chinese communist who would even think of disavowing Mao’s Little Red Book. You never met a Mormon who does not cling to the very words of the book of Mormon. I can’t imagine a person who identifies with National Socialism and disagrees with the Nazi party. Then why would a person think that they can claim to be a follower of Jesus and not follow what He had to say?
To be a Christian is not merely to claim to follow Jesus. It refers to the absolute surrender of your life to Him. It is, to reference David Platt, a “radical agenda.” Following Jesus means to not only do the things that he would do (WWJD) but to see things as how He would see them. He once looked upon the multitude of people and saw them as sheep having no shepherd. He once looked at a social outcast and asked for a drink. His view of the world was something different from that of many modern Christians