Are you Just a Fan or a Follower? Matt.4:18-22
Most common answer when I ask people, “How do you know you are a Christian? “Because I believe in Jesus!”
• Hindu’s believe in Jesus + 330 million other gods!
• Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet.
• New Ager’s believe in Jesus too. Almost everybody believes in Jesus.
Bible Says That All You Have To Do To Get Into Heaven Is To Believe In Jesus!
BUT the Bible also says that even the DEMONS Believe in JESUS & you won’t see them in heaven!
BillyGraham: Define “BELIEVE” in Christ?
“BELIEVE” in+Bible means MORE than SIMPLY AGREEING in our minds that something might be true. It means “TRUST”— that we Believe So Strongly in God that we are willing 2 COMMIT our lives 2 Him & live the way we know He wants us to live. Suppose you were walking a path & you came to a bridge which crossed a deep canyon. You might look at it & BELIEVE that it would hold you, & you might even see other people walking across it so you know it would hold your weight. But so far, your “belief” in the bridge is Only In Your Head. You only really believe it when you are willing 2 commit your life 2 it & actually walk across it.
It is the same way with Christ. Yes, we can believe that God exists,but God wants us 2 come 2 know Him personally. & He has BRIDGED THE GAP between us by sending His Son 2 remove the Barrier Of Sin & Become That “Bridge.”
Matt 15:8 "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
I love Linus in the PEANUTS comics:
He seems like a TRUE BELIEVER… so SINCERE sitting in the Pumpkin Patch every year on Halloween. BUT SO Sincerely WRONG!
So what does it mean 2 “believe in Jesus” & what am I supposed 2 believe?
First of all, there is a huge difference between believing “IN” Jesus & “believing” Jesus.
DIFFERENCE BETWEENa PREFERENCE &aCONVICTION:
A PREFERENCE is Something you can change your mind about.
A CONVICTION is something you’re willing 2 die for.
Even+Devil’s Demons “Believe” James2:19; Mk1:24
Luke 9: 57-62 “follow me” several unnamed people. EXCUSES: “Bury my Father”; “Say Goodbye”
1) EXCLUSIVE –WHAT is+GREATEST COMMANDMENT? Mt22:37LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH
ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, MIND & STRENGTH. .
Just 18 Hrs before crucifiction in JOHN 14:6
“I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE, & NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME.”
2) EXTRAVAGANT – Mary not only gave the oil, but she gave herself, totally & completely. For the follower of Christ, nothing is too good. Our best is not good enough. But we keep on giving because we know that WE CANNOT OUT GIVE OUR LORD JESUS. HE GAVE HIS ALL FOR US.
3) EXPRESSIVE – Sad but often True! We get EXCITED about things that DON’T MATTER while we
remain QUIET& RESERVED about MOST IMPORTANT.
God is the God of ORDER, BUT NOT PARALYSIS.
Old Testament: Shouts, Shouts Of Praise, Trumpets, Cymbals, Clapping Your Hands, Dancing, Singing.
4) EXHAUSTING – A TRUE FOLLOWER NEVER QUITS.
LEFT BOAT, NETS, FATHER, & PAST, 2 FOLLOW CHRIST. knowing Christ. He never gives it up or gives in.
Sports Fans quote Statistics, Scores, History but Christians
Are You A Fan Or A Follower?
Can You Imagine It Getting to Game Day Wife Says, “I Have A Headache, & I’m not Going” & the Husband Responds, “If You Don’t Go, I Won’t, Because Of The Crowds”
Besides last time we went… they kept asking for money & there were Hypocrites behind me.
we have reduced the status of a follower below that of a fan.
* When You Follow Jesus, It Will Ultimately Lead TO A CROWN. We Like That. But The Path Of Jesus Which Leads 2 A Crown ALSO Leads Us By The CROSS.
“If any man would come after me, he must, deny himself, take up his cross, & follow me.” MT16:24
THE SUPERFICIAL FOLLOWERS (nominal Xns) in name only
In the gospels, we have many examples of people following Jesus. You’ll remember that He was quite popular. Crowds would follow Him everywhere. We read in John that…
…a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. - John 6:2
The crowds followed Jesus around because they were curious about Him, they wanted 2 see the miracles He performed, they even admired Him. But while they followed Jesus physically, they were not followers in the spiritual sense.
In Matthew we read:
And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.
- Matthew 19:2
Some people, having physical difficulties such as leprosy, paralysis, blindness or demon possession, having unsuccessfully sought help from others, came 2 Jesus in desperation, expecting Him 2 heal them, and He did. They followed Jesus 2 have their needs met. But this did not mean they were true followers of Jesus Christ. We read nothing of them becoming disciples after their needs were met.
Another group of people followed Jesus 2 hear what He had 2 say. Luke says:
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him 2 hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret.
- Luke 5:1
What about you? Do the ways these people followed Jesus describe the extent 2 which you follow Jesus? Do you admire Him, seek His help 2 meet your needs, approv Lets take up the passage beginning at verse 21, for this is where the context of what it means 2 be a disciple of Jesus gets serious:
From that time Jesus began 2 show 2 His disciples that He must go 2 Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began 2 rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen 2 You!” But He turned and said 2 Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense 2 Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Then Jesus said 2 His disciples, “If anyone desires 2 come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires 2 save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
- Matthew 16:24-25
e of what He says, but go no further? How far does your relationship with Jesus go?
Many Christians today think Christianity is about blessings – what we can gain for ourselves. We’re like the superficial followers of Jesus. We want Him 2 meet our needs, and in return we’ll approve of what He said and admire Him.
“Jesus did not say discuss me; He said follow me. We do not make terms with Christ; we surrender 2 Christ. We do not compromise with Christ; we submit 2 Christ. Christianity does not mean being interested
in Jesus Christ; it means taking the same oath as princes take 2 the king or queen in a coronation ceremony…. The very word sacrament comes from the Latin word sacramentum which means a soldier’s oath of loyalty. The Christian is the one who has a sworn loyalty & who keeps loyalty 2 Christ, the King.” – William Barclay
FOLLOW THE LEADER
1 Peter 2:21; Matthew 16:24;
1 Corinthians 11:1-2; Luke 9:23; Mark 8:34
Train set Object Lesson
(Show everyone the train set.)
Have you ever played with a model train before? Some people get really excited about model trains. They will build elaborate train sets with mountains and towns and train stations. The trains will travel over the mountains and through tunnels and over bridges. Do you know what every train has in common? They always follow their leader!
Have you ever played follow the leader before? (Play a round of follow the leader with everyone following you around the room.)
Trains will always follow their engine. What do you think would happen if one of the train cars decided to not follow the leader engine anymore? (Wait for responses.) It wouldn’t go anywhere! If you were a passenger in that car you would be very upset! A train car is not very useful if it isn’t following its leader.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:21 that we have to follow a leader too. Do you know who that leader is? (Wait for response.) That leader is Jesus Christ! We need to follow him with all that we are.
Through the mountains and valleys that we go through in our lives we need to stay close to our leader, Jesus, and follow him wherever he leads. If we decide that we don’t want to follow him anymore we won’t be able to make any progress in our life and our life will not have the meaning and purpose that God has for us.
Let us always remember that Jesus is our leader and that we need to continually follow him wherever we go in our lives.