Summary: This series of message are inspired by Kyle Idleman's book - "Not a Fan."
Define Your Relationship
A Fan or A Follower – #1 of 5
(Note: This series is inspired by Kyle Idleman’s book – “Not a Fan”)
* (VIDEO) Over the next few weeks I am going to ask you to answer this simple question: “Am I a fan or am I a follower of Jesus Christ?” Now you have this type of question many times. You may have heard it so many times that you are anesthetized to it. Two weeks ago we heard a message about the reality of the today’s conditions – and that we must make a choice. Today I begin asking you, “Did you make or have you made the right choice about your life before Him?” If judged by Jesus, Are you a follower of Jesus or are you merely a fan?
* The dictionary defines a ‘fan’ as “an enthusiastic admirer and usually a spectator.” We live in the sport’s capital of the world, we all know about fans. True fans will do much to supports their object (team, person, car, etc) – but it is equally that a fan might well abandon in the times of difficulty when he is needed the most. The reason is because the fan is merely a spectator.
* Conversely, a ‘follower’ is more deeply involved. The dictionary says that a follower is ‘one in the service of, follows the teachings of, or imitates another.’ A follower is committed to be & do for their master, not just be a spectator. In the Bible days, a ‘follower’ was a ‘disciple’ who literally was an “apprentice”.
* This person worked with their master, doing work, asking questions, & learning from the master. This is Jesus’ concept of being a follower. So what are you?
* The reason we will be spending several weeks considering this truth, is because of the ongoing knot in my stomach which is birthed by the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 7. Within the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells a sobering story by painting for us a stunning picture.
* He speaks of the time when you & I will stand before the Father. Jesus says that there’ll be those who have worn the name of Jesus for years and now stand confidently before the throne ONLY TO HEAR these words, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Here’s the truth: those who are only ‘fans of Jesus’ will hear these words. Jesus didn’t die to create a ‘fan-base’. He shed His blood to forgive sin, change lives, and make disciples. Please understand, a disciple is a follower & a follower is a disciple; in other words, a faithful follower. So, what are you?
* On the other hand, a fan can be fickled follower. That means they can be counted on as long as it serves them, they have happy, or the team is winning.
* Every time we gather, we have about 3 or 4 groups of people. First, we have those who are completely committed. They follow Jesus as best they know how, allow Christ to lead and direct their lives. Next, we have those who are seemingly Christian but really think, ‘we should be careful about going overboard with this religion thing.’ They will be heard to say, “I go to church on Sunday (mornings)”, “I don’t see the need of anything else,” or ‘be careful & don’t go crazy over religion.”
* The last group here would be those who are still deciding about following Christ.
* To all three groups, I ask this question: “Have you ever heard, comprehended, & digested the unedited version of Jesus’ teaching?”
* When you say, “Yea, I’ve heard it” then I respond, then you know that Jesus is very particular about the relationships which He has and develops. He gives no hope to anyone except those who are born again, disciples, & followers. He never gives any hope to the fans only to the followers.
* Luke 9:23 is one of many places which outlines this truth. (READ) YIKES!!
* Jesus said, “If you want have a relationship with me or come along with me, you must deny self, take up your cross, and follow me – daily?” Think about all the things He didn’t say. He didn’t say, ‘protect self, stay out of hurt, and go with me occasionally.” His words are unchangeable, unbreakable, and unalterable. In the time which remains, let me ask you to define your relationship to Jesus. Is it:
1. A Committed Relationship – Make no mistake, this is the relationship which we repeatedly hear Jesus describe. Honestly, He gives us no hint that any other type of relationship is acceptable to Him. Verse 23 speaks clearly. In Matthew, Mark & Luke, Jesus says, “Anyone who is not WITH me is against me.” The word ‘with’ speaks of commitment – a strong pledge, promise, obligation, or vow. Jesus’ words lead us to know that He expects full & complete loyalty & faithfulness.