Summary: Why do people follow Christ? If not for the right reasons, they will soon fall away.
I. Why do people follow Christ?
II. We might expect that any reason people respond to Christ would be a good reason, but that is not always the case.
III. One of the more interesting facts about “church” life that I have observed is that there are many reason why people “follow” Christ, but if the reasons are not right, they may soon fall away.
IV. Now I realize that I may seem to be equating the church with Christ.
A. But please understand that I do not believe the two to be the same.
B. I do however believe, that followers of Christ will have a sincere desire to fellowship with others who make up the Bride of Christ.
V. So why do people follow Christ, and thus perhaps associate with a particular church.
A. Some follow for what they can get; these we will call “Materialist”
1. They believe they will receive
d. And whatever else, in the context of this life.
2. You know these churches and their followers by messages that are more related to “God doesn’t want you to be poor,” as opposed to “God wants you to enjoy a relationship with him.
B. Some follow, we might even say with a sincere desire, because they are offered a set of rules that will help them be closer to God; these we will call the “Legalist”.
1. For those types, they want concrete rules for godliness.
2. These are reflected by messages focusing on loss of relationship or even salvation because you broke the rules.
3. The ultimate expression of the “rules” set are cults where we see a Charismatic leader exert his laws, and people that willingly follow.
C. Some follow for the excitement; these we will call “Sensationalist”
1. These folks are in it for the emotional exuberance that is on display each week.
2. They often attend services because it is exciting, and an escape from the mundane of life.
VI. The passage of scripture that we are going to look at this morning, is one of the longer passages I have ever tried to preach in one setting.
A. We begin with John chapter 6, verse 22.
B. It concludes with John 6, verse 71.
VII. In the first part of the passage a multitude of people, those that Christ has just fed, go off looking for Jesus.
VIII. In concludes with Jesus asking of his apostles, “You don’t want to leave too” because many of the crowd that came looking, left when they decided Jesus wasn’t going to be their “sugar daddy.”
IX. You see, the problem with following Christ for the wrong reasons is that once we decide Jesus isn’t paying off, we leave.
X. When the Word of God says something we don’t like, it immediately becomes way to difficult to stay in it for the long haul.
XI. This entire passage is essentially Jesus’ response to three misconceptions about being a follower of God.
XII. The first misconception is “Materialism.”
A. My dictionary gives this definition for materialism.
B. “A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.”
The Answer to Materialism (vs. 22-27)
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
I. The context is this, Jesus has just fed the 5000.
A. He and the apostles then departed for Capernaum.
B. The people, realizing that Jesus had just filled their stomachs, ie. Met a material need, decide to follow after Him.
1. After all, if He fed them with nothing once, surely he would want to continue to give them full bellies.
2. Isn’t that what love is.
II. The people fill some arriving boats and head out to find their meal ticket.
A. The “when did you get here?” of verse 25 actually hides their real question,