Summary: As we look forward to the unique challenges COVID-19 presented to the church universal and the Surprise church specifically I would like to set the theme going forward , Where He Leads I will Follow – Faithful discipleship in a pandemic
THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS 1 WHO ARE YOU FOLLOWING?
1 Peter 2:21-25 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1. Can you believe it? Covid has been with us for 8 months and the end is still not in sight.
2. As we look forward to the unique challenges COVID-19 presented to the church universal and the Surprise church specifically I would like to set the theme going forward ,
Where He Leads I will Follow – Faithful discipleship in a pandemic.
3. The scripture teaches that those who follow Christ will always be a special blessed minority, because the world will always follow someone else.
Matthew 7:13-14 13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few..
4. Napoleon said, “follow me and we will rule Europe.” Historians tell us that 5 to 7 million people died in the Napoleonic wars.
5. Hitler said Follow me and we will rule for a thousand years. Millions believed him and the consequence was World War II and the Holocaust.
6. Lenin promised follow me and communism will create a world-wide Workers’ Paradise. The consequences included more deaths than in all of the wars in the history of the world combined: Russia’s Stalinist purges, China’s Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s Killing fields.
7. All were possible because men were following men.
I. Why following someone other than Jesus is so disastrous.
A. Because behind all false leaders is the author of Death, Satan
Ephesians 2:1-3 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
John 8:44 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 10:10 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
B. Is it any wonder that there is so much suffering in the world today?
C. Jesus issued his call to follow him first to Peter and John
Matthew 4:18-22 18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
D. Why should we choose to follow Christ? Read the rest of the account.
Matthew 4:23-25 23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
E. But why should we follow Him?
II. We should follow him because he is the all-powerful eternal God who created us, and sustains us with a steadfast love.