Summary: This sermon should challenge each hearer to examine their commitment as a follower of Jesus Christ. To be a follower of Christ takes a supreme commitment.
Subject: Christian Discipleship
Scripture: Luke 14.25-33
Sermon: “Jesus Wants Followers Not Fans”
Scope: This sermon should challenge each hearer to examine their commitment as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Summary: To be a follower of Christ takes a supreme commitment.
Segue: Let’s look at some truths that will help you determine your status as a Fan or Follower of Jesus Christ.
Introduction: Are you ready for some football! We are only 48 days 3hrs and approximately 30 minutes to the kick off of Alabama football. Foot ball in Alabama is more than a sport. It is a way of life. We live foot ball 365 days a year. It is almost like a religion. In fact we begin to indoctrinate our children with our foot ball theology even before they come out of the womb. Every Alabamian at some point in their childhood must declare their team affiliation whether they want to or not.
Football fans do crazy things. We will pack up our RV’s and head to the parking lot of our favorite ball team so that we can gill out and watch the game on television when we could have done that same thing at home on our own patio.
Fans are finicky. When things are going good for the team we fill the stands and cheer them on. But, when the chips are down we criticize every play. We bad mouth the players and the coach. We talk about the way it used to be. Fans come in frenzies. They feed on the excitement and vanish when the difficult times come.
The sad truth is that many Christians today resemble football fans. They rally around the excitement and they run from the work. They encourage in the good times and criticize when things are not going so well. They fill the pew and wait to be entertained.
Jesus understood this. We find Him own His way to Jerusalem and a crowd has gathered around Him. In fact the Bible says that "great multitudes" were all around Him. When Jesus saw these multitudes He turned and said to them in essence, "I’m not looking for fans; I’m looking for followers."
Jesus is saying to us today what He said to those multitudes in His day. It’s easy to be a fan. Fans are here today and gone tomorrow. Following takes commitment. Following takes sacrifice. Unfortunately the church today is filled with fans rather than followers. We have people in our pews that are fans of the building they gather in. There are those in church today who are fans of the preacher or the worship leader. There are those who are even fans of Jesus, but they have never made the transition to become a follower of Jesus. It is time for you to declare your loyalty. It is time for you to decide if you’re going to be a fan or a follower of Jesus Christ. Today we are going to look at several truths that will help us understand what it takes to become a follower of Christ rather than a fan.
First, we must realize that there is a cost to following Jesus Christ. This cost is two fold. It begins with a supreme commitment. Jesus said to these multitudes, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14.26 NKJV)." We here these words and we say wait just one minute. Did I read that correctly? Did Jesus just tell me that if I wanted to follow Him that I had to hate those who were closest to me? This seems to be the complete opposite of what we know about God and His character. After all the Bible tells us the "God is Love." Jesus has told us in other places that we must love one another. In fact the Bible teaches that people will know that we are the children of God by the way we love each other. Yet, here we have Jesus telling us that we must hate in order to follow Him.
It gets even more confusing than that. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 10.34-37; "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ’set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me (NKJV)." We read that with a confused look on our faces. We say how can this be? What does He mean that we are "not worthy" of Him if we don’t hate those who should be some of our closest relationship?