Summary: This series of message inspired by Kyle Idleman's book, "Not a Fan" & offers us one great thought: "Jesus didn't die to create a 'fan-base'". Amen. May God bless you as you develop this truth.
Will You Go With Jesus
A Fan or a Follower - #5 or 5
(Note: This series is inspired by Kyle Idleman’s book – “Not a Fan”)
* The Apostle Paul writes his final words to the carnal church at Corinth. In 2 Corinthians 13:5 he says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith, examine yourselves. Or do you not recognize for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?...Unless you fail the test.”
* In high school, I hated tests! The reason was, “I was always ill-prepared.” Sad to say, but I wasted my high school years. In my 4 years, I prepared little and out of a graduating class of 82, my number was probably 81!! (Perhaps not, just a guess) However, there was one test which I could not wait to take; it was my Senior Literature final exam. All my other grades and courses were pretty good, but this was THE ONE which decided if I would graduate or spend the summer in school. The teacher graciously gave us the material to study and I, in an uncharacteristic manner studied two days for this test. I found myself actually looking forward to this test because I intended to ‘ace’ it. Well, I didn’t get 100, but did score like 98.
* My attitude about the test was driven by my preparation for the test. Paul tells us to test ourselves! And this test is ‘big-stuff’. It’s not about graduating high school (so you can spend at least 4 more years in another school) this test is about life, death, hell, heaven, and eternity. Sometimes we don’t test ourselves because we know we’re ill-prepared.
* The question before is: “Are you a fan or a follower?” Jesus gives the test and He says, “If you love me you will keep my words, you will make me first, & you will surrender to me.”
* For 3 weeks we have run around this question, so today let’s get to the bottom line and ask the BIG QUESTION? Are you a fan or a follower? Will you go with Jesus? Luke 9.
* We have just read Dr. Luke’s account of Jesus having an encounter with three different men. Each of these men represents three types of people today, all of whom would be called fans. Two men came as volunteers and one was given a called by Christ. It seems that none of the 3 went the distance with Jesus. Each man poses a question for us.
1. Will you go with Jesus ‘wherever?’ – The man volunteered, “I’ll go with you wherever” will you be so brave as to say that to Jesus? Most of us ‘control freaks’ will ask, ‘where exactly does this mean?” The answer is simply, “Wherever.” Wherever Jesus says, leads, & guides. We used to sing, “Wherever He Lead, I’ll go. Wherever He leads, I’ll go. I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads, I’ll go.” When the Lord called Abraham, He simply said, “Take you family & go to a land that I WILL (not have already) show you.”
* Saying, “Wherever – sounds good until Jesus places His finger on you and says, “How about there?” To say it sounds like there are no boundaries, borders, or restrictions; it sounds like you’re all in! This is the kind of confession which gets great applause at the end of a service.
* But in practice what if He says, I want you to change your location, move out of Hueytown, and move to Alaska because there is a mission I have for you there? (How about Alabaster)
* How about “I want you to leave the comfort of your Sunday school class to start another class that can reach people your present class will never reach?
* What if God were to simply say, “I want you to change your schedule & priorities and be a part of God’s work on Sunday nights, Monday nights, or Wednesday nights?
* Did you notice the one commonality in all of these questions? It is that God calls us to ‘change’ something. Candidly, some have heard these questions and said, “So much for whatever.” The bad news is that to those who react this way, our Lord may well respond, “So much for your being a follower.” One of the things we have lost sight of is this: Jesus calls us and He knows our response at the ‘heart-level.’ If Jesus allowed the Rich Young ruler to walk away, He will allow anyone to walk away. His calling is without repentance.
2. Will you go with Jesus ‘whenever?’ – In verses 59-60 we hear Jesus extending the same call to a man that he gave to the disciples. It is the same calls that He gives to you and me. It is the call of “Follow Me.” When Jesus extends this call, He calls you now, today, and this minute. I cannot recall one instance when Jesus said, ‘Follow me–but wait until tomorrow.’ There is always a sense of urgency in the call of Christ because tomorrow is guaranteed to no one! A review of the last 6 years of our small community reveals that death & disability is no respecter of person. You can ‘think’ you have plenty of time, but you don’t.