While we're on the topic of following,
let's explore this too, shall we? Considering 4SIX is rooted in
and based around knowledge, I really wanted to start with that,
but the Lord keeps bringing me back here.
Thank you, Lord! And He just told me why. There is one piece of vital knowledge we must all be brutally honest about and crystal clear on. If you've never been told before, then you just don't know. And that's okay. Some of you aren't ready to hear this, some of you don't want to hear it, and some will just reject it outright. And that's okay. It's entirely up to you. But remember...
Be cautious about rejecting knowledge ()
Going back to an earlier article (link), perception is
reality. What we know (or think we know) about someone dictates
our view of them. I have clients who know I do woodworking and
carpentry. To them, that's me. It's what I do. They need
something built out of wood, they come see me. But then they may
find out that I can also do other things. It's almost as if
they're shocked. I was just their carpentry guy. What they knew
about me shaped their reality of me and excluded me from
assisting them with other projects. Their knowledge of me was
We know that God's people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge of Him (). And the same holds true for Jesus. Most people - Christians included - don't know enough about Jesus, let alone really know Him. Their knowledge of Him is lacking. What they know (or think they know) is really incomplete - but sticking to our topic of following and article mentioned earlier - their perception is wrong. Well... maybe not wrong, but maybe it isn't quite right.
My clients come to me for carpentry because that's how they view me - as their carpenter. They know that's what I do. They bounce ideas off of me, ask for my advice, consult and collaborate with me, and have me take care of those things. They don't "follow" me beyond that for other projects. But that's not really who I am. That's not my purpose - it's my job. It's a service I offer. Now, please understand that this isn't a perfect analogy, few are... but it's the same way with Jesus. <Insert questioning look here>
How many people come to Jesus for forgiveness because that's how they view Him - as their Savior? They know that's what He does. They come with a guilty, broken, regretful heart (hopefully anyway), and have Him "take care of" their sin. They don't follow Him beyond that. But that's not all of Who He is. That's only a part of what He does. And here's a hard truth... <you should take a deep breath> "Accepting" Jesus as Savior really doesn't give you a reason to follow Him, does it?
Let's be completely honest. Knowing Jesus is the Savior of the world (, ) and is our atonement for sin (, ) - and only viewing Him that way is selfish. "Following" Jesus simply so you can have your sins forgiven is "consumer" mentality. It's a mindset of "me, me, me." It's like being part of the 5,000+ getting fed then following Jesus to the next town just looking for lunch. <Insert mad face here, but don't stop reading now> (Oh... and "accepting" Jesus as Savior is not how you "attain" eternal life in Christ.) <Insert really mad face here>
Do we need forgiveness of sin? Yes! But don't miss it... Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords (, , ). A lord... a king is a leader. That is someone you follow. And Jesus is the One we should side with (as told in Revelation 17:14 - that's how you are considered to be "with Him" - and as we said in Followers vs Followers). When we know that Jesus is our Lord... when we know that He is our King, then we can follow Him. Then we take the focus off of ourselves and put it on Him. (Isn't that how sin happens??? We focus on ourselves and our own lusts and desires rather than Christ.) We've gone from being a consumer to a contributor. From selfish to selfless. Our focus isn't on what He can do for us, but rather what we can do for Him and for His kingdom. Then - because we're actually watching Him, we can learn from Him and become His disciples.
Jesus is Lord
There isn't one single Scripture that says eternal life is to be had by accepting Jesus as Savior. Not one. (I wonder how long it's taken the Devil to get some of the church to believe and teach that?) I'm not going to do your work for you this time - you should study and search the Word to see that you must believe and confess that Jesus is Lord. If you "know" Jesus as Savior, that's great. It's a good start. But don't stop there. Salvation is only available if He is your King. In Zechariah 9:9 (referenced in Matthew 21:5 and John 12:15), God says, "Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation..." Your King has salvation.
If you're not a part of His kingdom, how can you enjoy the benefits of citizenship?