How To Know If I Am a Follower of Christ (2)

by Tom Andrasi on March 7, 2013

in Book Review, Discipleship

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As we saw in Part 1 of this series, David Platt in his new book “Follow Me”, challenges us to take Jesus seriously when he calls us to leave all behind and follow him.

He postulates that unlike the apostles who “immediately left all and followed him,” we the church today have “taken the costly command of Christ to go, baptize and teach all nations and mutated it into a comfortable call for Christians to come, be baptized, and sit in one location.”

I know that some may consider this to be an overly critical statement, but if we could just set aside our personal feelings for a moment we would probably have to agree that at least to some degree it would accurately describe the majority of our churches today.

Rather than adopt the approach which Jesus called us to – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations …” (Matthew 28:19-20) we have put the onus on the world to come to our welcoming, seeker-friendly facilities and learn how to have a better life now.

You have to wonder if this approach has not indeed contributed to the spectator mentality we so often observe in our communities. The focus seems to be for each one of us to get whatever it is we think we need for the coming week rather than to be equipped to go.

If we truly are disciples of Jesus as the author says, we would be supernaturally compelled to make disciples of Jesus.

The common approach we see demonstrated throughout the New Testament is that as people were called and saved, they gained new hearts, new minds, new desires, new wills, and a new way of relating to those around them with a new purpose of taking the gospel everywhere they went.

We see a dramatic change in the lives of Jesus’ disciples after the resurrection. They didn’t go only so far as to grant an intellectual ascent to Jesus’ words, but every part of their lives was oriented to all that Jesus said.

As the author says, “True belief in both heaven and hell radically changes the way we live on earth.  … How can any Christian stay silent and sit idly by while family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances walk off an eternal cliff into everlasting darkness?”

This is the point at which I personally felt the greatest conviction. Truth be told, it is so very easy to live my life without ever really thinking about the eternal destiny of the people I come in contact with on a daily basis. What I wonder does this say about what I claim to believe and what my affections and life reveal?

“A privatized faith in a resurrected Christ is practically inconceivable.”

This I believe is what the author is trying to press home throughout this book – that we need to once again begin to take the words of Jesus at face value and make it our goal to do as he has commanded us.

This is a process which encompasses all our affections and necessitates our having an intimate relationship with God. Everything else flows from this intimacy. As our love for God grows in us by way of our relationship with Him, that very same love will begin to overflow into the external areas of our lives.

To sum up the message of this book, author David Platt states that: “Every disciple of Jesus exists to make disciples of Jesus.”

It’s reasonable to conclude that something is spiritually wrong at the core of a Christian if his or her relationship with Christ is not resulting in reproduction. Maybe more plainly put, wherever you find a Christian who is not leading men and women to Christ, something is not right.”

 

 What do you think, are we really following Jesus and doing what he called us to do? Can we really say that we are a follower of Christ?

© 2013-2015, Tom Andrasi

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