Sometimes it feels like God is hunting me down with a message that he wants me to get… not just in my head… not just in my heart… but deep down into the deepest crevices of my soul… so I thought I would stop, and listen.
You see I wonder if we have it all wrong as Christ followers.
Do we really want people to become Christians?
If we do… what does one look like?
I’ve seen bitter custody battles over children by two people who claim to be Christians…
I’ve read books about wars between two Nations who claim to have God on their side… Is our God schizophrenic?
I’ve worked with people who said they are Christian… but their behaviour would seem they are far from that.
The reality is you can ask 5 different people “What is a Christian?” and you will most likely get 5 different answers… or at least views on the subject.
And here is why I think that… because there is nothing to define what a Christian is!
Hold on… what does the Bible say about the matter… surely the Bible would solve this who argument for us…
You would think so right?
You see the Bible mentions Christians 3 times (to save you the trouble Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16) and for the most part it is used as a derogatory name… it was other people calling Jesus followers ‘Christians’… and when Peter (in 1Peter) uses the word it is in reference to what people where calling them. It was almost as if people were actually saying “look at that bunch of Jesus FREAKS… those… CHRIST-ians”
And this brings me to where I seem to be getting chased… hunted… pursued. It seems that every sermon I hear or Christian book I read a word is haunting me… the word ‘disciple’. Even our own Church HPCC discussed ‘being a disciple’ at our evening church last night!
Christ never called us to be Christians… I mean what is that?
Christ called us his DISCIPLES.
“Go into all the world and make disciples” Matthew 28:19
Not make Christians…
The world is sick of Christians… and that’s OK because that is not what we were called to be… we were called to be disciples of Christ.
Even our churches are filled with people who call themselves Christians but do little more than turn up on Sunday and sing a few songs… they do just enough to bring it up in an arguement “Oh no… I wouldn’t do THAT… I’m a Christian”
Now imagine if our churches were full of Disciples?
People who were students of Jesus?
The word ‘disciple’ appears over 200 times… and it starts to paint a really clear picture of what it means to be a disciple.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my disciple (follower), you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 (NLT)
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 (NLT)
You see it makes it very clear… we are to love one another… we are to turn from our selfish ways… we are to humble ourselves.
You see it’s not about us… it never is about us… it is about reflecting everything back to God.
But being a disciple is hard work… it is dedication.
No wonder people opt to be called Christian rather than a disciple of Christ… because being a disciple means you have to live like one.
Being a Christian means you can live however you want whenever you want… why?
Because being a ‘Christian’ isn’t defined… as far as the world is concerned it’s about being good.
But you will never be good enough until you surrender your life fully to Christ Jesus and become a disciple.
As my pastor in Queenstown Shar Davis used to say “Simple but not Easy”