Monday, 18 February 2019

Why Doesn't My Receiving Jesus Count?

In many churches, people are invited to come to the front and pray to "receive Jesus" into their hearts. But what exactly does this mean? The answer might surprise you.

Following Christ isn't like following somebody on social media. It means, in the context of discipleship, that we learn Christ's teachings and obey him. We can't say, like one man said, that we'll follow later. As our Lord declared in Matthew 8:22 (KJV) to one man who wanted to attend a funeral, "But Jesus said unto him, 'Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.'"

Furthermore, following Christ can cost you. One disciple was a tax collector who could have been well off all his life. But we read in Matthew 9:9 (KJV) how he gave it all up. "And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, 'Follow me.' And he arose, and followed him."

Being a disciple is a serious business. It could mean persecution or even martyrdom. Look at what Matthew 16:24 (KJV) states. "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.'"

When Jesus walked in Israel, he had many followers but they weren't genuine. Those folks just wanted free food and to make him an earthly king. So Jesus used metaphors to show them that they had to give him total allegiance. When the crowd left him, John 6:67 and 68 (BBE) records, "So Jesus said to the twelve, 'Have you a desire to go away?' Then Simon Peter gave this answer: 'Lord, to whom are we to go? you have the words of eternal life;'"

Jesus also warned the crowd in John 6:27 (KJV), "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed."

As we see in Matthew 6:24 (BBE), Jesus must be exclusively our Lord. "No man is able to be a servant to two masters: for he will have hate for the one and love for the other, or he will keep to one and have no respect for the other. You may not be servants of God and of wealth."

So merely ticking a box on a card or walking to the front of a church doesn't indicate salvation. We must learn his teachings and obey him daily. I'll emphasize this in my You Think You're Going to Heaven? Book. As Romans 10:10 (KJV) explains, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

On Thursday, I'll point out that repentance is for everybody and in every time throughout history.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me a comment on this blog. All reasonable comments will be published.