Are you a Christ-follower? Sure?

Following Jesus is not about doing something else. Following Jesus is about being somebody else. Not about going to church, singing in a choir, fasting, praying and reading the Bible. Anybody can do that and be as far from being a Christ-follower as Harold Shipman.[1]

Following Christ is where you stop being who you were born as and begin becoming who God called you to be.

It’s not about doing. It’s about being. If we just start doing what we believe Christ-followers do, we’re merely actors. And there’s no salvation in acting. We may know church, but we don’t live as though we know God.

Look at what Jesus said.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’”[2]

The world is about to change dramatically. For centuries, there has been a church that is not a church. A church filled with church people, not Christ followers. They were told that salvation comes by praying a prayer, going to church every Sunday and doing their best to overcome sin. But it’s impossible for unbelievers to overcome sin. They’re unbelievers. They’re not Christ-followers. They sit in pews in the same condition they were in when they entered the world. And they’ll leave that way, unless they repent.

Repentance has little to do with becoming less like the world and more to do with becoming increasingly like Jesus. Cults are less like the world, but they’re nothing like Jesus. The focus of repentance is not sin. It’s not what we’re abandoning. The focus of repentance is Jesus. It’s who we’re emulating, who we’re embracing.

As long as we’re trying to maintain our distance from the world, we’re continuing to move farther from God, because the world is continually moving away from God. We need to turn our back on the world, focus on moving closer to Jesus and let the world drift where it will.

This is one of the main messages of the time. It has nothing to do with politics or pandering, which are too frequently synonymous. It has nothing to do with what God is calling us to give up, because he’s not calling us to give up anything. He calling us. Period. And when we respond to his call, we give up nothing. It falls away like rubbish. It’s not a struggle. It’s not even noticed.

There’s little time left to be on the fence. The fences are coming down, and whichever way you’re leaning when they do is the side on which you’ll fall.

Is that a chance you want to take?

If you’re not sure you’re a Christ-follower, open your Bible and read the New Testament. It’ll quickly become clear. Get off by yourself for an hour or so. Sit down in front of God, ask him if he recognizes you and wait for his answer.

~ Artwork by Ben White

[1] Harold Frederick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004) was an English general practitioner and is believed to be the most prolific serial killer in history, with his total number of victims estimated to be around 250. “Harold Shipman: The killer doctor,” BBC News, 13 January 2004.

[2] Matthew 7:21-23, AMP.