Is The Church Truly Following Jesus Today ?
In Part 1 of Is The Church Truly Following Jesus ? we started to look at what it really takes to truly follow Jesus. We studied Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23-24 and Mark 8:34-35 to see that there are 3 things we must do to truly follow Jesus. These 3 things are the opposite of what today’s Christian church teaches, especially in places like the US. Materialism and the prosperity fake gospel have invaded many churches and Christian’s lives, and have diluted people’s commitment to Jesus.
The 3 things Jesus spoke of in these verses are “deny self”, “take up your cross”, and then “follow Me”. Then Jesus emphasizes these 3 things by talking about how we need to “lose our lives” so that we will find them or save them. Jesus is talking about being fully committed to Him and to the kingdom work of the Gospel. That is also what He is saying in Matthew 6:33 but in different words “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”.
Is The Church Today Full Of “Fishers of Men” ?
Is the church today truly following Jesus ? If so then the majority of people in the church would be obeying Jesus and doing the things He commanded. I’m not talking about just going to church every Sunday. Or attending the Wednesday night service or payer meeting every week. I am talking about doing everything that Jesus commanded.
In Matthew 4:19 Jesus says “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”. The vast majority of Christians in the church today will tell you that they indeed are following Jesus. In their marriage. And in their family. In their other relationships. And in their finances. In all aspects of their lives they believe they are following Jesus. But is the church today truly following Jesus ?
In order to truly follow Jesus we must be “fishers of men” – people who actively share Christ with others in their daily lives. In many churches today there is a lot of talk about sharing the Good News of Christ with others and of making disciples. It seems that many churches talk more about the Great Commission than actually do it. How many people in the church are being true to Jesus and being fishers of men ? A “fisher of men” are true followers of Jesus that actively share God’s love and the Gospel with others in their daily life.
Is The Church Truly Following Jesus ?
In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In order to truly follow Jesus we must go out and reach people for Jesus, and then make disciples. Disciples of Jesus are faithful learners and followers of Jesus. True disciples of Jesus are people who are willing to be and do whatever Jesus tells them. And they are willing to go wherever Jesus tells them to go to serve Him. We are all called in God’s Word to go and be “fishers of men” and disciple makers, but most people sadly are staying in the church where it is safe and comfortable. They are “worshiping” every Sunday, while they are disobeying Jesus’ commands in Matthew 4:19 and Matthew 28:19-20.
New believers need to be taught in order to learn how to truly follow Jesus. Reaching lost people with the Gospel is the first of 2 parts of God’s mission that He gave His church. The 2nd key part is to make disciples of new believers.
We need to be committed to not only share the Gospel and reach people for Jesus, but also to helping them to grow spiritually. We need to be willing to invest our time and efforts and resources in caring for new believers, And to teaching them and helping them to grow in their faith and in their fellowship with Jesus.
One of the key things we need to teach new believers is that they too need to be “fishers of men”. We need to teach them how to be faithful witness for Jesus. And we need to teach them the powerful promises in God’s word of how He will empower us to do His kingdom work of sharing the Gospel.
Is Jesus’ Command To Be “Fishers of Men” and Disciple Makers For The Whole Church ?
There are some very interesting verses in Acts chapter 8 about the church. Acts 8:1 tells us that a great persecution broke out against the church, and that everyone except the apostles were scattered to other places in Judea and Samaria. At that time, to be a Christian was a very dangerous thing. The same people who killed Jesus were still around, and they did not want the church to be telling others about Jesus.
In Acts 8:1-4 the apostles, the main leaders of the church, remained in Jerusalem, and everyone else in the church was scattered because of the persecution. If this were a modern day church, it would be the pastors and the staff that remained in Jerusalem, and the regular ordinary people of the church were the ones scattered.
Acts 8:4 tells us “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” In the church of the Bible, it is God’s design and plan for everyone in the church to share the Good News of Christ with others. Not just the pastors or the staff members or the missionaries or the deacons. In Acts 8:4 when it says they preached “the word” everywhere they went, it is referring to preaching the Gospel.
The Church Today
In most churches today only a hand full of people are true “fishers of men” that actively share Christ with others in their lives. Many people believe that it is the role of the pastors and leaders only to do this work. Or only the people that have “the gift of evangelism” need to do it. As we saw in Acts 8:1 & 4, every person in the church is commanded by Jesus to be “fishers of men” and disciple makers.
With regards to the Great Commission it seems the church today is falling far short of God’s design for the church shown in the Bible. Research shows that in the US only 2% or less of people attending a Christian church actively share Christ with others. There is a serious lack of concern about lost people and their eternal destiny.
May God touch and change our hearts, so that we will love others as He does. And so we will love lost people as He does. And so we will have His desire and passion to save lost people in our hearts.
“God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His [ a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
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