Matthew 4:19 (NLT)
Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”
·The one common thing about fans – they all have their commitment limit. Even the crazy fanatics have their breaking point - their point of – I can’t take anymore! Something must change! In fact – they might reach that breaking point before the casual fan does!
After all these years – one thing is undeniable – when the team is doing well – the stadiums are full – it’s much more difficult to get tickets – we’ll watch more games on TV – we’ll even wear the apparel more often and purchase more apparel!
·Jesus is not looking for Fans – He’s calling Followers!
Matthew 16:13-26 (NLT)
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Jesus Predicts His Death
21 From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
Have you made a Decision or Commitment?
There is a difference –
Many people have made a decision to believe in Jesus – without making a commitment to follow Jesus!
Kim made this clear last week – and brought our attention to the words of Jesus himself when He said – “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?"
Many fans identify themselves as followers by using cultural comparisons.
They look at the commitment level of others around them and feel like their relationship with Jesus is solid.
That’s what Jesus said…”If you want to be My follower, you must deny yourself (give up your own way), take up your cross and follow Me.”
Good News for followers:
Matthew 10:22 (NLT)
And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 5:11-12 (NLT)
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it !Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.