Sermon: Be not a Fan, but true follower

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Published: 01st December 2010
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"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.For whosoever will save his life shall lose it and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

Basically, before saying those words, Jesus started to share with His disciples, that He was to suffer from elders and chief priests, and to be killed and raised again the third day. Peter started to say something like "O Lord, be merciful to yourself, don't let this happen to you", And then Jesus said that, in order for a man go after Jesus, the man shall deny himself, take up his cross, and follow him"Today, people in our country don't like commitments! They would rather have a boyfriend/girlfriend relationships all their life, than to get married. Especially this is true for celebrities and rich people. How about christianity? As far as I know most of our youth in our church is baptized! Do you guys know what you got unto? Based on the words that Jesus said, Jesus is not looking for FANS, instead He is looking for fully committed FOLLOWERS!What is the difference between a FAN and a FOLLOWER! Well, a FAN is just a person, who is enthusiastic about an interest. It is a crowd of folks, like an assembly or congregation. A FOLLOWER, on the other hand - is the person, who is fully committed to follow someone in his footsteps.

A fan can be enthusiastic from the audience. In Sacramento we have a basketball teams. LAKERS and SACRAMENTO KINGS. There are lots of FANS for both of the teams, not just in Sacramento, Los Angeles, but also in other cities and states, and even at other countries. A fan, may even buy an expensive ticket, and go attend the show in person. Some of the tickets are not so expensive, you can buy them on craigslist for about ten dollars each. A follower on the other hand, is someone, who is willing to follow someone's footsteps. There are VERY FEW FOLLOWERS. For instance, if someone decides to become a basketball player, and they go to college to learn it. And they go through all those practice sessions, just like the Kings Do, that means - He is a follower.

We are all here tonight, it means each one of us is a christian. Let me ask you, Are you a Christian FAN, or are you a Christian, who is a fully committed FOLLOWER?How do you know for sure?

Well, there are a couple of things, that must be done, in order for Jesus to consider you His follower! First a follower is the person, who denies himself/herself. All of us have our own goals, desires, and wants. A follower, is the person, who denies his goals, his desires, his wants, his priorities - for the benefit of GOD'S Goals, God's desires, God's wants and God's priorities. Just like Jesus did, when He denied himself, and went to the cross, same thing with us. No, we don't have to die on the cross, like Jesus did, but we do have to deny ourselves, our wants, our priorities, for the sake of God,

We are so busy today, working towards our goals. How about God's goals, His priorities? Are we too lazy to do that? Does they concern us as much as they concern God? Are we only thinking about ourselves, our future, our job, our comfortness, Second thing that we must do is, to take up his cross! Jesus does not ask us to take Jesus cross, but instead we must take each our own cross.Cross is the symbol of struggles, pain and suffering. Are we willing to suffer? - He did! Bible calls Him - a man of sorrows. He experienced every kind of disease you can imagine, He was laughted at, He was beaten, He was even crussified. What a courageous man Jesus! If you wonder if you are ready to take up your cross, consider these questions:

. Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing some of your closest friends?

. Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means alienation from your family?

. Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means the loss of your reputation?

. Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your job?

. Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your life?

Going after Jesus - means suffering. Sure, right now we don't suffer in our country for being a "christians", for going to church. I had a sign in big letters on the back window of my car, that said "Only way to God Jesus Christ", and nobody touched my car. People even complimented me, when I drove.

However there was a time, when I wanted to share the Gospel. I want to the doors of the food store, and I stood there - passing out brochures about Heaven and Hell, in english, in spanish, and even in Hindu. Well, I did that, until some employees came to me, and asked me to leave. One of them said, I am a christian too, and I am asking you to leave. I told them, that they can go ahead, and call the cups, but I will not leave. When the cup showed up, I was asked to leave, because it was a private property, and I did left. Anyway, if we are going to follow Jesus footsteps exactly today - in many countries of this world, we would be beaten, arrested and told to leave.

Are we willing to endure pain, suffering for the save of the Gospel? for the sake of Jesus? If not, then I must say that we are not really His followers! At least, by His standard - we are not His followers. To be His follower, we must take our own cross, and keep it there, don't be afraid.

Third thing, that we must do, is to follow Jesus. This may be easier said, than done. He not only wants us to watch Him, and to be enthusiastic about what He did, He also wants us to follow His footsteps. It may not be as easy done as said, but it can be accomplished.

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