Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Church Goer or Christ Follower?

“We are good at producing church goers, not so good producing Christ followers.” These are the words of SEBTS Professor of Evangelism Alvin Reid. They are sobering words. They are troubling words. They are accurate words. They are timely words. They are words that we must hear and heed.

While Jesus walked the earth, he called people to “follow” Him. He did not expect them to cloister together in holy huddles, nor did He allow it. He expected them to do what He did, and they did. Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, he told his followers they would receive the Holy Spirit and be His witnesses unto Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the ends of the earth, and they were.

In the New Testament, very little is said about the practice and/or structure of the followers of Christ as a group. Much more is said about their activity as a movement. Yes we are told they gathered with regularity for mutual encouragement, instruction in the Apostles doctrine, the breaking of bread, prayer, and fellowship. But specifics of those gathering aren’t mentioned beyond this.

Has it ever occurred to you that, as one who has trusted Christ Jesus for salvation, you have never “gone” to church a day in your life? In fact, not only have you not “gone” to church, you can’t “go” to church because you “are” the church! As such you are called to follow Him.

These are not crazy words. Nor is this a mere play on words. It is a theological reality. Believers must be the church in the culture. And… to this end, we either follow Christ, or we don’t.

Just a thought… but it changes everything.

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