Are we followers or believers???

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by I Am Blessed 24, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    There IS a difference! Italics are mine.

    "And he said unto another, Follow me . But he said, Lord, suffer (permit) me first to go and bury my father.

    Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

    And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, who are at home at my house.

    And Jesus said unto him, No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.
    Luke 9:59-62

    (This last verse has nothing to do with salvation, BTW.)

    Anyone can say they are a believer. How many of us can say we are truly followers?

    Am I the only one who would have a problem with just 'disappearing' one day without saying good bye to my family and telling them where I am going?

    Am I the only one who would have a problem with walking out right before my father's funeral?

    I thought I was a follower OF Christ; but according to these verses and the way I feel about them; I am just a believer IN Christ.

    Any comments?
     
  2. paul hadik

    paul hadik
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    blessed:

    I don't believe these passages are teaching rudeness. Scriptures do teach however that earthly relationships should pale in comparison to our love to our Savior. I am not sure the man in these passages were interested in serving Christ at all to begin with.
    The idea that serving Christ requires sacrifice is true, the idea that serving Christ will make us miserable isn't.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    It isn't??? Based on what??

    It seems that you have set up your dichotomy without presenting a case for it.

    I can't find a big distinction in Scripture between true believers and followers of Christ. Christ, in Matt 10, says that does who don't follow him will lose their own soul. That can only be referring to unbelievers. So it seems that either you follow him or lose your soul.



    Am I the only one who would have a problem with walking out right before my father's funeral?[/quote][/qb]I don't think that is what Christ is saying. He is talking about the drastic nature of saving faith. It is not Christ plus everything else. It is Christ instead of everything else.

    I preached this passage at the turn of the to help set a theme for this year for our church. I could send you my comments but they are too long to post here.

    The bottom line is that Christ is saying that salvation involves commitment to follow at the expense of comfort (first person), at the expense of other commitments (second person), and with a clean break from the past (third person).

    The question is, Why would a true believer not do these things?
     
  4. Bethelassoc

    Bethelassoc
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    Doesn't that passage of scripture deal with a cultural difference?

    I was told that the statement about "burying his father" means he is the youngest and by custom, he must stay (and can't get married) to see his parents "put into the grave".
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    There are some cultural issues involved. However, most commentators admit we are not sure exactly what situation Christ was referring to. The father may have been on his death bed, he may have been within months of dying, he may have been in full health. We simply do not know. I will take the liberty of posting my conclusions on this second encounter. I am sure, as I review it, that it will come across as fairly radical. I hope it does ... because I think Christ's saying was fairly radical ... actually very radical.

    II. Some fail to follow Christ because they have wrong commitments.

    A. Following Christ means sharing his commitments—to proclaim the gospel above all things.

    Christ asserts what it is that is of the highest priority. It was the ministry of the gospel. But let’s step back just a minute and ask a question of this text: What was this man asking for? Some have suggested that the father was already dead, and the delay would be short; some have suggested that this father was very nearly dead, and the delay would be fairly short; some have suggested that he was alive and well and thus the delay would be a long one. Which is accurate? The text gives no indication that time was a factor, as if a shorter time would be permissible but a longer time would not be. The text simply says what it says. There is no reason to think that the length of time made any difference.

    What was Christ saying? The gospel of the kingdom deserves the first and utmost priority. Notice very clearly what he says: Go and preach the gospel. Notice it is a ministry action to which he is calling us. Notice that this is not a generic “love God.” Why do I point that out? Because it is popular in this day and age to set “love for God” and “ministry involvement” as two different things, as if one can love God without being involved in ministry. It most often finds its expression in “family time.” Virtually no one says we should put work above church. They know that would never fly. They usually don’t say we should put recreation above church. That too, they know, would never fly. (Many people do these things; they just don’t say it.) What do they say?? I should put my family over church. They say, I can’t be involved in ministry because I have family obligations.

    Let me ask you a question: What relationship is this man using to argue for postponement of ministry? (Family). What is Christ’s response to him? (Serve me first). Notice Christ makes no allowance for a relationship with God that does not involve service.

    What should we understand? That loving God and following Christ means making him and his ministry (not just him, but the ministry too) of first commitment. This is not an option for those who want to follow him. Can someone follow Christ without making this commitment? Sure. But can they serve him as they ought? No.

    Family commitments are not the only ones that affect us. Work commitments that regularly take us away from every single meeting of the body need to be changed, if at all possible. If working overtime causes you to miss church on a consistent basis, then you are placing other commitments above Christ and his ministry.

    B. We might fail to follow Jesus because we are willing to wait until tomorrow to do what we should do today.

    This man’s problem was not that he didn’t want to serve. It was that he wanted to serve after he got done doing what he wanted to do. He wanted to put it off.

    Christ’s response is let people who are well suited for that task carry out that task. You have a bigger task that you are uniquely suited for. “The Jews counted proper burial as most important. The duty of burial took precedence over the study of the Law, the Temple service, the killing of the Passover sacrifice, the observance of circumcision and the reading of the Megillah. But the demands of the kingdom were more urgent still. Jesus could not wait while the man got through all that burial meant … Let those without spiritual insight perform the kind of duties that they so well can do … But the man who has seen the vision must not deny or delay his heavenly calling” (Morris).

    Jesus was not insisting that a man give up his responsibilities. In fact, in other places, Scripture condemns those who fail to take proper care of their families, both their children and their parents. Christ was addressing priorities. He was saying that …

    C. We must give the mission top priority.

    The mission is the gospel of Jesus Christ in all its fullness, with all its implications. To fail to give that first place is to fail to fully follow Jesus.

    Perhaps this year, you have found yourself stepping away from the mission in this local church. Maybe in the past you made a commitment to follow him, but other commitments and pressures have gotten in your way. Perhaps a relationship has dragged you away from church. Perhaps it has been a hobby. Maybe a job. But we, like this man, need impressed on us the fact that Jesus is sovereign Lord who demands immediate and full obedience. Jesus wanted to teach that earthly ties are superceded by spiritual and heavenly ties and commitments.

    What is it, this year, that has drawn you away from following Christ?
     
  6. rbrent

    rbrent
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    A believer in the dispensation of grace is NOT supposed to follow Jesus like the apostles followed Jesus.

    (1) Jesus was the Jewish Messiah to the Jewish nation.
    (2) His chosen disciples/apostles were Sabbath-observing, law keeping, pork-abstaining Jews.
    (3) Their 'commission' in Matthew 10:5,6 was clear:

    "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
    But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

    (4) None of the New Testament was written while the events in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John was taking place.
    (5) They were operating under the law, with NONE of the Pauline revelation.
    (6) Believers in the dispensation of the grace of God are to follow Paul, as he followed Christ.

    "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
    - I Cor 11:1

    "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me." - I Cor 4:16

    "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample." - Phil 3:17
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    You contradicted yourself

    You are right on the second, not on the first. When it comes to following Christ, there is no difference for the NT believer. We are to follow him just as he commanded those during his life on this earth. After all, Christ hasn't changed. His demands are the same. The dispensation of grace has made no change in that.

    The reason that Paul could tell people to follow him was precisely because he was a follower of Christ.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    rbrent, I read this and immediately went to your profile to see why a NON BAPTIST believer in Oharism/Grace sect was posting in a baptist-only forum.

    Your doctrine is false and is classified as "heresy" by every theological definition I can find. Why not start a thread on being followers of Paul, not Jesus.
     
  9. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Thank you all for the good imput I have received thus far, but I have not gotten any answers to the two questions I posed...

    Originally posted by Sue:
    Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I am a Baptist and I believe in the security of the believer. I don't believe for one minute that Jesus was saying if we backslide, we lose our salvation. I do not believe He was speaking of salvation in that verse at all.

    But, I digress.......we have gotten slightly off topic. I understand what the scriptures are saying. I was seeking honest answers and I asked for comments on the following:

    Thanks,
    §ue
     
  10. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I am too.

    I don't either.

    [qutoe]I do not believe He was speaking of salvation in that verse at all.[/qutoe]This is unconnected to the previous two statements. ONe can fully affirm both of the above while maintaining that Christ was indeed talking about salvation here. The kingdom of heaven can only be interpreted as eternal life. So whatever "turning back" is, it is cannot result in eternal life. Therefore, the one who turns back must be unsaved. It is possible to make a false profession, to believe in vain (1 Cor 15:1-2). If a person makes a profession and then walks away from it, he has turne back and is not saved. We might not know who that is in this life because we don't have total knowledge. This is a warning to the individual, much as is found in Hebrews 3, 2 Peter 1, 1 Cor 15, 2 Cor 13, etc.

    With respect for you, I am not sure that you do. Your questions seem to indicate that you are not talking about the same thing Christ was.

    I don't think Christ was commanding this. I would not read this into his words.

    Likewise, this is not what he was commanding. I would not read this into his words.

    Christ is talking about what it means to be a follower of him, that is, a Christian. It means you give up personal desires for comfort (the first guy), you reorganize wrong commitments (the second guy), and you make a clean break with the past (the third guy). It is about salvation because to do otherwise is to render oneself unfit for the kingdom of heaven.
     
  11. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Jesus did not say the kingdom of Heaven in that verse. He said the kingdom of God. I believe the kingdom of God is within us.

    I do not believe just because someone turns back, that they have never been saved. God gives specific instructions to backsliders. So it IS possible to backslide and still have the kingdom of God within you...
     
  12. David Mark

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    I'll take a stab at it Blessed.

    It depends on who or what I fully perceive is actively asking me to do such a contrary and abnormal thing. Has a man approached me or a man that I have approached asked me to actually do this? Never. I would run from any man who gave me such advice.

    I am not going to try to imagine that God wants me to do such a thing also. It would immediately conflict with being any good thing to any person. It would conflict with my practice of the commandments.

    I would have a very big problem with doing such a thing. Especially if I had agreed to be there.

    For me to do such a thing would be dishonorable. Again I'd see a conflict with the commandments. I'd be confused and God is not the author of confusion. At any rate, I would honor my mother if she was still alive at the time and I would "pay my respects" to my father whom I have loved. No man could intimidate me in this regard.

    Just thinking here....

    Jesus died, was raised from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God. I am unable to follow him there until I am also raised up.

    Am I still asked to follow Jesus? I can't in the sense above, because he is not here in body any more.

    Can I follow his example and try to do everything he said to do? Yes and I try to do it with all my heart. So in a sense, I do follow him, by following his example and much more by just doing what he said to do with all my heart. All he said to do has been written down for me to read. As far as I know he is not asking me to do more than what is already written down.

    As far as I know the Lord has never told me to dishonor my parents. He has never told me to leave anyone who is depending on me. On the contrary, I need to stick around or stay put (so to speak). I need to be easy to locate or find if needed for anything.

    If one of The Apostles say: Follow me or imitate me, then I will strive to do that also.

    Jesus has given plain instructions, If I follow his instructions, I should be perceived as following him.

    So I guess, if I believe I will follow and to the extent I believe, is the extent I will follow. I am unable to separate the two terms, no matter how hard I try to do it.

    Dave.
     
  13. Bethelassoc

    Bethelassoc
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    I agree with what Christ was telling the young man, but I've been told of and talked to missionaries (sorry that I can't quote them) that have explained that the phrase "I have to bury my father" is like us puting Christ on a "to-do" list.

    I found a comment on the net that goes along with that line of thinking:

    link

    From this explanation, I can see why Christ said what he did to the young man. Either way, what Christ offered was more important than what he had in store.

    Sorry for getting off topic, Sue.
     
  14. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Thank you David. THAT is what I was looking for!

    Bethelassoc: I agree with the assessment of that verse. Thank you.

    Blessings,
    §ue
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    But the kingdom of God is eternal life in Scripture. It is not within us. The verse commonly quoted in support of this was spoken to rebellious Pharisees who we know where not true believers. What Christ was saying is that the kingdom is in their midst, meaning they were living in a time where the miracles and such were indicative of hte kingdom prophesied in the OT. The kingdom in Scripture is the reign of Christ on earth which gives way to the eternal state. Some may make it a spiritual state in the heart, but that is inadequate to deal with all the biblical information about it.

    I was reading this morning in Rev 5 where the kingdom and priests will reign on teh earth. That is the kingdom--the end time reigning on the earth.

    It isn't possible to have the kingdom of God within you period :D ... But yes it is possible to backslide. But that may be an indication that a person is not saved.


    So why didn't you like mine??? He said the same thing I did ;)
     
  16. Bethelassoc

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    This passage of scripture reminds me of a movie my wife watched for cultural class in college. I think it was called, "Like Water for Chocolate"?

    Anyway, this young girl falls madly in love but can't marry because she is the youngest and must stay and take care of her parents until they die.

    I don't remember the outcome.... :confused:
     
  17. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Sorry Pastor Larry. [​IMG]

    I guess my finite mind just understood his explanation better. :confused:

    I heard it said once, that if you are not as close to God as you were yesterday, then you are backslidden...

    The difference between a backslider and a non-saved person is that the backslider is a lamb and he may step in the mud, but he won't like it and won't stay there very long. ;)
     
  18. Daniel David

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    Sue, you know all those times when Jack Hyles rightfully takes another beat down because of his horific theology of easy believism and other such, and you always defend him?

    Your opening post made me think of ole' false prophet, errrrrgggghhh, Jack again.

    Discipleship is never divorced from salvation. Backsliding is not possible for Christians. I know this opens up a whole 'nother realm of theology that most people are uncomfortable with, but it is still true nonetheless.
     
  19. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I have to disagree with you DD. We are sinners saved by grace, but sinners, all the same.

    We sin everyday. That is backsliding. That's why we are to confess our sins daily.

    God said that, not Jack Hyles.

    Please let's not let this thread get hijacked (pardon the pun) into a "bash Jack Hyles" thread.

    Thanks,
    §ue
     
  20. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Backsliding is not possible for Christians?

    Here's a test: Everyone on this board who has ever backslidden, look at the dot below:

    -------&gt; ● &lt;-------


    See? You're all backsliders!!!
     

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