It is possible to be a follower of Jesus without being a disciple; to be a camp follower without being a soldier of the king; to be a hanger-on in some great work without pulling one’s weight. Once someone was talking to a great scholar about a younger man. He said, “So and so tells me that he was one of your students.” The teacher answered devastatingly, “He may have attended my lectures, but he was not one of my students.” There is a world of difference between attending lectures and being a student. It is one of the supreme handicaps of the Church that in the Church there are so many distant followers of Jesus and so few real disciples.1 What kind of disciple are you?
What Kind of Christian Are You?
- There are many believers who are of the sideline variety.
- Are you aware of the 80/20 principle?
- Here it is: 20% of the people do 80% of the work.
- Here is a question for you: does 80/20 mean only 20% are real disciples and 80% are something else?
- This concept of two different types of believers is a common one in the Bible.
- Doesn’t the Bible speak of spiritual believers versus carnal ones?
1 Corinthians 3:1–4 (KJV) — 1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Luke Warm Versus Hot Believers
- What about lukewarm versus hot on fire Christians?
- Doesn’t the scriptures also address these?
Revelation 3:14–16 (KJV) — 14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
- Haven’t solid saints of the Most High God dealt with two kinds of believers in their leadership of God’s people?
Moses and the Hot and Cold Israelite
- Moses dealt with this ‘hot or cold’ theme with the children of Israel
- One day during their wilderness journey, the children of Gad and Reuben did not want to cross the Jordan with the rest of the tribes of Israel because of the favorable land they saw.
- There request was to not cross the Jordan but to settle down and allow the other tribes to cross and let them fight on their own.
- To this Moses replied.
Numbers 32:6–9 (KJV) — 6 And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? 7 And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord hath given them? 8 Thus did your fathers, when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. 9 For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the Lord had given them.
- Isn’t this telling, that there are believers going to ‘war’ in Jesus Name while there are others just sitting around willing to let you fight?
- “You do the fighting.
- You do the work.
- We will sit here and watch our 401K’s grow.”
- Is that right in your sight?
- Shouldn’t we all take up our cross and win the world for Jesus?
- What type of disciple are you?
- Are you an active disciplined ‘going to get it done by the power of God believer?
- Or, are you a bench warming 401K watcher?
Nehemiah and the Hot and Cold Wall Builders
- Here is Nehemiah with the same thing.
Nehemiah 3:1–5 (KJV) — 1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel. 2 And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri. 3 But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. 4 And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. 5 And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.
- All of these people in verses one through five are working.
- They are sweating, moving rocks, mortaring, patching, and raising up a wall of protection.
- Everyone that is except the nobles.
- They are sitting on their backsides watching everybody work.
- Have you seen this?
- Have you noticed the vast amounts of believers who are not even willing to stoop to serve the Lord who saved them?
Call to Action:
Here is a challenge for you. Ask yourself, “How much of myself can I give away?” Giving of yourself is part of what it takes to be a disciple. I am not saying to you that God will ask each and every one to leave your family and move half-way across the world. But now you know what vision is. Vision is making the journey in your heart before you ever make it physically. You have to make the dedication in your heart. God has to know that you put Him first ahead of everybody precious to you.
Question: Heaven is looking for a few good disciples, can you help? How about sharing with us how you became a sold-out follower of Jesus. Please leave your story in the comments section below.
- William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 162. ↩