ARE YOU A FAN OR A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST?

If you are a sports fan you will watch most games of your favorite team from the stands or on TV.  If you are a follower, you will attend each game and follow them when they go on the road.  I have heard of followers who have not missed a single game in twenty-five years and longer.  These same people you may see attend practices.  They know the coaches and the players.  They may have a personal relationship with some.  They remember the past history and who holds the records.  There isn’t much they do not know about their team.

Fans don’t get as involved.  If they miss a few games it’s because they have other priorities.  They just like watching people excel and enjoy being able to be attached to a particular team.  There is a certain feeling when your team wins, kind of like hitting a small jackpot or lotto.  It often gives you an opportunity to invite like-minded fans to go with you to watch a game or come to your home to watch on TV.

Some Christians are fans and others are followers.  It doesn’t matter where you have lived as I have lived in six different states and there are followers of Christ and there are fans.  As Christ followers they know a lot about Him because they have studied their Bibles and allowed the Holy Spirit to guide them.  They are as intense about being followers as are those who deeply follow their sport’s team.  They have a personal relationship and have tried to be as much like Christ as they can. They may even wear a sport’s jersey with “forgiven” on it. Like the sport’s followers who never miss a game you will find them consistently at church services and volunteering wherever needed.

Fans of Christ may attend most services unless another priority is more important.  They might get just as excited as anyone during a church service but when it is over their thoughts go back to living as the world lives.  Many times it is because they do not have the knowledge as to what a follower is expected to do.  But if they have the Holy Spirit it won’t be long until they are convicted that maybe they should be changing who they are.  They may get out the Bible and just happen to turn to Ephesians 4:17 – 21 – “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,”

The behavior of a follower is to be radically different from a person who has not been converted.  No knowledgeable Christian should allow a false teacher influence what he believes or how one is to behave. Many Christian fans simply cannot think straight on moral and spiritual issues.  Man’s thinking alienated from God is vanity.  They can believe in parts of all kinds of religions and philosophies and think they are right. It is so easy for Satan to blind a person’s mind so that they have a shallow thinking of what Christ taught and expects a follower to practice.  Some fans can think lies can be truth and immorality can be moral.  Some accept that they are good and are able to deal with moral problems and end up taking the wrong course of action.

Scripture says that people who believed they are saved yet have never accepted the Holy Spirit into their hearts are told in Scripture that they are spiritually dead.  They are not truly capable of thinking straight in matters of faith and morals.  It is God’s intention that humans are to have the Holy Spirit indwelling in their hearts and that is not a head religion.  We are not meant to live by the world’s standards that have been established by Satan.  Scripture makes it very clear, we are not to live by the same standards that we lived by prior to conversion.

Ephesians 4:25 – 27 – “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”

To change from our old selves to becoming a new person requires a choice and a determined behavior.  If given a chance, the Holy Spirit will change a true believer into making a complete change in one’s life style.  At least that is my experience and it is Scriptural.  We who were sinful and self-centered with deceitful desires that produced corruption must change our minds and attitudes.  This is exactly what the Holy Spirit will do if we will allow Him.

We are all given a choice.  Are we going to be a fan of Christ or are we going to be a follower and disciple?  One takes discipline and self-control.  The fan just requires showing up when it’s convenient.

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