What if I instructed you that Jesus didn’t need us to win converts? What if I mentioned that in all of Scripture we’re by no means instructed to transform anybody? What if I proposed that folks accepting Jesus into their life doesn’t fulfill our mission?
We could share the Gospel, however it’s not all the time the identical Gospel Jesus shared. Our model generally is a little softer. It may be simpler. The message, too typically, has been watered down. Many people don’t need to be known as radicals. Many people take the message of Jesus, and we omit among the extra intense elements as a result of they may scare folks away.
An Inconvenient Fact
Out of our need to win converts we’ve typically tried to make Jesus extra handy. That’s what our tradition is all about. So watering down the Gospel to replicate the tradition might be a straightforward entice to fall into.
We frequently make following Jesus comfy and simple, decreasing the expectations: You don’t must do something totally different. Simply imagine.
Carrying our cross has been diminished from a radical relationship of self-sacrificing love and humility to low cost commercials with bracelets, jewellery and bumper stickers. We turned following Jesus into little greater than everlasting “fire” insurance coverage. In so doing we made Him one thing He’s not: secure.
What occurred to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s concept of, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die”?
The Consumerism Gospel
After we promote folks on a Jesus who is straightforward to observe, can we actually blame them for bailing out or drifting off when issues don’t go easily?
It shouldn’t be shocking residing in a consumer-based tradition, that many occasions folks carry the identical attitudes into church: It’s my means, my preferences, my needs which can be vital. If I don’t get my means, I’ll take my enterprise elsewhere.
In watering down the Gospel we’ve taken what’s all about Jesus and made all of it about us.
Jesus is part of our lives when He ought to be our life. He is life. Following Him requires all our life. The disciples ate, drank, sweat and slept ministry from when Jesus known as them to the day they died. Jesus wasn’t part of their lives. He was their life.
All of us are responsible of placing issues above Jesus. Whether or not it’s well being, wealth, consolation, causes, desires, hobbies or pursuits, all of us come to Jesus with expectations of what He’ll do for us. All of us have our passions and causes.
However Jesus didn’t come to take sides. Jesus got here to take over.
Disciples vs. Converts
Many individuals come to Jesus pondering it is sufficient to imagine, to face on the sidelines and root for Him. Jesus isn’t in search of cheerleaders. He’s searching for women and men who will observe Him no matter the fee. He’s in search of radical devotion, unreasonable dedication and undivided dedication.
Jesus isn’t in search of converts. He’s in search of disciples.
Converts are new believers. All of us begin as converts. Too typically we cease there. We make Christianity all about what we imagine. Converts aren’t dangerous or fallacious. They’re like infants. There’s nothing fallacious with being a child. The issue comes when that doesn’t change. When a child acts like a child, it’s cute. When a 35-year-old does, it’s unhappy. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
For years church buildings have labored to get folks to decide to just accept Christ, which is a superb factor. It’s vital. However what occurs subsequent? The place’s the observe up? How will we practice up new Christians?
Our mission isn’t to win converts; it’s to make disciples. So what’s the distinction?
1. Converts are believers who dwell just like the world. Disciples are believers who dwell like Jesus.
2. Converts are targeted on their values, pursuits, worries, fears, priorities, and existence. Disciples are targeted on Jesus.
3. Converts go to church. Disciples are the church.
4. Converts are concerned within the mission of Jesus. Disciples are dedicated to it.
5. Converts cheer from the sidelines. Disciples are within the recreation.
6. Converts hear the phrase of God. Disciples dwell it.
7. Converts observe the foundations. Disciples observe Jesus.
8. Converts are all about believing. Disciples are all about being.
9. Converts are comfy. Disciples make sacrifices.
10. Converts discuss. Disciples make extra disciples.
A disciple is somebody who whole-heartedly follows the life and instance of Jesus, who makes His mission their mission, His values their values, and His coronary heart their coronary heart.
A disciple is somebody who desperately seeks to be like Jesus. A disciple is somebody so dedicated to the reason for Christ that they might observe Him by way of the gates of hell and again.
A disciple is somebody who finds their complete identification, function and that means in Jesus. Jesus is the middle of their lives. They’re all in, absolutely dedicated.
Not solely is a disciple keen to die for Jesus, however they’re devoted to residing day-after-day of their life for Him.
A Change of Coronary heart
Jesus doesn’t name us to be converts or to win converts. Jesus calls us to make disciples.
Jesus provides us grace and love with out situation, however not with out expectation. After we attempt to water down the message by saying issues like, You don’t have quit sin. You don’t have to vary. You don’t must be reworked. You don’t must die to your self. You simply must imagine. In doing this, not solely are we depriving folks of the reality. We’re denying them entry to an actual, reworking relationship with the almighty God.
Christianity isn’t only a system of perception. It isn’t a life-style. It’s a life reworked by Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t name everybody to depart all the pieces day-after-day. He calls us to be keen to surrender all the pieces at any level.
His name for every of us is totally different. He has uniquely gifted each individual to hold out a novel and useful operate in His kingdom. Whereas what we’re known as to could also be distinctive, the decision is an excessive normal: Jesus have to be larger than all the pieces else.