Pillars: Follow His Ways [Sermon Audio & Notes]
[Audio coming soon]
(Pro tip: Never try to follow Pastor Scott in your car)
Jesus, however, is really into followers.
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.
“So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law. — Matthew 7:13-29, NLT
Admirers vs Followers
There is a big difference between being an admirer of someone and a follower of someone. You can admire from a distance, but you cannot follow at a distance. An admirer will hold back part of himself; a follower gives everything.
Jesus is not interested in gathering a bunch of admirers.
There were two kinds of people around Jesus: the crowd and the disciples.
Being a disciple means entering through the narrow gate. The blessed life that Jesus describes in the sermon on the mount is accessible to anyone … who will enter through the narrow gate.
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. — John 10:9, NIV
Jesus never gives a third option. There’s a broad way and a narrow way, the crowd and the disciples, a house built on a rock and a house built on sand, a good tree and a bad tree.
Which Are You?
So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples.32 And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].”33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone. The Jews did not grasp the difference between being enslaved physically and being enslaved spiritually because of sin.What do You mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?” — John 8:31-33, AMP
Admirer or follower?
- Admirers stay the same; followers change.
- Admirers are fickle/flakey; followers are faithful.
- Admirers are in it for themselves; followers are in it for others.
What if blessing is what happens, gradually, as we walk the path that Jesus lays before us?
We like to ask if we are believers. Believing is good; we need to believe. But following is better.
Are you an admirer or a follower?