Some people evangelize by telling people that if they accept Jesus as their Savior, they will be blessed with abundance and life will be great. This is a half-truth counterfeit. Then when trouble comes, these people fall away thinking Jesus and His promises are not true.
Jesus does give abundant life, but not as the world gives. He helps us to overcome the world. This is the BEST good news and full of eternal blessings. These blessings are what we have been studying in Matthew 5…..”Blessed are…”. These blessings are called the beatitudes because it is how Jesus makes His followers beautiful on the inside.
Becoming a Christian is as easy as believing and confessing Jesus as Savior and Lord, but being a follower of Jesus is not so easy. Jesus said that if they persecuted Him, then His followers would also be persecuted (John 15:20, Matthew 5: 10-12). He warned His followers that they would have trouble in this world. But, He also promised that with Him, they would be overcomers (John 16:33).
Many Bible verses inform us that following Christ is not easy. We must take up our cross and follow Christ (Matthew 16:24). It means laying your flesh (self desires) and life down (Matthew 26:41). It means persecution and ridicule from people in the world (Matthew 10:16, 10:24-25, 13:21). It means fighting Satan to keep Jesus Lord of our soul (1 Timothy 6: 11-12). It means doing what the Holy Spirit instructs, not what we want (Romans 6:16, Acts 5:32, John 14:26). It means sacrificing self for the good of others and being a servant (Romans 12:1 Galatians 5:13).
This is being a disciple, a follower of Christ, a Christian. This is faith in Him, with focus on Him, with corresponding actions/behavior ….. by obediently following His instructions in righteousness, regardless of the circumstances or opinions of others. This is love for Him in heart, thought, and action. This is a Bride devoted to and following after the lead of her Husband.
Being a follower of Christ (a Christian) does not mean an easy comfortable life of prosperity and no trouble. It does not mean asking for what I want and getting it (and calling it the blessings of God). It does not mean an emotional, spiritual, inspiring experience once a week; but then go out into the world and live the world’s way.
We are to be followers/disciples of Jesus in all our life. We observe and do all things He commands. We are to learn and live in what is true, right, and good. We are to go out and make disciples/followers and teach them to observe and do what He commands.
Now, what do you think about being a follower of Christ as being easy? The requirement to become a child of the Heavenly Father is simple in that it is a vow to believe in, trust in, rely on Jesus as Savior and Lord by confession of faith (Romans 10: 9-10). This covenant vow is like a marriage vow or adoption covenant. It is serious and spiritual law.
Yet, we need to stay in that relationship. One spouse can leave another and an adopted child can leave the parents. We need to keep our vow with Jesus. We need to stay with Him. Right standing in righteousness (right heart, right thinking, right character, right doing) is also serious. Who we actually follow brings consequences. Being a follower of Jesus in righteousness is foundational to building on the Rock. Are you “all in” as a follower of Christ who hungers and thirsts after righteousness with the desire to apply it in your own life? I am made righteous in Him, but my pursuit to live in it is growing.