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Follow Me
by Brian Price 3/27/2011

INTRODUCTION
"57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
- Luke 9:57-62
The call is to every man. Follow me. That is what the Saviour says to all people. In the above passage of scripture, Jesus was walking in Israel, calling men to follow him. Some gave excuses, as you can see. One said that he would follow Jesus no matter where he went, not knowing that the journey involved Calvary. He didn't know Jesus would spend nights out in the wilderness praying to God all night. He didn't understand that sometimes the Christian life means homelessness.

Another just lost his father, and wanted to bury him before following Jesus. But he didn't realize that the necessity to save souls with the gospel was more important than his father's funeral.

Another wanted to say goodbye to his family before he left home to follow Jesus. But he didn't realize that once you decide to follow Jesus, you may never be able to return home again.

Following Jesus takes sacrifice. It means giving up things for a greater cause, a greater purpose. It means salvation. One's own salvation, and those to whom we preach; their salvation.

COUNTING THE COST
When one decides to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus to save him, he has taken it upon him the risk to lose everything. I can't tell you how many stories I have read of Christians who, when they received Jesus as their Saviour, lost their entire families. Many times, especially in Muslim countries, when a son or daughter receives Jesus into their hearts, their family will completely disown them, or sometimes will even kill them. It's a shame that such people are so cruel to the lambs of God's fold!

But Jesus said that those things would happen to Christians:

"21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me ." -
Matthew 10:21-22, 34-38
Isn't a shame that people hate you simply because you are a Christian? Jesus said that if the world hate you, you know that it hated him before it hated you. And why do people hate Jesus? What a crying shame that people hate Jesus! But, Jesus said that, "They hated me without a cause." - John 15:25b.

For me, it grieves me to the very core of my soul to see people like atheists who utterly despise God. For me, I just can't understand it. Why do people hate such a loving God? Why don't people hate the real culprit to blame; the devil. You know? I just don't get it.

WHY FOLLOW JESUS?
But getting back to the topic at hand... Why do we have to follow Jesus?

The answer is simple. Because there is no other person who you MUST follow. The prophet Muhammed was just a man. He held no claim to divinity. Neither did his followers hold him in such regard. Moses cannot save anyone, nor can the law that he wrote. In fact, Islam points to Jesus as the One who will judge this world in the end. And Moses wrote of Jesus as the Prophet who would come. There is not a religion on this planet that can save anyone. No amount of good works, no amount of money, no, not anything that one can do can save you or get you to heaven.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9
I've asked lots of people this question: If you were to die today, would you go to heaven? Many times people will say yes. And when I ask them why, many times they will answer, "Because I'm a good person."

First, let me say this: No you aren't. In fact, there's not one good person on this planet.

"And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? NONE IS GOOD, save one, that is, God." - Luke 18:18-19
Just because you go to work everyday, and come home to your wife and kids, that doesn't make you a good person. "Well I've never killed anyone, and I always try to do the right thing."

You've never killed? Have you ever wanted to?

The Bible says that, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." - 1 John 3:15

To hate someone to the point that you wished they were dead is considered SIN. Hatred is a sin my friend. Have you ever hated someone?

"But I've never cheated on my wife." That might be something someone may think.

My friend, if you have looked at pornography, you have cheated on your wife inside your heart.

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." - Matthew 5:28
Now I realize that it's mostly young men who think they're good people. The older you get, the more you realize how good you are not. To those people I say, God will forgive any sin you have ever committed. But you must ask him.
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." - Isaiah 55:6-7

CONCLUSION
To follow Jesus means to forsake your sin, and call upon him to forgive you for ALL of your sins. It means picking up your Bible on a daily basis and reading it. Following Jesus means obeying his commandments. When he says, Love one another, that means you need to obey that command. Following Jesus means to walk like he walked. Jesus never sinned. Jesus prayed everyday. He loved everyone regardless if they were red, yellow, black, or white. He loved prostitutes and Pharisees alike. He helped the helpless, and encouraged the broken hearted.

My friend, if you will do all of that, you will be following Jesus. But understand that there is a cross to bear everyday. That means denying yourself, and denying what you want, and doing what he wants. When you feel like waking up, and skipping out on reading the Bible for the day, you tell yourself NO, and you pick up the Bible and read a chapter. When you feel too tired to pray, you get on your knees and say a 30 second prayer. Quality time is more important than quantity time. When you feel like punching a co-worker in the face, you resist that urge, and you instead find a closet (so-to-speak) and seek the Lord's strength for that situation. Read the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, and see how Jesus exhorts believers to "not resist evil." Read Proverbs chapter 15 where Solomon advises that a "soft answer turns away wrath." Pray, ask God to help. Deny yourself, and follow Jesus! Ask yourself, what would Jesus do?

"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." - Luke 9:23
If you are reading this article, and you have never asked Jesus to come into your heart, I would like to encourage you to follow the link below, and do exactly what it says. Tomorrow may never come for you. And if that is the case, then it will be too late.

If you are reading this and you are a Christian, ask yourself if you are really following Jesus the way that you should.

The Bible says, "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." - 1 John 2:4

Do you know Jesus? Do you walk with him daily? Do you read the Bible and obey it? Do you pray regularly? If not, I would encourage you to do so.

IF YOU DIED TODAY, WOULD YOU GO TO HEAVEN?

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