Jesus Wants More FANS
Updated: Mar 27, 2019
Does this surprise you?
Recently there was a best-selling Christian book titled Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. I haven’t read the book, but I understand the idea: that Jesus isn’t looking just for fans but for true followers. I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment.
Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash
However, in this article I’d like to take an opposite perspective—that Jesus wants more FANS: followers who are:
Let’s consider each of these and why Jesus wants more FANS:
We get the word “fan” from “fanatic.” It’s simply short for fanatic. The word “fanatic” comes from the Latin word “fanaticus” which means “inspired by god.”
Jesus wants more fans: People who are fanatical about following Him. People who are “inspired by god.”
Fanatical Muslims and Hindus:
blow themselves up
Love their enemies
Do good to those who persecute them
Love the unlovely
Sacrifice for others
This is well portrayed by the new movie “Paul, Apostle of Christ.” I highly recommend that you watch this excellent movie. It is gripping and impactful.
Fanatical commitment to Jesus is seen in these verses:
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?’” (Matthew 16:24-26 NLT)
The phrase “cross to bear” comes from these words of Jesus. But the true meaning has been lost over time.
Today we hear people saying things like,
She has a bad complexion, it’s just her cross to bear.
Mowing that huge lawn is his cross to bear.
His great success as an athlete has brought tremendous media attention. It’s not ideal, but we all have our cross to bear.
Poor Carolyn is married to Mark (me)—it’s just her cross to bear!
What Jesus was really saying is made clear by the latter part of this passage. He wants you and me to be willing to “give up your life for my sake.”
To “carry our cross” means that we are willing to die for Him, just as He died for us, on a cross.
That, my friends, is truly fanatical. And it is NOT optional:
“And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27 NLT)
When you picture someone who is adamant, do you picture someone who is bullying, rude, loud, obnoxious and unkind?
If so, replace that with the picture of Billy Graham preaching lovingly yet insistently the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
He was known for saying, “The Bible says…” Then he would quote the Word of God as authoritative and he was adamant that in order to be saved, one must follow Jesus.
That’s the kind of adamant I am talking about.
But the problem is that today we have those who call themselves Christians but don’t want to follow the Bible. They only want to follow what they want to believe.
Often that means they think that there are good and devout people who are Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and so on, so surely they are saved.
Here’s a message from God’s Word to those who claim to be Christians but want to say these so-called “tolerant” things:
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-8 ESV)
The Bible is clear that there is only one way:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 KJV)
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 ESV)
Fans of Jesus affirm that there is:
No other Gospel!
No other way!
No other name!
For more on this topic, please see my articles:
We live in a day of wavering by many who call themselves Christians. They waver because:
They are pressured to compromise for political correctness.They think they are smarter than God’s Word. What they “think” is what they do—no matter what the Bible says.
But true FANS of Jesus don’t waver.
A prime example today is the issue of homosexuality and “gay marriage.” Please see my article: “What Scripture Says About Homosexuality: Uncut, Uncensored and Unedited.”
For most of history everyone agreed with the biblical perspective. Today in many places such as the USA where I live, unbiblical behavior that the Bible calls “sin” cannot be questioned, and if you ever did so, you are condemned.
It is so sad to not only have to oppose the culture, but also those who call themselves Christians, yet who follow the culture in contradiction to what God’s Word teaches.
Christians are being persecuted for taking a biblical stand on this issue. They will continue to be persecuted:
Burdened with crushing lawsuits
Christian colleges defunded if they don’t bend to the culture
Believers called narrow, bigoted haters if they follow what has been taught by Christianity and the culture until just a few years ago.
But listen to the words of Scripture:
“But Jesus told him, ‘Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.’” (Luke 9:62 NLT)
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4 ESV)
It says, “Share in suffering.” I don’t like suffering, but when called upon, we must be willing to suffer for being never-wavering. True FANS of Christ stand strong in the face of persecution.
For a wonderful example of this read the book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.
Important: Don’t be unwavering on issues the Bible isn’t clear on—that are merely your opinion and only make you dogmatic, doctrinaire and dictatorial. We should only be dogmatic when the Bible is dogmatic. Please see my article Let’s Stop Majoring on Minors in the Christian Life.
What in the world does “sanctified” mean?
First, whatever it means, it is important: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3a ESV)
Definition of sanctified: “to set aside as or declare holy”
True FANS of Jesus live holy lives.
“Sanctified” is related to the word “saint.” We are to be saints. In fact, the Bible repeatedly calls all true believers “saints.”
All Christians are to be sanctified and saintly. Not just St. Francis, Mother Teresa, St Paul, etc.
Honest in business dealings
Self-sacrificing toward others
Blessing others instead of cursing
Having unquestioned character
Question: How can we become sanctified and saintly?
Answer: “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22 NLT)
As we obey the Bible, God works in us through the Holy Spirit to produce holiness.
The ministry I founded called Discipleship Journeys with Jesus will lead you through 52 lessons of Bible study to maturity in Christ from A to Z. Please check it out and consider doing the studies leading to sanctification.
Finally, here’s a warning to those who do not mature and become sanctified:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
Obedience, sanctification and saintliness is NOT optional.
Jesus wants more FANS:
F = Fanatical
A = Adamant
N = Never-wavering
S = Sanctified
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