Why do people become followers of Christ?
It is an interesting question. I’m sure that there are as many answers as there are Christians to ask; but I suspect that a predominant answer would have something to do with Salvation. We accept Jesus as our Saviour because we want to go to Heaven.
And I might add, this is an excellent reason to become a follower of Christ. We make God happy when we want what He has paid such a high price to give. He delights in us spending time with Him here on earth; how much more does He delight in us spending eternity with Him in Heaven?
In the introductory paragraph of the book of Titus, Paul even spells this out as a reason for Salvation: “I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth…This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God–who does not lie–promised them before the world began.” (Titus 1:1a, 2 NLT)
But that isn’t the only reason Paul gives for the Truth of the gospel message, is it? Nor is it even the first reason he lists. Before he even mentions eternal life, Paul states that the Truth,“…and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives“ (vs. 1b)!
In light of this text, I’m afraid that we cannot truthfully say the only purpose of the gospel truth is eternal life with God! Another vitally important reason is to “live godly lives”!
But this isn’t a new thought, is it? Going back to the angels’ message to the Shepherds the night Jesus was born, we see something similar: “The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord–has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:11 NLT).
Did you catch that? First they announce Jesus as the “Savior”, yes; but then they call Him “the Lord”!
A quick google search on the definition of “Lord” reveals the following: “someone … having power, authority, or influence; a master or ruler.”
When someone has authority over us, when someone is our master, our ruler, that someone must be obeyed; and since Jesus is our Lord, then He is our authority, our master and our ruler. We are required to do what He says!
And what does He say? “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34 NLT). When we follow this command, we learn what is involved in living a godly life: we must love one another!
Wait a minute. I thought this was a free gift. I accept Jesus and I get to go to Heaven for eternity. But this living a godly life sounds like work! I mean, it’s lots easier to believe Jesus for Salvation than it is to love the person who bashed into the rear end of my car leaving me with a whiplash and it’s so much easier than loving my boss who bullies me. And salvation doesn’t cost me a dime, while providing food to the homeless man on the street takes my hard-earned money that I was saving to buy a car that I really need!
True enough, but Jesus Himself says, “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?” (Luke 6:46 NLT). We are called to make Jesus our Saviour and our Lord. That means that the Truth of the gospel message is not only to ensure eternity in Heaven; it is also to teach us how to live godly lives, to teach us to love one another.
Don’t forget that God will never require you to do something that He will not empower you to do. Our job is to desire to follow Jesus’ command and to continually seek God’s assistance in doing so.
You may have already made Jesus your Saviour, but have you made Him your Lord? If not, why not resolve to do so today?
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.