Why is discipleship so important?
The reason is the enemy has been selling us a bunch of “magic beans”. “Receive Jesus into your heart and you will be saved. Once you do this you will live a happy, blissful life.” The problem with this is that it is simply not true. It is because of this lie that we have people falling away from their faith. We have Christians arguing and fighting with one another. We are seen as self-centered hypocrites by the world and it is all because we have been told that it is a “one and done” process. Receive Jesus and be happy. The truth of the matter is just the opposite. Jesus says in John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Jesus spoke this to His disciples right before He was arrested in the garden. Prior to this, we see Jesus pouring His life into His disciples. He walks with them, eats with them, teaches them and shows them the love of the Father. He invested all that the Father had given Him into His disciples. At one point He told His disciples to “take up your cross and follow Me”. Take up that symbol of death, pain and suffering; now follow Me. The word Jesus uses for “trials/tribulations” in John 16:33 literally means: pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress. The word is used for crushing grapes or olives in a press. Jesus says this is what you will face as My followers, but He also says, because you truly are my disciples, through your belief in Me and my investment in you - you can take courage. You can take courage because you are my disciples. I can fully attest to the fact that those who have trusted in Me - no matter how great the trial, you HAVE and WILL overcome. Thus the world will see and know the greatness and glory of your God.
This is why discipleship is so vital. We must teach, train and invest so that we, as true believers, are not overcome by the world, but instead become “overcomers”.
Please, join me this Sunday as we discuss why, as “Gateway” Christians, we must understand and embrace the art of true discipleship.