Is a "Christian" who is not a disciple really a Christian?
We had a great Growth Group last night as we are making our way through Francis Chan's book Crazy Love. Chapter five is entitled "Serving leftovers to a holy God." Francis Chan pulls no punches when he says on pages 83-84, "As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there's no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are 'lukewarm' are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven."
He shares the passage in Revelation 3:15-18 where Jesus says because they are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, He will spit them out of His mouth. I can't see how that would refer to a person who is saved if Jesus spits them out of His mouth.
So, is a person really a Christian who calls on the name of the Lord to save them but never gives Christ their time, their talents, their treasure? Basically, he or she never obeys Christ but likes the idea of not going to Hell when they die and spending an eternity in Heaven. Is that person a Christian?
Being a disciple is to be a learner and follower of Jesus Christ. To follow Jesus means to obey Him. Is it perfect obedience? Of course not. We all fall short. Even the apostle Paul did, and Peter, etc. But, it is a growth process where there is a passion to follow Christ and obey Him. After all, Jesus said if you love Him you will obey His commands (John 14:15). Please do not mistake my advocacy of a works salvation. I know there is nothing I can do to save myself (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "Christianity without discipleship is Christianity without Christ." I am passionate about following Jesus and giving Him all that I have. I want to be His disciple. My calling as a Pastor is to lead a church to make as many disciples as we possibly can. It's our marching orders found in Matthew 28:19-20. To this end I labor.