Follow Me

I’ve put this off long enough.  There’s no nice way to do this blog, so let’s just smack it head on (Anna-style) and pray we all come out alive, shall we?  ((Deep breath))

I had a LOT of thoughts coming away from my grandmother’s funeral.  And one of them has everything to do with my last wish (other than what’s in our will re: Isaac n’ Lydia)… and my last wish would be that there is no ‘believe on the Lord and you will be saved’ message… no prayer that people are invited to ‘repeat quietly’ along with the minister, saying something cozy like “I accept you, Jesus, as my Savior.”  If that happens, I promise to roll over in my casket.  Or maybe shoot a porcupine quill or something, out of righteous anger.  Dead or no.

((Even worse will happen if anyone says I’m in heaven.  THERE ARE NO PEOPLE IN HEAVEN, for the umpteenth millionth time.  No one has been ‘serenaded by angels/up to the throne’.  Nuff said before I go totally into rant mode about Christ-Mass carols in Heaven and other nonsense I heard from well-meaning but totally f-ed up church-goers.  And no offense – I’m sure he’s a very nice man – but any pastor who can say ‘she’s in heaven’ in one breath and ‘at the last trump the dead shall be raised incorruptible’ in the same breath has some serious problems with his theology.))

But Anna…!! you say.  How can you not want the Gospel shared at your funeral????  That’s not the Gospel, in my opinion.  That’s twisting scripture and teaching false doctrine.  Are you now entirely made up of bristle?  Good.  Now that I have your attention, let’s talk.

Jesus DID say ‘whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.‘  But that’s not ALL He said.  Believing is important, but it’s not the crux of the matter.  James 2 says even the demons believe – and tremble.  And there ain’t no demons going to heaven… so obviously ‘believe on the Lord’ is not the totality of things.  Just because that’s what John 3:16-17 say doesn’t mean that’s everything.  Jesus also told Nicodemus that flesh is born of water and spirit of the spirit… and that he needed to be born anew.  That’s more than mere ‘belief’, right there, and we haven’t even left John 3 yet.

When my hubbie ‘got saved’ (ha) he was told all he had to do was believe Jesus died on the cross for his sins, pray an ‘I accept you, Jesus’ prayer and *Voila!* he was saved.  Congratulations – you’re going to heaven now!!  Five years (and no fruits) later, he had no desire to pray, go to church, read a Bible, or learn anything spiritual.  Christ was not in Him.  Yeah, that belief sure made a BIG difference in his life… not.

The truth is, a lot of people believe Jesus died on the cross for all sins.  But do they give their lives to Him, making Him master and seeking an intimate daily relationship with Him?  Heck no!  Look at that Barna poll from a week or so ago.  How many athiests believe Jesus is the Son of God and that his death on the cross resulted in our salvation?  53% or something?  Ask them to pray the prayer, and it’s no skin off their nose to do it.  But does that mean anything?  The answer is NO.  And that’s a shocker to many church folk.

Ephesians 2 says that we are not saved by works.  But isn’t praying a prayer a ‘work’?  Think about that one for a moment.  Then answer this – where in the Bible does Jesus say ‘now bow your heads, and if you want to invite me into your life, repeat along with me silently…’  It’s BS.  ANOTHER lie of the church.  That prayer makes you no more a (big C) Christian than my praying about seeds would make me a watermelon.  ((Which was the whole point of the Barna poll article, btw… to show the alarming amount of Nonnie-believers who ‘prayed a prayer’ and still have no clue.)) 

To me, this is salvation:  Matthew 9:9  And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him.

That’s it.  Jesus saw Matthew.  Matthew was doing his own thing, and Jesus called him.  Right where he was.  He said two simple words – Follow Me.  Nothing more.  Six words end this verse… six words that give ‘salvation’ to us as simply, honestly, and clearly as it can be put.  No adding prayer (works) to it, no half-truths (belief but leaving out the follow n’ obey part)…

It simply says AND HE [Matthew] AROSE, AND FOLLOWED HIM [Jesus].  Period. 

Jesus calls, we respond in action.  To repent is to change direction from one ‘way’ of doing things to another.  Matthew immediately left his thang and did Jesus’ thang.  THAT’S salvation.  That’s the Gospel message.  Matthew had to believe in Christ to have done that.  But mere belief wouldn’t have done a thing had Matthew stayed where he was.  Jesus’ call is the same for all of us.  Follow Me.  That’s what I want told at my funeral.  Follow Me. 

That’s the Gospel.  But as simple as it is, it’s not simple at all.  It’s a LOT.  Believe you me, a LOT.  And I wanna talk about what ‘Follow Me’ entails – per the words of Jesus Christ.  I have two more ‘Follow Me’ blogs a’coming, based on two more ‘Follow Me’ verses.  Stay tuned!

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