This morning I was reading the new anniversary edition of John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus. In the new edition MacArthur has added a new chapter and placed it right at the beginning of the book. The chapter speaks about our position as slaves to Christ. He is oue Lord, and we are to follow him. I don’t want to re-cap the entire chapter here, but there was a quote that struck me. MacArthur writes,
[Jesus] was not the least but encouraging toward people who wanted to follow Him around just for the food and miracles. In fact, He did everything possible to discourage people like that (John 6). pgs. 31-32
After spending the last 8 months in the book of Mark I think that this statement is completely accurate. My question is, how should be be like Jesus on this issue? How should we minister to those who come to church regularly but are not following Christ with their lives? How should we minister to those who claim to be Christians but spend zero time following him (serving, praying, reading the Bible, going to church, etc.)?
I am not sure exactly what this looks like, but I am certain that it means speaking the truth in love. Someone who claims to be a Christian, but doesn’t submit to Jesus as Lord is deceiving himself. They do not understand what the Bible says about being a Christian, and they need to be told before it is too late. In the church we must not let these individuals continue in the self-deceptive way. We must love these people enough to confront them with the truth. Jesus did.