Who Are You Following?

“Some of you are saying, ‘I am a follower of Paul.’ Others are saying, ‘I follow Apollos,’ or ‘I follow Peter,’ or ‘I follow only Christ.’ Has Christ been divided into factions?” (I Corinthians 1:12-13 NLT)

There were times I read the above passage and marveled that people could be so thoughtless. How could anyone be so stupid as to follow a man and not Christ? Then it was as if the Lord said: “Okay most bright one, do you actually dare to believe that you follow only Me?” And, at first, in my naivete I still clung to the hope that I was.

Then He asked me questions like: “Where did you go to school? Look at the names on your many books? Do you not think they’ve influenced how you see Me? Whose messages do you listen to? What do your closest friends believe about Me?” It caused me to question what it means to bear the name “Christian.”

There are so many opinions. Think of the many denominations, and factions even among those of the same church group. Even within any given congregation it’s difficult to get consensus on some issues.

Then we read a verse like Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:10 that I mentioned in yesterday’s post, that says: “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”

It’s frightening to realize that each of us as so-called “Jesus followers,” derive so much of what we believe, not from the Bible, but from the pens and lips of other so-called “Jesus” followers. Many who profess faith in Jesus rarely if ever read the Bible for themselves. The sum-total of their daily or weekly “readings” of God’s Word come from those in whom they’ve placed their faith, mostly their pastors’ messages, or podcasts or youtube messages from various pastors/teachers.

And the irony is, each profess and believe that their messages are straight from “God’s Word.” I get it. I really do. I say the same thing. But in my more lucid moments I understand that I rarely have a thought that hasn’t been influenced by something I’ve read or heard.

So, what are we to do? The message the Lord has been giving me, thus the reason I continue to write these kinds of posts, is to stop arguing! If we push back virtually everything anyone in history has ever taught, it rests, not on the Bible alone, but upon the teachings of someone’s understanding of the Bible.

Over the years the predominant “voices” have been Luther, Calvin, Arminius, Whitefield, Wesley, Spurgeon, Tozer, Lewis, and on and on. And today we listen to Jeremiah, Keller, Piper, Stanley, Warren, MacArthur, and on and on. And don’t hear what I’m not saying – I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t read any of these men’s accounts. Yes, absolutely, read them. But understand that the only Person who possesses absolute understanding of Truth is Jesus.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Every other human being who has ever lived, is living, or who will ever live, does not and cannot know and understand everything that can be known about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. What’s my point? Stop arguing and causing division in the Body of Christ seeking to persuade others to adopt your flawed understanding of Scripture.

What I share with you are simply insights gained from walking with the Lord for many years. But I’m a flawed human being and there are many things I don’t yet understand. None of us will fully understand everything until we pass from this life to the next, then it will all be crystal clear. Always test what I say with what you read in the Bible, not necessarily and only what you read in someone else’s books.

In the meantime, let’s be agents of good to embrace one another and walk with one another regardless of whose opinion we favor. Satan celebrates every time we separate as brothers and sisters because we don’t agree on points of doctrine.

Let’s read God’s Word and embrace what revelation the Lord gives us and use it to follow Jesus as closely as we can, while not using it to push those with whom we don’t agree away. Lord help us!

Blessings, Ed 😊

One thought on “Who Are You Following?

  1. Love you stinker!

    You need to add a space/line under the picture so it is easier to pick up your message again without distraction!!!

    We love you!

    Like

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