**Click here to read Fan or Follower? | Part 1
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Are you one of the many?
Yes, we’re revisiting that awful question again, folks: Fan or follower?
Don’t be too quick to choose one over the other. Don’t make the mistake of answering this question like all the other questions you’ve been asked by preachers, Sunday School teachers, and Small Group leaders. This isn’t a knowledge-based question. It’s a heart-based question. It’s a conviction-based question. It’s a commitment-based question.
Do you see Jesus as your “one & only” or is He just an option for you?
Fans are lukewarm. Fans like to keep their options open. Fans don’t like to use the word “exclusive.” They don’t like the idea of “going steady” with Jesus Christ. They don’t call it “cheating.” Because that just sounds so negative, right (please note the sarcasm)?!
Followers have one Lover in their lives and His name is Jesus. Followers willingly and joyfully give everything up for Him because He is their Everything. You know that cliche, “All we need is love” – yeah, followers of Christ rep that hard. Because it’s true. God IS love. With Him, IN Him, we lack no good thing.
Is He your “one & only” or do you have a few idols sitting next to Him on the throne of your heart? If you find yourself identifying with the latter of the two, it’s time to clear away the clutter! Restore Him to His rightful place! The throne of your heart is simply not big enough to house more than JUST Him.
So I ask you again, is Jesus Christ your “one and only” or is He on your B-list? Or worse – is He simply your rebound?
If you lost everything and everyone in this life, but you had Jesus, would He be enough? Would losing everything in this life be worth it if you had Christ?
Fans are quick to say yes to this one. And when hard times comes, when everything they care about in this life hangs in the balance, they’re also quick to retreat to the safety of mere fandom. Look at the twelve disciples. Which of them was merely a fan and which of them were followers? (Note: Knowing the right answer to this question does not make you a “follower.” See Part 1.)
Judas was just a fan. He sacrificed the Son of God for 30 worthless pieces of silver. The remaining disciples all suffered for the sake of their “one & only.” They lost everything, and what they didn’t lose they willingly and joyfully abandoned for the sake of following Christ. He was enough for them. But He wasn’t enough for Judas. As Matthew 27:3-5 tells us, Judas soon realized that those 30 pieces of silver weren’t enough either. He finally understood this simple truth: Fandom doesn’t satisfy. Jesus does.
When faced with the probability of losing everything and everyone in this life, fans are hesitant to continue onwards with Christ. They justify their actions, they make excuses, they do whatever they need to do to feel less guilty about gratifying their desires. The sad part? Fans don’t recognize that guilt as the Holy Spirit nudging them to choose Christ regardless of what all hangs in the balance. In case you missed it, that’s GRACE, y’all. But fans can’t even recognize it for what it is.
If following Jesus meant having your world ripped away from you, would you still choose to follow Him? Would He be enough for you? IS He enough for you?
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Paul is pretty convinced that Jesus is enough for him. The question is: Are we?
Fans refuse to put all their marbles in the Jesus-jar. They strategically spread out their time, wealth, and efforts in whatever has the most chance of success (AKA: back-up plans; AKA: plans B, C, D, and right on down through Z; AKA: idols; AKA: career, education, title, money, etc.). Fans can’t commit. They’re prefer loose living – a lifestyle in which they keep Jesus around for appearances, but ultimately call all the shots themselves. Fans want a taste of everything. They go from cookie jar to cookie jar, looking for something that will actually satisfy their desires. But nothing is ever enough. Why? Because they’re looking in all the wrong places.
Followers give Jesus all the marbles. They seek to commit. They’re in it for the long haul, for richer or for poorer, through the good and the bad, in sickness and in health. They don’t believe in backup plans or “other options” because life with Christ is the ONLY option. Followers give Him their time, their affections, their energy, their money, their family, their friends, their everything because He is their “One & Only.” Followers lay their all at His feet, because they recognize it’s all His anyways; they understand none of those things even comes close to loving and being loved by Him. They don’t ransack cookie jar after cookie jar in search of satisfaction. Why? Because they’ve already found ultimate satisfaction in Christ. Because He’s enough. MORE than enough.
Is Jesus Christ merely an option for you? Is He your rebound? Do you treat Him as your mistress? Would you trade Him for something more tangible? Are you content with just Him? Is being a follower even worth it?