My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me - John 10:27
I was having a conversation with one of the pastors I know, when he shared with me his desire to emulate my practice of just reading the Bible. It’s okay to read other Christian resources, but apparently this man was in the habit of saturating himself with a variety of reading material that had taken precedence over the amount of time he spent immersing himself in God’s word.
“I’m going to be like you and just read my Bible,” he told me. Then he got this spacey look on his face and said, “But who do I follow?”
At that moment it was almost as if I could hear a collective groan emanating from the hosts of Heaven.
Among the first recorded words of Jesus in the Word of God is “Follow Me.” And His disciples obeyed Him. I keep thinking, why is it so many of God’s people do not find the words of Jesus and the Holy Scriptures enough to “follow”?
I received an invitation through the mail to subscribe to a “Christian” magazine. As an incentive they were offering a free poster of Gandhi with some of his sayings that related to social justice. Gandhi was sincere, but he was not a believer in Christ.
He did not believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, or that Jesus was raised from the dead. He did not believe in the virgin birth. He also said that Jesus was “no help” and that His miracles were done by magic and He had psychic powers. Gandhi certainly did not believe in the atonement, so it is no surprise that Gandhi is quoted as saying just days before he died, "All about me is darkness; I am praying for light."
Then said Jesus again to them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. – John 8:12
Gandhi, obviously was not a follower of Jesus and darkness was the fruit of his rejection of the only “Way, the Truth and Life” – John 14:6. Gandhi had spent his whole life denying the Light, therefore the Light was not there to comfort him, or save him from descending into eternal darkness when he died.
Many people followed Gandhi, but if we follow anyone other than the Truth that God has provided in His Only Begotten Son, then the death bed scenario that Gandhi experienced will someday be our own.
Over and over again God warned His people against marrying foreign wives. These pagan alliances would pollute the holy separation God required for His people. These alliances ultimately lured them away from their only source of life and protection. God was forced to deal with them severely in order to bring them back to where He had ordained them to be. Whenever a professed Christian chooses to entertain ideologies or doctrines that are not contained in God’s word, or allows himself to be led by personalities or organizations that are not fully dedicated to the Jesus of the Bible, then apostasy is the next step toward the eventual descent into eternal darkness.
Samson was a Nazarite who, according to the laws that defined his holy calling, he was forbidden to touch anything that was dead. He violated that command when he took honey from a dead lion and gave it to his family without telling them that it had come from a polluted source.
As believers we want to carefully guard ourselves from following Samson’s example, and make sure the words we are being fed, and the words we are feeding to others are coming from the pure and undefiled manna of God’s word.
When we follow the Leader God has chosen for us to follow, Jesus our Savior will keep us on the path of eternal life that He alone has purchased for our souls.
Each one of us is on journey in this life. We are just sojourners in this world. With every year, we move our tents a little closer to our final destination until we find ourselves standing on the edge of an abyss called death. Some will fall into its embrace for eternity, but those who have chosen Christ, the edge of that pit will only be a launching ramp as they spread their wings of faith and fly into eternal life.
Follow the Leader, my children, the only One who can give you wings.
Copyright 2012 by H. D. Shively
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