Fan or Follower?

Identifying someone’s favorite sports team can be pretty easy. That is, if they’re really a fan. The more committed the fan, the more evidence of their loyalty. Team colors proudly displayed throughout the home, on their vehicles, and perhaps a closet full of t-shirts, jerseys, hats, and various accessories. When it’s game day, there’s no question whose side they’re on.

But wearing a jersey doesn’t put you on the team. (although it can help you pretend)

For a few brief hours we may be a quarterback, a receiver, or middle linebacker. But in truth, we’re still…well, us.

Every Sunday (game day), churches are filled with “Jesus Jerseys.” But I have to wonder, how many are actually on the team. 

How many are fans and not followers.

And do they know?

How is it possible that someone could be a faithful, active member of their church and yet not be on the roster?

I’ve shared one such scenario in this video.

Romans 1:16 is a powerful verse, and one much like your favorite team logo, can be found on t-shirts, coffee cups, and social media memes.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

“The gospel of Christ.” Some translations omit “of Christ.” The power Paul is referring to is the gospel.

So here’s my question…

What is “the gospel?”

If a non-believer asked you to explain it, could you? What specifically would you say?

Do you know a person can spend their entire life in a church and never hear the gospel? That seems unbelievable, but it’s true.

When was the last time you heard it?

Paul said it was the power of God to salvation! How is there any greater message in the Church, and yet one that is so often overlooked.

Satan has been quite effective at distracting the Church from the message of the gospel.  As Paul told Timothy, the day would come when we would not endure sound doctrine, but raise up teachers who will tell us what we want to hear. (1 Ti 4:1) We would rather hear about health, wealth, and prosperity than repentance, sacrifice and suffering.

But it’s the response when hearing of the gospel that determines whether or not you’re actually on the team.

This message may sound harsh, but I would rather risk offending you with truth than watch you perish in silence.

For too long, I have been, as Keith Green so eloquently put it, “asleep in the light.” (song included below)

It’s time to wake up.

Mark 16:15-16 (NKJV) And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (NKJV) Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

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