“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21–23)
Most American Christians have embraced a diminished view of the fullness of the gospel of Christ. If we see the gospel as simply a quick transaction with God to have our sins forgiven and get our ticket to heaven, we have embraced not the whole of the gospel but rather a gospel with a hole in it—a fairly gaping hole.
Yet that is exactly how many Christians view the gospel of Christ. I do a deal with God, buy the fire insurance policy, put it in my drawer, and then I can go back to the party. Sure, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go to church now and then to dip my feet into spiritual waters, and it wouldn’t hurt to pray from time to time, but, basically, with my salvation secured, I can now get on with my life.
Jesus called us to be disciples and make disciples, not just be deciders. Deciders just believe the right things; disciples seek to do the right things. Disciples are dedicated to learning their Master’s truths so they can imitate their Master’s life. Disciples seek to embrace their Master’s mission and serve their Master’s purposes. Disciples try to plan their entire lives around Jesus’ teaching and commands. Deciders have their own plans for their lives and invite Jesus to bless them.
Deciders are like those in Jesus’ parable of the sower who “hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Mark 4:18–19). Deciders have repeated the sinner’s prayer and have simply said “I do” or “I will” to the Master’s invitation. Merely saying the sinner’s prayer no more leads to a life-changing relationship with Christ than simply saying “I do” leads to a long, successful marriage.
It is not enough to be simply a decider; Jesus wants disciples.
Where do you think you fall when it comes to being a decider versus being a disciple? In what ways has the gospel changed the way you live?
Father, please forgive me for the times I take your salvation for granted. Thank you for loving me and pursuing me with a mission that is greater than my own comfort.