Perspectives by Rev. Duncan Perry

 

Are you a Fan or a Follower?

A friend of mine told me of a book he was reading. The title of it is, Are You a Fan or a Follower?

I haven’t read this book, but I understand from my friend, that it has to do with our relationship with Jesus. According to what I have understood, the writer of the book sees a great difference between a fan and a follower. In his view, a fan is one who has some interest in a thing but no real commitment to it. This is in contrast to a follower, who is more dedicated to that particular thing. Let me illustrate by looking at the sport of hockey.

If you were to ask me if I am a fan of a particular hockey team, I would tell you that I am a Montreal Canadiens fan. Ask either of my sons or my daughter, and they will tell you they are Toronto fans. So far, we all seem to be on the same level, just two different teams. 

But let me be honest. I know maybe two players on the Canadiens team. I have no idea what their standing is or if they have any hope of making the playoffs.

Now my sons can tell you anything you want to know about the Leafs. They are probably as knowledgeable about the Leafs as anyone on Hockey Night in Canada. My daughter is more of a fan like me, but my sons, they’re followers. They are sold out Leafs fans.

No matter who wins the Cup, no matter how bad the Leafs play, they support the Leafs. We can rightfully say they are followers, and it’s quite easy to see the difference between their view of hockey and mine.

Now, may I bring that reasoning over into the spiritual realm and consider what I believe the author of the book “Are you a Fan or a Follower” is trying to get across? Many people profess to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today, and where they are in their relationship to Him is no doubt between them and Jesus.

But, Jesus makes an important statement about this in Matt. 7:16. There He talks about knowing a tree by its fruit. For example, He says, “You do not gather grapes from thornbushes”. He goes on to say that, “A good tree will only bear good fruit and a bad tree will bear bad fruit.” He then uses this illustration to show us the truth about people who profess to follow Him and those who truly follow Him. In verse 21 of this chapter Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.”

I’m not here to judge. That is not the intent of this column. But, may I ask you, “Would you dare to consider your own life? Are you a fan or a follower of Jesus Christ?”

A fan may be one who believes Jesus Christ is a good person and may even like what Jesus taught. A follower is one who acknowledges that Jesus is God and commits to being obedient to what He taught, and who endeavors to imitate in his or her life, by the help of the Holy Spirit, the life that Jesus lived.

Jesus says, “If you are not willing to take up your cross daily and follow me, you are not worthy of me.”

I pray when all is said and done, and your life is evaluated by God, that He will judge you fit for His kingdom.

He then uses this illustration to show  

Rev. Duncan Perry,

Morrisburg Pentecostal Tabernacle

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