““If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple……..In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.” Luke 14:26-27, 33 NET https://bible.com/bible/107/luk.14.26-33.NET
Many claim to be Christians, but not many identify as disciples of Jesus. Can you be a Christian without being a disciple? Can you live in the kingdom of God apart from having lived on earth as a disciple of Jesus? Jesus came, making disciples, and commanded His church to do the same. Jesus said nothing of making people Christians. What, then, is a disciple? Jesus, God in person, says they have placed love and devotion to Him above family, self, and things. Is this the understanding you had when you became a Christian? I am afraid the church has made too many Christians and too few disciples, becoming like the Pharisees who were sons of hell and produced the same. We must listen to God’s words so that we can obey God. Man’s words must align with God’s words or are in vain. We must love God first and above all people and things, including ourselves. What does that look like? Priority, time, and effort are given to that which we love most. If God then the things of God and if family, self, or things, then those people and pleasures will receive our most significant attention of time and treasure. Do you struggle to read the Bible? Are you praying for unsaved people? Are you sharing the gospel with those people and exposing them to the gospel? Are you investing in the Spiritual growth of others while diligently pursuing your own? If not, then perhaps you are a Christian and not a disciple, and if that is true, what does that mean for your eternal future? Are you sure?