And so what? What difference does listening to the Gospel make in our lives?
The people who listen to the eye witness testimony we have in the Bible and believe the stories are true will experience a change of heart that transforms how they make choices in their lives. The Bible explains this in Galatians, chapter 5 verses 19 through 23, which say this:
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
So when someone listens to the eye witness testimony in the Bible and makes the choice to trust what it says, the direction of their lives will begin to change from participating in the works of the flesh to displaying the fruit of the Spirit consistently.
This process of changing the direction of their lives is known as discipleship.
Jesus spoke about it in Matthew, chapter 28 verses 19 and 20 which say this: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”
This leaves us with a choice to make about how close to God we want to live our lives. We can choose to help new believers learn the habits they need to participate in the community that God is building around the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (or not).
This requires older, more experienced Christians to be personally involved in the lives of new Christians to help them learn how to make choices that keep them from becoming distracted and misled about understanding how to serve the Lord.
Tragically, there have been times in the past when discipleship was not a priority within the Church, but we can talk about another time…
This Is (Not) The End.