Come, follow Jesus!
(the real Jesus)

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"But I'm a sinful person, not fit to be a follower of Jesus!"
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Know your Bible
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"Jezebel" in the churches
"If we deliberately keep on sinning . . ."
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Come, follow Jesus! (the real Jesus)
online edition of the book by David A. Reed
The Gospel in simple terms for nonbelievers and new believers.
How to become a follower of Jesus Christ, and live as Jesus commanded

Home  |   Jesus said, "Come, follow me."  |   How can you follow Jesus?  |   "But I'm a sinful person, not fit to be a follower of Jesus!"  |   Your new life as a follower of Jesus  |   Find fellowship with other followers of Jesus  |   Your prayer life  |   Know your Bible  |   Your service to God  |   "Jezebel" in the churches  |   "If we deliberately keep on sinning . . ."  |   Why believe the Bible?  |   Who is Jesus?  |   What did Jesus teach?  |   What is life really all about  |   Angels and demons  |   Gray areas, mysteries and religious authorities  |   What Jesus revealed about life after death  |   'But my relatives won't like it if I follow Jesus!'  |   Watching for Christ's return  |   How I came to follow Jesus: the testimony of David A. Reed  |   Why this book?  |   Dedication, copyright, ISBN & Scripture references

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‘But I’m a sinful person, not fit to be a follower of Jesus!’

 


Is that how you feel about yourself?  A rough and vulgar fisherman when he encountered Jesus, the man who was to become the Apostle Peter felt the same way about himself:

“But Simon Peter . . . fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.’”     —Luke 5:8


The Apostle Paul wrote similarly about himself, even calling himself a chief or especially notorious sinner:

“I was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

“The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life.”   —1 Timothy 1:13-16


So, if Jesus could save someone as sinful as Peter or as sinful as Paul, he can save you, no matter what your life has been like up until now.  In fact, Jesus said he did not come for righteous people, but for sinners:

‘Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’”                              —Mark 2:17


Jesus illustrated his concern for sinners by comparing himself to a shepherd who has a hundred sheep, with one that wandered away—the way a sinner wanders away from God.  And he described the joy in heaven when such a lost person repents:

“‘Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it?  When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!”  I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.’”   —Luke 15:4-7


To drive home the point that there is great joy in heaven when a sinner repents, Jesus immediately gave another illustration concerning a woman who had ten valuable coins and lost one of them:

 “‘Or what woman, if she had ten drachma coins, if she lost one drachma coin, wouldn’t light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it?  When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.” Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting.’”  —Luke 15:8-10


So, no matter how sinful you have been, God will welcome you when you change your heart and life by turning to him in repentance and deciding to follow Jesus.  In fact, Jesus died to take away your sins, heal you, and give you new life:

 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”                          —1 Peter 2:24 NIV


It doesn’t matter how serious your sins have been.  Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross will cover them.  It is just as when God invited ancient Israel to repent.  He told them:

“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD.  ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’”         —Isaiah 1:18


Naming very specific serious sins when writing to the church in Corinth, Greece, the Apostle Paul said that people in that church had previously practiced those sins, but were now washed clean:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” —1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NIV


So, even people who have committed very serious sins against God can be washed clean and made acceptable to God when they repent and put faith in Christ.  This, of course, is not a license to keep on practicing sin willfully in the expectation that there will be no consequences.  Rather, when Jesus healed a man, he told him to “stop sinning”:

“Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well again.  Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’” —John 5:14 NIV


But even Christians may fall into sin.  If you have slipped and fallen after accepting Christ, you should not feel eternally condemned.  God still calls you to repentance.  The Apostle John wrote this to Christian believers:

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”       —1 John 2:1-2 NIV


And the letters that Jesus had John write to the seven churches in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, called on the members of five of those churches to repent:

“‘Remember where you were before you fell.  Change your hearts and do what you did at first.’”    —Revelation 2:5 NCV


Even toward “that woman Jezebel” in the church at Thyatira who “leads my people to take part in sexual sins and to eat food that is offered to idols,” Jesus held out the opportunity for her to repent.  Jesus told John to write,

“‘I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.’”        —Revelation 2:21


Don’t be like Jezebel, who refused to repent.  No matter how serious your sins, Jesus calls you to repent and turn to him for salvation, and to begin following him.  There will be rejoicing in heaven.  Jesus promised,

“‘I will never turn away anyone who comes to me.’” —John 6:37 Today’s English Version


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