Come, follow Jesus!
(the real Jesus)

ONLINE EDITION
The Gospel
in simple terms
for nonbelievers
and new believers

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Come Follow Jesus - the real Jesus
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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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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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How can you follow Jesus?

 


Following Jesus is the right thing to do, and the best thing we can do for ourselves and for others we love and care about.  And it is the proper thing to do if we appreciate our loving Creator who has given us life and who has given us all the good things we enjoy.  It is what God wants us to do.  But how do we go about doing it?


When Jesus called the original disciples to follow him, it was clear how they had to do it.  Peter and Andrew got out of their fishing boats and followed Jesus, literally walking after him.  (Matt. 4:19-20)  Matthew got up from his tax-collecting desk and followed Jesus, literally walking after him.  (Matt. 9:9)  But how can we today follow Jesus? 


We cannot see him and physically get up from our seat and follow after him as he walks down the road.  But we can believe that he died for our sins, that he rose from the dead, that he is alive today, and that he accepts people as his followers now just as he did back in the first century.  Jesus is not visible to us, but that does not stop him from hearing our prayers and answering them.


So, if you tell Jesus right now that you are sorry for your past sins, and that you want to leave them behind and begin a new life by following him, he will hear you and will forgive your sins and will accept you as his follower.

“‘I will never turn away anyone who comes to me.’”

—John 6:37 Today’s English Version


Although he is not visible to us, Jesus promised his followers:

“‘I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” —Matthew 28:20


When you become his follower, Jesus comes to live with you and in you by means of his Spirit—God’s Holy Spirit:

“‘One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him. . . . If a man loves me, he will keep my word.  My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.’”            —John 14:21, 23


So, we today can come into a personal relationship with Jesus that is just as real as what the first followers experienced when they got up from their seats and followed Jesus down the road.  We can ask him questions as they did, even though we can’t see him.  And we can listen to his replies as we prayerfully read his teachings in the pages of the Bible.


In some ways our relationship with Jesus today can be even closer than what the first disciples experienced when they could see Jesus and share meals with him.  That is because everyone who puts faith in the risen Christ is “born again” spiritually as a child of God.  Jesus explained it this way:

“‘I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.  . . .  I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.”’”

—John 3:3-7 NIV


We are born again when we trust in Jesus to save us from our sins and commit ourselves to obey him.  God then adopts us as his children, sending his Holy Spirit into our hearts:

“To prove that you are sons, God has sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, crying ‘Abba! Father!’”       —Galatians 4:6 NEB

(“Abba” was a term Jewish children used when addressing their human father, and a term Jesus himself used when addressing his heavenly Father.  See Mark 14:36.)


In some way that is beyond our understanding, Jesus actually comes to live with us and in us when we believe in him and choose to follow him.  Yes, it is beyond human understanding, and that is why the Apostle Paul refers to it as

this mystery, which is Christ in you”                 —Colossians 1:27 NIV


It really is a mystery—beyond human understanding—but the Bible assures us that Jesus actually comes to live in the hearts of his followers:

that Christ will live in your hearts by faith”         —Ephesians 3:17 NCV


Because followers of Jesus come into this close spiritual relationship with God as his adopted children, we can find super-human strength to overcome our inborn tendencies to sin, and we can look forward to eternal life:

“You, however, are controlled not by your sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you . . . he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies though his Spirit, who lives in you.”

—Romans 8:9-11 NIV


So, following Jesus is much more than reading about an ancient historical figure and trying to live and love the way he did.  It is much more than just joining a church that was founded centuries ago by his early followers.  It is a real relationship with a real live person—the risen Son of God.  He invites you to come into this relationship as his follower.  But it is your choice.  It is up to you to open the door, to invite him into your life and into your heart:

“‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.’”                    —Revelation 3:20 RSV


You can respond right now to Jesus’ invitation to be his follower.  Turn to him in prayer, and tell him that you are sorry for your sins—including the sin of ignoring God and the Bible—and that you now want to leave your sins behind and change your heart and your life by following him and obeying him.  Even though he is invisible, Jesus will respond to your prayer by accepting you as his follower.  He will forgive your sins and begin to lead you in the way you should go.

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