Who to follow?

       If you currently attend a Church or once belonged to a Church you will likely know the answer to this question.

       The scriptures are clear on whom to follow.


       John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

This was Jesus speaking, the sheep are people that believe in God and follow Jesus because they know his voice

this includes you if you are seeking a relationship with God as you are hearing Jesus voice calling you.


       How do we follow Jesus?

       The first stage to this journey is learning the basics of the Bible, then once we know some basics and have stared a

       Relationship with God through prayer we come to understand what we need to do to follow Jesus.

       The reason I have given a basic answer to this question is because once a person starts to believe in God and their

       knowledge of the scriptures increases the persons desire to do more for God increases to the point where the person is compelled

       to do some of the things Jesus did when he was on earth.


       Matthew 13:24-26 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take

       up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake

       will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?     


       We can see by what Jesus said in Mathew that to follow Jesus we must take up our Cross/Stake and follow Jesus.

       (I say Stake because some believe Jesus was crucified on a Stake)


        What does it mean to take up our Cross?

        First we need to read the account of Jesus carrying his Cross.

       John 19:17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,

       The scriptures do not give a distance that Jesus carried his Cross, but it is about 0.5km from Praetorium to the final location of

       Golgotha in a straight line, this distance would have been longer than 0.5km as Jesus carried the Cross through streets which

       could have significantly increased this distance.

       We know this was a painful and exhaustive process as before Jesus started to carry the Cross He was scourged,

       which means to be wiped. The whip consisted of leather straps embedded with metal and bone fragments with small metal

        balls sewn into the end of each strap. The victim is wiped until they are close to death or 39 lashes, whichever comes first.

        We can see that Jesus would have suffered considerably before carrying the Cross, we know he struggled to carry the Cross

        the full distance because during the journey to Golgotha Jesus could not carry the Cross any further, his Cross was carried the

        rest of the way by a man called Simon. (Matthew 27:32)


       The point to reading these facts is to understand what Jesus meant by saying we have to take up our Cross to follow Him.

       After reading this account of Jesus bearing his Cross we can see that by Jesus saying we have to bear our Cross to follow him

       means it will be a distressing thing for us to do as it was for Jesus.


       We know what Jesus' Cross was, but what is our Cross?

       the answer to this is also given in the same scripture, as we would have to deny our self to follow Jesus. The context of this

       meaning to deny our self means to not follow the desires of this world, which are usually in our heart as well.

       If we are prepared to deny our self, or in other words to go against our desires to pursue or to follow the desires of this world we

       would be taking up our Cross by going against our internal self, or in other words to take up our Cross would be to war against

       our self. We can see that if we choose to follow Jesus by taking up our Cross that this is a progressive and personal process that

       can only be measured by ourselves and God.

What Jesus is also saying to us in Matthew 13 is it won't be easy to bear the load; the choice is ours to make 


       Bible basics and scriptural understanding

       Once we learn Bible basics and scriptural understanding, Jesus will lead us to be born again. (Not the born again denomination) 

       What does it mean to be born again?

       John 3:3-6 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see

       the kingdom of God.”4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second

       time into his mother’s womb and be born?”5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born

       of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that

       which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Jesus said we must be born of water and the spirit, which is baptism with water and Holy Spirit.

Baptism with water is a physical display of our repentance and bearing our Cross.

Baptism with Holy Spirit is between God and us personally, which is the key to the transition from walking in the

flesh to walking in the spirit.

If we walk by the flesh we will pursue our fleshly desires, which is to love what this world offers, which is to follow

this world.

If we walk by spirit we will pursue the desires of the spirit, which is to take up our Cross and follow Jesus.

If we walk by spirit we will repent from doing works of the flesh that are against Gods commandments.


Where to learn Bible basics and scriptural understanding?

       For us to learn the basics to then progress to the point of baptism with water and Holy Spirit the best place to go

       is a local Church that teaches and baptizes or ask advice on the Your Faith forum. 


       What denomination?   

       Unfortunately some Churches and their doctrines have confused the answer to this question for those that may be

       interested in getting to know God or for those that have been let down by their Church.

We will find that even though each doctrine is different, each doctrine will have some things correct and will have other

things wrong, and when I say wrong I mean clearly scripturally wrong and the Church refuses to correct their doctrine because

they can not face the fact that they are wrong as they may fear loosing credibility or loosing members.


How could God allow all these Christian denominations to be wrong or misleading?  


The simple answer to this question is this is exactly how God wanted Christian Churches to be. Why?

If we think about the subject we are discussing as who to follow and what we have learnt we can see that the only one

to follow is Jesus. If there was a single Christian denomination that all Christians attended and believed in then the

followers of the Church would start to worship the leaders of the Church, this would then eliminate following Jesus

to following man.


What is the purpose of the Christian Church?

 Matthew 13:47-50 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered

       some of every kind, 48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good

       into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth,

       separate the wicked from among the just, 50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing

       and gnashing of teeth.” 

Jesus explains how some of every kind of fish is caught in the dragnet to then be brought to shore to sort through

where the bad fish will be thrown away, we are the fish of every kind, so what do you think the dragnet is?

 it is the Churches and any means of gathering people to God.


Understanding the purpose of a Church and their doctrine.

The purpose of a Church is to preach and teach the scriptures, the Gospels of Jesus and of God's Kingdom, to

gather those that hear the voice of Jesus calling them. Once gathered we become sheep of a flock and Jesus is our

Shepard who provides pasture/food to sustain us so we can continue to bear our Cross and follow him.

The key to surviving as sheep is to not let the Church and its doctrine or any person get in between your relationship

with yourself and God. A Church or preacher is there for guidance so you can come to know God so you can see the

Kingdom for yourself.

If a Church teaches that they are the only means for you be saved or for you to have a relationship with God,

then this is simply not true, most Churches claim that they have interpreted the correct meaning from the scriptures,

which is the doctrine of the Church, which is fine, as a Church has to define a doctrine to feed or teach the sheep

they gather. The main point here is if you are offended by your Church, go to another Church, but don't give up!

If you don't go to a Church, still, don't give up carrying your Cross and following Jesus!

If you don't know God yet and feel you need to get to know Him, start by praying to Him, ask for the answers,

read the Bible, seek out a Church or guidance, learn the fundamentals.