Private religious or disciples?

I have a high respect for the ministry of Agape Sweden and especially the work that Tord Larsson is doing. I am inclined to agree that there is much more openness in Sweden to the Gospel when one considers the last 30 years. At the same time we have to be careful with the kind of observations that we make as we identify people’s interest in Christ and their desire to getting to know Him. From experience I can tell that it is “quite easy” to lead someone in a prayer to accept Jesus Christ… But what does that stand for? The overwhelming majority of people who “accept Jesus” through an evangelistic encounter on the streets never ever become part of a church and might not show the “fruit” of following Jesus in changed lifestyles and habits.

As an evangelist, pastor and church planter I rejoice with every single person who shows a desire to getting to know Jesus, however, I am careful to rejoice too abundantly unless I recognize the fruit of repentance and their new life in Jesus.

Having prayed with many hundreds of people “to salvation” I can honestly tell that many of those I prayed for don’t live the life of a disciple. At the same time as my awareness of the discipleship process grew I have seen many more people become disciples as I introduced them not only to this “step of salvation” but what it had for consequences in lifestyle and belonging (church).

We know from Jesus’ approach that as the crowds grew he tightened and clarified what it meant to follow Him with the result that many actually left Him. They were touched by Him, they were healed, they saw miracles and yet never became disciples!

Let us pray and work in such way that we multiply disciples, rejoicing with every ray of light and hope in our dark times as mentioned in the article BUT also realize that this is only a glimpse of what it really means to follow Jesus. It would be interesting to know how many of those who acknowledge to becoming Christians are integrated in the Body of Christ doing His will together with others.

What do you think?

John

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