“Even you were as one of them….” -Obadiah 1.11
One scholar, speaking of Jesus’ desire to establish a new community of holy servants, called the Church the “new fabric of society,” and that “fabric” was distinguished by the reality of discipleship. A disciple is not merely a soul who has prayed a “salvation prayer,” or attained a certain title, or a person that puts on a religious face in the right settings. A disciple is a person who is literally following Jesus in his life, and his ways and thoughts are being molded into a Kingdom view, one that is in keeping with Jesus’ own desires. Forget how you look to others. The real question is: Is there an inward distinction between my heart and the hearts of those who are walking in darkness? Hear this from Charles Spurgeon:
Have you never been as the wicked? At an evening party certain men laughed at uncleanness, and the joke was not altogether offensive to your ear, even you were as one of them. When hard things were spoken concerning the ways of God, you were bashfully silent; and so, to onlookers, you were as one of them. When worldlings were bartering in the market, and driving hard bargains, were you not as one of them? When they were pursuing vanity with a hunter’s foot, were you not as greedy for gain as they were? Could any difference be discerned between you and them? Is there an difference? Here we come to close quarters. Be honest with your own soul, and make sure that you are a new creature in Christ Jesus; but when this is sure, walk jealously, lest any should again be able to say, “Even you were as one of them.” You would not desire to share their eternal doom- why then be like them here? Come not into their secret, lest you come into their ruin. Side with the afflicted people of God, and not with the world.
Disciples follow the Master “whether by life or by death.” Disciple’s hearts cannot join in with the tide of lust and sensuality. Disciples do not give themselves to gossip and slander, or intimidation and manipulation. Disciples have hearts that burn for the glory of God, yearn for His return, and they are not ashamed of the holiness, humility, and supernaturalness of the Kingdom of God.
Disciples are different from the inside out. They don’t chase what the world chases. They are not moved by what moves the world. They have another Kingdom in view, and they are content to labor for that which is eternal and unseen.
Disciples do not give their affections and their adoration to things in this life, or icons that the world admires. Disciples follow Jesus. They are holy and separate, free to serve and love, caught up in the place of prayer, relishing in the Scriptures.
They delight in that which is pure, that which the Lord Himself delights in. So how about it, saints? Is there an inward distinction in you? Are you a disciple of Jesus, or a mere participant in American Christian culture? There is a difference, and its utterly crucial that we know what that difference is, and by the glorious grace of God, come out on the right side.