Think Like Jesus

Be careful who you listen to

George Barna's book, THINK LIKE JESUS, is a devastating reality book, in a truer sense then the present menu of reality TV shows of the gross and the unusually weird. The facts are hard to deny when they stare you in the face. The truth is 91% of those in America who claim to be born again probably are not, but are deceived hypocrites like Judas Iscariot and will be stunned to find their place in the Lake of Fire. By careful analysis about seven million people in the entire nation actually take the Bible seriously and read it and obey it.

I don't speak for Barna, and the best case scenario would be that many are confused and deceived and do not "bear fruit" because they are immature, but I'm afraid the shocking reality is many want a free ticket to heaven without any obligation to change lifestyle or life direction. The alarming thing is most church goers have more in common with Judas than with the other disciples. While the 11 repented of their old sins and followed Christ, Judas followed but never stopped being a thief. [John 12:6 "This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it."] When the fiery trial of Christ's arrest and crucifixion came all ran, but Judas before hand went to his enemies and sold him out. [Matthew 26:15 "and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver."] When Peter cried and confessed his failures, Judas gave up and quit.[Matthew 27:5 "Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself."]

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Think Like Jesus
Think Like Jesus

According to researcher George Barna, most born-again Christians live indistinctly from non-believers because they do not think any differently--which is a result of not understanding the basic truths of the Christian faith. In this book, Barna identifies seven core questions that Christians must be able to answer biblically in order to live a transformed life.

 

Thinking like Jesus is not optional

Do works get you into heaven? NO! You cannot buy or trade your way past the Righteous Judge. But, your works prove what you have though, eternal life or eternal death, because lost people cannot obey God and only those filled with God’s grace do. Romans 8:4 explains, "that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." You might be able to interpret this statement to make excuses for the vast majority of so-called Christians and "Christ did the action, therefore we do not change and just get the benefit in God's eyes,' and if it was an isolated verse, maybe you could, but wait there's more, Paul explains.

Romans 8:6-9 "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. [7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. [8] So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. [9] But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."

Therefore, thinking like Jesus is not optional, it is mandatory and proof of life. Thinking like everyone else in this world proves death is still the present and future reality of those disciples of Judas, even though they claim they follow Christ. Thinking like Jesus means understanding God's way and the evidence of this mindset of thinking proves new life and it bears real changed-life fruit.

Our Lord explained it using a story of farming:

Matthew 13:19-23

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. [20] But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; [21] yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. [22] Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. [23] But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

Summation:

Therefore three clear signs of carnal mindedness that still leads to eternal punishment and death are:

1] continued disobedience to the Lord's clear commands in at least one area

Like Judas, you may be around Christ and claim to yourself that you are a Christian, or used to go to church and pride yourself in the hope that you are as good as those people and are going to heaven, BUT continued bondage to a sin only proves your hopes are false. You see, a person who receives the grace of God can say like John, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burden-some." [1 John 5:3] No you are like Judas if you do not stop disobeying God in that one sin you hold to, even though it seems insignificant to you.

2] when trials or persecutions come the person will sell out Christ or his followers and side with or help the enemies of Christ

Like Judas, even if you are or were a faithful church attender for years, when the day comes and you get a chance to give up because of hard times and circumstances [tribulation] or people or family pressuring you [persecution] and quit serving Christ, you prove your real heart and carnal mindedness. The true child that is pushed around and hurt runs to their parents for help, the orphan has nowhere to run and gives up like Judas.

3] when they fail Christ they do not repent, confess, and return - instead they quit the Lord and his church

All the disciples failed Jesus, but only Judas quit. Proverbs 24:16 declares, "For a righteous man may fall seven times, And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity." New babies learning to walk fall many times at first, but keep getting up and starting over. But within a short period of time they master the art of walking and rarely fall after the baby stage. "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." [1 John 3:9]

All the disciples failed Christ one time, but search diligently you won't find it a second time. All eleven died for their Master, without exception. Only Judas who never changed his carnal mind sold out and quit the Lord.

Application:

How about you? Are you sitting home on Sunday instead of obeying the command of God and serving Him inside His church founded and created by Him. Even though our church is small in number, where two or three are gathered in His name, He promises to be with us because we are obedient. Hebrews 10:22-27 commands: "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. [23] Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. [24] And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, [25] not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. [26] For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, [27] but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries."

Stop making your excuses and get up and join the saints every week faithfully. Or stop judging them and help them. Or stop lying to yourself, that what you are buying with the extra money you get for working on Sunday is necessary, it is not enough to make up for your obedience to Christ. Or stop excusing yourself that you cannot find a church that meets your list of demands, you hypocrite, God tells you to love your brothers. Acts 2:42 is your instructions from the Lord, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." Prove you think like Jesus and love those He loves by committing to them, faithfully study God's Word with them, fellowshipping with them, taking communion with them, and praying with them. Remember this warning from 1 John 2:19: "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us."

Now where will you be this weekend? If you are already faithfully attend church meetings, where will your thoughts and actions be today? Will you do more than just attend? The greatest fear I have is not those who quit already, it is for those who quietly follow Judas Iscariot and do not THINK LIKE JESUS!

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PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

Randy Bell,

("How about you? Are you sitting home on Sunday instead of obeying the command of God and serving Him inside His church founded and created by Him.")

("Now where will you be this weekend? If you are already faithfully attend church meetings, where will your thoughts and actions be today? Will you do more than just attend?")

From what you said above, I have a comment.

From my perspective, there are more and more churches popping up that are founded and created by the religious doctrines of man. I find attendance to be confining to the four man-made walls. The true church does not attend, but follows. Judas Iscariot attended, but did not truly follow Jesus Christ.

It is important to make a distinction to whom the audience is that you are writing to. I assume it may be specifically for those who are part of the church body or may have been disgruntled by it.

There are those who are not part of the church body (in the world), but need the Good News and salvation through Jesus Christ.

There are those who have received the Good News, but are struggling to believe that the grace of Jesus Christ can fully transform them. In this implication, there is a need for admonishment in order to encourage those to repent before Jesus Christ in order that they may receive victory in its fullness.

There are those who continually live in rebellion and choose to disobey the Lord and His Word. There is often bad fruit coming to the surface from their behaviors, they are unrepentant, and are destructive to the faith and welfare of others. A stand of contention is required in the matter, and they are to be let go from the body of Christ.

There are those who know that Jesus Christ is real, but willfully choose to give in to their carnal nature instead of Him regardless.

It is true that Judas Iscariot walked, talked, and knew Jesus Christ, but he did not turn from his carnality. Judas attended, but did not truly follow. Judas sold out on Jesus Christ in a physical sense, but spiritually he never changed, nor did he have any victory in his life. His death is a testimony to his carnality.

Unfortunately, there are many that have compromised and allowed those like Judas into the church."We must show grace" is what they say. The "church" has made themselves the "savior" instead of Jesus Christ. This distorted man-made grace requires religious attendance for acceptance, but true grace is relationship with Jesus Christ whom you *follow*. It is not by our grace, but by the grace of Jesus Christ that brings about genuine salvation and transformation.

Many churches have been overtaken by compromise due to the lack of those who are not willing to stand on, defend, and contend for Biblical truth. Many attend, but few know what it means to be a follower.

A true follower of Jesus Christ is not attending the religious playground, but it by following Him on to the battlefield.

There is a distinction. That is where the kingdom of God is expanded.

Your summation I liked very much.

God Bless! Welcome to Hubpages.


Randy Bell profile image

Randy Bell 5 years ago from Port Saint Lucie Author

Plank I think we agree but if you are saying you refuse to commit to a local church because it is too confining you have a serious flaw in your reasoning. Kind of like, refusing to go home and love your wife because it is too confining, and you just love all women in general, which doesn't equal what true love and commitment is. Committing to a local church and attending regular gatherings to obey Christ's commands is following Him. Just like Acts 2 clearly illustrates. "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, [25] not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some..." Don't be the "some", but be the follower who so loves Christ's people that you will pick up your cross and follow Him into the walls and love and minister to his people like He does. Then leave the walls and go back into the the world on the mission of reaching others as we are commanded. That is thinking like Jesus and acting like Him also.

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