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How many Christians are disciples of Christ?

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The world is expecting to have 3.3 billion Christians by 2050, according to Good Faith Media. But the million-dollar question is, how many of these Christians will be true disciples of Christ?

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mathew 16:24). This call by Christ is what separates the mature from the babies. Unfortunately, many are not willing to deny themselves and carry their cross to follow Christ. The majority of Christians believe that they have become disciples of Christ when they have said the sinners’ prayer and have gotten the assurance that their sins have been forgiven.

The major duty of the Church is to help connect believers to Christ’s teachings for them to grow in Christlikeness. Unfortunately, this is often neglected by many churches. I cannot remember anyone telling me that I should deny myself and carry my cross when I came to Christ. Rather I was told that all my problems will be over and Christ will solve all of my problems and prosper me. This perversion is responsible for the lack of growth and maturity experienced in the Body of Christ today.

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When we are reconciled with God a new relationship is established that enables us to have access to Him. Jesus now instructs us on what next to do. He teaches us how to be like Him in deeds and actions. He prepares us and calls us to evangelize the world.

Christ knew that no one can effectively serve God without crucifying the flesh. He sends us out on fieldwork with some unforeseen and unpleasant conditions which produce suffering and hardships. Our resolution to carry our cross enables us to continue even in the most terrible of situations. He expects us to follow His instructions carefully and apply what we learned cautiously. He gives instructions on what to do and carefully evaluates our performances. He does this through His written Word.

The mandate that Christ gave to us is to go into all world and make disciples of all nations (Mathew 28:19).  Are we really making disciples or are we gathering a crowd? If Christians have denied themselves and are carrying their cross daily, should we expect them to indulge in sinful lifestyles on a regular basis? Believers should be careful not to be discipled outside the Word of God. Doctrines of men have taken over the Word of God.

The quest to become comfortable and live in luxury has Christians negating Christ’s conditions for becoming a disciple. Christians are now practicing Christianity which focuses on self and rarely on the cross. We love His blessings, and enjoy His privileges but do not want to be associated with His cross and sufferings. This is unacceptable. Christians as a matter of urgent importance should evaluate themselves and see where their heart stands.

Delayed obedience is still far better than absolute disobedience. We can all still improve if we resolve to meet Christ’s conditions.

Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.  

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