Jesus’ plan is just the opposite of what most think will change the world.
Jesus created us and respects us as individuals. Jesus respects my right to choose him or reject him (a right he gave me); neither option is forced on me. If I choose him he changes my heart first. My actions then gradually change as I choose to surrender more and more of my life to him, by His power. I then become more and more unselfish; and I learn to love justice, peace and my neighbor more and more.
Jesus never promised me a utopia on earth. And he never forced me to obey him. (He has, however, allowed me to suffer the natural consequences of my own choices). He said, in this world I will have trouble, but be of good cheer, He has overcome the world. In fact, Jesus has sent me much mental and emotional trouble so that I would experience His comfort and be able to comfort others with the comfort He has given me. (I wouldn’t want to go through that trouble again, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything because it is like gold I can give away to those “poor in spirit”).
Following Jesus does not promise me health and wealth. (Jesus does say if I put Him first He will take responsibility for me; my food, clothing and shelter (Matthew 6:33)).
Following Jesus does not mean everyone will like me. Jesus said that if people hated Him and His Father, they will hate me.
Jesus then changes us individually from the inside out because we ask him to. He changes the world one volunteer at a time. Some in this world want to force everyone to change to what they want because they imagine they know better than we do; and so that they can get total power.
But what if you say: I know a Christian and they don’t do what is right, and they hypocritically put me down for what I do, they don’t accept me as I am and want to force me to “get saved” and control me. How is that any different than the people in this world that want to force their will on me?
It is not any different, it is just on a smaller scale.
Anyone can call themselves a Christian. Jesus anticipated that people would take His Name on themselves but not follow Him. He told us how we could tell between the true Christians and the impostors.
15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 7:15–23). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
Jesus accepts you unconditionally. His follower will accept you unconditionally.
Jesus tells you that you are a sinner, but he loves you, and He wants to take your sins away and He wants to be your brother. His follower will tell you that they were a sinner, but Jesus took their sins away, and that Jesus has made them His brother.
11For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12saying,
I will declare thy name unto my brethren,
In the midst of the congregation will I sing thy praise.
American Standard Version. (1995). (Heb 2:11–12). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Jesus will never condemn you. His follower will never condemn you.
Jesus will never judge you, but meet your need that is causing your pain. His follower will never judge you, but seek to know your need and ask if they can meet it with you.
Jesus will never put you down. His follower will never criticize you, they will seek to understand you and ask if they can help you.
Jesus is kind, and loving , and good. If you don’t sense these qualities in His follower, he is not a follower.
Oh, by the way, I fail at all of these at times, but I thank Jesus for His forgiveness and keep on following by His mercy and grace.