Being a True Follower of Jesus
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Are you a true follower, a true disciple of Jesus Christ? There are metrics in the Bible, clear delineations, on what that looks like.
One of the metrics is mentioned at least 63 times. It’s the term “high places” in regards to human sacrifices, infanticide, modern day abortion. It must be important to God if it is mentioned that much. 48 of those times are God’s outright condemnation of this travesty.
“…and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind; therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the valley of Slaughter.”
The valley of Ben-hinnom in the Greek translation is a reference for hell. When Jesus used this term in reference to hell, He was describing the suffering of hell compared to the altar of Baal, the sacrifice of children. This is one of 48 times in the Bible where God Almighty condemned child sacrifice.
This should get our attention. If we are followers of Jesus, we should likewise have the same voice. We can’t claim to follow someone and be in disagreement with them. Nor can we claim to follow Jesus and not be clear in our convictions and voice regarding what He is clear about.
There are at least 12 times where God blessed the people who tore down those altars to Baal. When you read Kings and Chronicles, their final judgement was not how much they prospered, how big their armies were, how many cattle they owned, how well-known they were, or how many people were in their tribes. The measuring rod, the metrics, was whether they did or did not tear down the high places.
2 Kings 18:1-4
Now it came about in the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah...
Why did he do right in the sight of the Lord? He removed the high places.
2 Chronicles 14:2-3
Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God, for he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherim…
Scripture tells of at least 12 blessings like that. Do we want to be blessed by God? Then we have to embrace what God embraces and reject what God rejects. This is not the only metric for being a follower of Jesus, but this is a major one. If you can’t agree with God on what a human is, how can you attempt to minister to a human?
I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you.
How seriously do we take that today?
Recently I talked about signs of revival, and one of them was an awareness of sin. Silence is not always golden; sometimes it is just plain yellow.
When we do not clearly speak on something that God has given us specific revelation on, it takes a lot of mental energy to figure out how to navigate around those things that He has spoken of so unequivocally. If only we would be as forthright as the Lord. There are such clear promises in the Scripture for those who love life and clear condemnations for those who do not.
By the way, you can’t endure someone who acts on what God condemns, either. You can’t not believe in abortion, but help someone who is doing the killing. That is called being an accessory to murder in natural law. To vote for someone who endorses murder is the same thing.
We, as a people of God, must draw the line. We’ve gone a whole generation, and there has been some voice from the Church that has grown a little--but it needs to be a shouting voice. There needs to be an intolerance in the Church against child killing. Why should we be so sensitive to what people think and how people feel while rejecting what God thinks and feels?
We need to be educated. We need to be clear. We need to be unequivocal.
As I was watching the Republican National Convention and Abby Johnson got up to speak, I thought that it was a condemnation against the Church. Here was a political party, who is certainly not righteous, endorsing someone who is clearly and unapologetically pro-life. Yet, sometimes in the Church we aren’t even doing that. It provoked me to jealousy. There is a scenario historically that when the Church backs off and turns over righteousness to the political system, to the judiciary system, to education, to medicine, or any other institution, we lose our voice and we lose our authority. I believe we are on that slippery slope.
Let’s speak what God speaks. Let’s be unequivocal in this area. Let’s be true followers of Jesus and follow His example of loving life and condemning death.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!