I’m tired of people saying they love Jesus but either have a loose affiliation with or flat out reject any fellowship with followers of Jesus. That’s not true, and I can prove it to you by Jesus’ own words.
In John 15:12 Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” He is talking to His followers at this time–not just anyone, which is very important. Then Jesus said in John 15:14 “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
Let’s get this straight by turning these verses into an if/then exercise:
- If Jesus commands His followers in verse 12 to love each other . . .
- And if Jesus said in verse 14 that His friends do what He commands . . .
- Then we can conclude that if someone doesn’t love Jesus’ followers, they aren’t friends with Jesus.
I am tempted to jump to the obvious implication that if you don’t regularly attend church, then you should wonder whether or not you are truly friends with Jesus. But that is too easy of an implication because it still possible (likely?) that there are some who regularly attend church but that don’t love followers of Jesus.
You can force yourself to sit in a pew one hour a week and still not love Jesus’ followers. So while I do think local church attendance is part of how a follower loves other Jesus followers, I need to press this implication further.
If someone is characterized by any of the following:
- Spends little to no time with followers of Jesus throughout their normal week
- Holds on to resentment toward followers of Jesus
- Is unwilling to serve or sacrifice for followers of Jesus
- Is apathetic about the hurts or needs of followers of Jesus
Then that person should ask themselves if they’re truly a friend of Jesus. How could someone claim to be a friend of the King of kings and refuse to do what He says? They might identify as “Christian” in a kind of cultural way, but that term is increasingly different than a true follower of Jesus.