Over the past several months I have continually hit on the point of Free Grace theology and how I believe that teaching people to pray a prayer inviting Jesus into their heart, without ever charging them to live a life transformed by God’s regenerating Spirit, is a total crock. To be sure, this has come up numerous times in my conversations with people in the church along with the several posts I have made on it here (one such post linking to others).
So, as I was reading Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love I found a quote addressing this which really says what I feel on the matter:
In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” And in Luke 14:33, He says, “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily becoming disciples. I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded? You’ll notice that He didn’t add, “But hey, if that’s too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians- you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.” [Crazy Love, p.87]
The idea of being a Christian but not a disciple was exactly what the Free Grace evangelist visiting my church announced. This sounds great, and is a nice way to not have to deal with the ugly confrontation of approaching someone who calls their self a Christian yet lives like hell, but in the end it is indefensible. The call to discipleship and the gospel call to Christ are inseparable and should always be viewed as cooperative aspects of man’s responsibility in salvation. If we are not responding as those seeking to be discipled, how are we accepting Christ? “Follow me” is a call to discipleship, and is a (the?) constant refrain of Christ to those whom he forgives in the gospels. If Christ saw this together, who are we to say it may be viewed apart?