Many social media outlets utilize tools such as “like”, “fan” pages, “follow” etc. for members to interact with each other, with topics, writings, photos, and so on. Even here on WordPress, bloggers can give readers the option of “liking” a post, and/or “following” the blogger. By “liking” a posting, the reader merely indicates they read the post and enjoyed it. By choosing to “follow”, the reader links him/herself with the blogger, receiving every post, update, announcement the blogger publishes. In any outlet, “following” calls for more commitment than “liking” or even joining a “fan” page.
Churches today are filled with “fans”, filled with people who “like” Jesus, but precious few are true followers. By definition, a fan is “an enthusiastic admirer.” But a follower is “one who walks after (in the footsteps of) their master, teacher.” Kyle Idleman, author of “Not A Fan”, writes, “(Fans) want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires something of them.”
God spoke of “fans” in Isaiah 29:13, stating, “They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” Jesus threw down the gauntlet when He declared in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Jesus is not, nor was He ever, interested in fans, in people liking Him. He called for followers, nothing less than total devotion, total commitment. All-in, or nothing.
There is no forgiveness without repentance.
There is no salvation without surrender.
There is no life without death.
There is no believing without following. (Idleman)
Are you a fan, or a follower?