“I know all about you!”
You have a favorite entertainer… you watch all the television episodes, or never miss one of the films. Perhaps you passionately follow a pro athlete and have a mental record of all his stats. You are so serious that you sport his team jersey. How about a music entertainer? Do you have a thing for Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean?
Would you qualify your “fandom” as mere interest or infatuation? Somewhere in between?
Years ago I stood in line outside of the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC and answered with little interest the bouncer’s question concerning recording artist Debbie Gibson. My apathy changed as soon as I learned she was about to arrive at the restaurant! I watched her every move for the entire two hours that I sat in the same room with her!
Some of us can get a little starstruck, can’t we?
Let me carry this theme deeper using the example of country music star, Scotty McCreery. I understand that he is not as popular as many other recording artists, but hang with me for the illustration I will make.
Let’s say that I am Scotty’s biggest fan. I voted for him every week while he competed on American Idol, and I cried when he won. I secured tickets to the American Idol tour. Twice. I bought his first release and memorized all the lyrics. I know when Scotty is at home and when he’s on the road. Twitter is a beautiful thing. His photo is the wallpaper on my phone, and you can guess the ringtone: Feelin’ It.
Imagine my surprise to discover Scotty and a film crew shooting a music video for the song on the same day that I went to the beach in Nags Head, NC. It was a dream-come-true to watch him sing and act while standing less than forty feet away from him!
After all of my investment of time and energy to keep up with the young country singer, I really feel as if I know him. I think that if we could ever talk, we would have a lot to say to one another because I know so much about him. For that reason, when I learned of his vacation home’s address in the Outer Banks, I stopped in for a visit. There were about twenty cars in the long driveway, and all the lights were on in the oceanfront mansion. Obviously, Scotty was having a party, so there would be no better opportunity to meet him in person.
Excitedly, I climbed the steps to the front porch, rang the doorbell and waited…
Hold up! You’re really into this story, aren’t you? You want to know what happened next, right?
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but this never happened. Well, the music video on the beach happened, but my votes, ringtone, and visit to the beach house never happened! But let’s be for real: would we actually expect an invitation to join the party just because I show up on the front porch and ring the doorbell? I mean, if I explain to Scotty that I know everything about him and I’m his biggest fan, would I choose to believe that he would then say, “Well, come on in!”
It’s ludicrous! Do you agree?
And this is the point Jesus makes concerning those who will claim to be followers but are truly mere fans.
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:21-23, NIV)
I never knew you.
For the same reason that Scotty will not welcome me into his beach home, Jesus will not welcome “many” into the kingdom of heaven. Twitter- stalking, lyric-memorizing, and faithful attendance are no substitute for relationship. Jesus clearly states that “fandom” is not the pre-requisite for the kingdom; relationship with Him is the absolute necessity.
To know God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit is the highest calling of man, and it begins with a positive response to Jesus’ invitation to come to Him and to learn from Him. The Word of God is the revelation of God, and until you and I place greater emphasis on it than on anything else, we will miss the opportunity to know our Lord and Savior. Ultimately, we will miss the greatest party to ever take place in the greatest mansion ever built!
Dear friend, you and I never have to face a rejection at the door if we make a decision today to be more than a fan of Jesus. Pray this prayer with me:
Father in heaven, I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to You except through Him (John 14:6). I believe upon Jesus for my eternal salvation. I pray that You give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation , so that I may know You better (Ephesians 1:17). Increase in me an appetite for Your Word, and I will “meditate on Your precepts and consider You ways” (Psalm 119:15). Let my future days prove true that “I will not be put to shame, for I delight in your commands because I love them” (Psalm 119:46-47).