Series: The Radical Call of Jesus
Message: Radical Discipleship
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Daily Walk: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 104:10–13.
Read: Revelation 11:19–15:4 (ESV). As you read the English Standard Version, note 1–3 insights or questions.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate (p. 39).
When I read these words the first time, they became immediately etched deep into the memory caverns of my mind. I believed that I would never forget them. In part, this was because of their rhythm. In part, it was because of the personal admiration I still hold for the author, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who chose to stay in Nazi Germany because he believed that by remaining side by side with the German people he would afterwards be able to help re-build Germany. Tragically, he was one of the many on the kill list in the event of a Nazi loss of the war and he lost his life before he could carry out his full purpose. Yet his works have prevailed and his insights into following God have served as a strong reminder to those oppressed today and to those who will be oppressed in the future.
I opened with this quote because this week’s study is going to be heavier than the last three weeks have been. I wonder if you have noticed the progression. Seven Churches with the Radical Church seemed pointed yet still detached, since it was about the Church, and even though we as individuals make up the Church, the study still allows us to focus on something else “out there.” The Seven Seals with the radical choice was personal, but encouraging as the work of the Holy Spirit is able to settle us into truth and once we are sealed, especially in the last days, the next thing we will experience is the Second Coming of Jesus. The Seven Trumpets were more difficult since that study required that we embrace the Radical Warning from Jesus, telling us that probation was closing. Again, as long as we can imagine that this message is for those who do not choose follow Jesus it doesn’t feel too threatening to some of us, but when we begin to realize that we could actually be part of that group and that the radical warning might really be for us, well, that was a wake up call! Needless to say, all these studies have focused on how Jesus (and by Jesus, I do mean the entire Godhead) are engaged in saving us. Now we come to the core of the book. In Revelation 11:19, we open the Ark of the Covenant and everything switches into a deeply prophetic mode with a particular focus on the end of time . . . causing us to ask what kind of disciples will we be? Perhaps it is time to consider that question now and not wait until the end, but to engage in being radical disciples today.
Recalibrate: What does a radical disciple of Jesus look like today?
Respond: Pray for clarity.
Research: Check out his website as a resource for discipleship: www.reflectingjesus.org