The Bible has been clear on the issue of the kingdom of God and has informed Christians that for one to be a part of it, they have to believe in Christ. This is quoted in John 3:16, where eternal life is promised when someone believes in Christ. Apart from the promise of eternal life, which could probably happen after your death, several Christians would like to know the benefits of being a follower of Christ even now. They have asked, “What happens when you follow Jesus?”
There are several benefits of following Jesus Christ to you as a Christian, including being promised eternal life. One occurrence that Christians look forward to is the afterlife that will be in heaven and the fact that it will be endless, unlike life on earth. Despite this being the most significant and most lucrative benefit, there are still several other benefits of following Jesus Christ.
Several Christians have been asking some questions about following Jesus Christ. What does the Bible say about being a follower of Jesus Christ? Why is it essential to be a follower of Jesus? What are the benefits of following Jesus? These and other questions have been discussed in this article; read on to find out.
What does it mean to follow Jesus?
Matthew 10:34-39 reveals what Jesus wanted from his followers. According to the scripture, to follow Jesus, one had to be ready even to deny their family while putting Jesus first. To be a follower of Jesus, you must love Jesus more than anything else, including the family that has always cushioned you. When deciding to follow him, you should know that his works will always come first in your life. This suggests that the decision is crucial and needs some good brainstorming.
Following Jesus also means denying oneself, as quoted in Luke 14:26. As Jesus explained, one has to change their lifestyle entirely from the things one loved doing to doing the works of Jesus Christ. To be considered a follower of Christ, all the pleasurable things must be put away and ready to face persecution like Jesus Christ.
In the same verse, Christ insists that one has to be ready to carry their cross to follow him. With this, Jesus was referring to his eventual death. He knew Christians would face persecution while following him and therefore had to inform them that they had to make a huge sacrifice to follow him.
To follow Jesus means that one makes him the focal point of their lives, emulating all his ways and following every rule he gave to his disciples.
What does the Bible say about following Jesus?
Matthew 16:24 quotes the words of Jesus Christ: for anyone to follow him, they had to deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow him. The Bible suggested that one had to change their way and be ready to suffer with him.
John 8:12 quotes Jesus saying that he is the world’s light and that whoever follows him will have eternal light and never experience darkness. In this verse, Jesus tells his followers that they will always experience his ways gloriously by being his disciple and never have to suffer in the devil’s darkness.
John 10:27 Jesus says that his followers hear his voice and follow him. The Bible informs Christians that following Jesus entails listening keenly to his voice and responding in the way Jesus wants. If his voice would like you to minister to his people, Jesus expects his followers to be ready and react positively to his voice.
1 John 2:3-4 reminds Christians that to follow Jesus, one has to keep his commandments. Following his commandments obediently warrants you the title of his follower, and you, therefore, have a chance of enjoying everything that he has promised his loyal followers.
1 Peter 2:21 tells Christians that a follower of Christ imitates his ways. Jesus Christ was humble, forgiving, firm in his decision-making, authoritative in the word of God, and so on. He only had admirable virtues and was always truthful in his teachings. Following him means that a Christian has to emulate his lifestyle, specifically his virtues that strongly end4eared him to many people.
Matthew 10:22 informs Christians that to follow Jesus, one must have a heart of endurance. This is because sometimes, hate is experienced in following Jesus Christ. When hate comes your way, Jesus Christ has prepared our followers by telling us to have hearts that can endure the hatred while spreading love.
These are some of the verses that have given insights into following Jesus, explaining the kind of journey it is and how a Christian should prepare for it.
Why is it important to follow Jesus?
Following Jesus is essential because being next to him means you are shielded from the devil’s works. The works of Jesus and those of the devil do not mix; therefore, you are safely placed next to Jesus.
It is also important to follow Jesus Christ since the Bible describes him as the way, the truth, and the life. He is also the only way a Christian can access God the father in heaven. This is, in fact, the most important reason why you should follow Jesus. He links us to the father and will be the one to select the righteous and the wicked.
As the son of God and the promised Messiah, following Jesus Christ means that you accept God’s word and the prophecies that promised us the Messiah. Therefore, following Christ is crucial as it means obeying God and receiving his word as the truth.
What did Jesus promise for those that follow him?
In John 15:9-11 Jesus promised his followers that following him meant sharing in his joy. The joy possessed by Jesus Christ is the ultimate joy anyone can ever experience, and so following him means having extreme pleasure.
In John 15:14-15 Jesus Christ promises his followers friendship. Following his teachings, Jesus Christ promised his followers they would be his friends. Forging a friendship with God is one of the cravings of Christians, and Jesus making it easier is a welcome opportunity.
In John 14:21, Jesus Christ promises to reveal himself to those that love and follow him. This means those who believe in Jesus Christ have the privilege of knowing Christ better than those who do not follow him.
In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus Christ promises those who follow his life. His life is known to be everlasting, so one is promised eternal life by following him.
In John 6:37, Jesus promises to accept everyone who follows him and says he will not drive any of them away. A follower of Jesus has therefore been promised acceptance into the kingdom of God, which is the only eternal kingdom Christians know about.
These are some of the promises that Jesus gave to his followers. To enjoy them, you have to follow him and his teachings.
What is the requirement for following Jesus?
Following Jesus is optional for a person and is mostly a matter of being willing to believe and follow him. To follow Jesus, you must have the will to do so. Once you believe that he is the true son of God, then you can follow him willingly to experience the Kingdom of God.
As Jesus put it, you must also sacrifice to follow Jesus. You will have to live in denial and even give away things you have treasured to be a follower. Followers of Jesus are always ready to lose here on earth but gain in heaven.
Another requirement is to be ready to suffer from being a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said that one must be prepared to carry their cross for them to follow him. This indicates that one can face persecution anytime as a Christian and should be ready for that.
Everyone has an equal chance at choosing to follow Jesus Christ, but only those who are willing to believe and ready to sacrifice and suffer are considered followers of Jesus.
Five benefits of following Jesus
Brings one closer to God
Following Jesus Christ is beneficial to a Christian’s life in several ways. First, it brings you closer to the kingdom of God. By following Jesus Christ, your relationship with God gets better, giving you a better chance at inheriting the kingdom. You get accepted as a member of the kingdom for following Christ.
Learning the virtue of endurance
Following Jesus Christ teaches one the virtue of endurance. As one follows Jesus Christ while facing persecution, endurance is instilled in them, meaning they can survive in harder conditions.
Sharing in the love of God
It is also beneficial to follow Jesus since you get to share with him in the love of God expressed in John 3:16. Jesus died for our sins because of God’s love, so following him means you believe and would like to share in this special love of God the father.
Following Jesus gives you a chance to learn and practice countless virtues that Jesus himself possessed. From humility to leadership to love, Jesus Christ was the embodiment of a perfect human. He was good to everybody. Following him means that you will learn and practice these virtues.
The promise of an Everlasting life
The most important benefit of following Christ is that you will not perish but instead have everlasting life. This means that even if you die today while following Christ, you will get resurrected and live eternally in heaven.
Five practical ways to follow Jesus
Denying oneself is the first practical way of following Jesus, as he said in the gospel of Matthew. This should be a daily practice while ensuring that Christ is given priority. By denying oneself, Christ is given a perfect chance to work on your way to the Kingdom of God.
Emulating Jesus Christ
Emulating Jesus and his teachings is another way of following Jesus practically. By showing his virtues to the people and living as per his words, one is considered to be following Jesus Christ.
Loving and helping everybody is also another practical way of following Jesus Christ. Jesus taught that love is the greatest commandment and, therefore, one who fulfills it daily is considered his follower.
Daily Fellowship with Jesus
Worshipping and fellowship with Jesus daily is also a way of following him. Reading your Bible and praying daily shows that one has a good fellowship with Jesus and therefore is a follower.
Applying the Golden Rule
Following the golden rule is also a way of following Jesus. This rule states that you should do to others what you would expect to be done to you. This can only limit you from doing good to others.
These are some practical ways Christians can consider when they want to follow Christ.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.