And they brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their robes on it, and He sat on it. Many people spread their robes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields. Then those who went before and those who followed kept shouting: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven! – Mark 11:7-10 HCSB

What’s a “Carnival Christian?” A Carnival Christian is someone who only enjoys the fun. They get caught up in the excitement of cheering for Jesus, but have a hard time taking a personal stand for him when the crowd isn’t around. For them, commitments are difficult to keep. And because of that, when alone, the Christian lifestyle isn’t always evident in them.

We love parades, parties, and shindigs. We’ll work ourselves to the bone for those brief moments in the lights. But the Monday through Friday, nine to five, day after day slog…we’re not so good at that.

We love big Christian gatherings where there is excitement in numbers like Promise Keepers or Christian concerts. These events offer great times of worship, great times of learning, that are only enhanced by a big crowd. Easy to be a Christian there - easy to applaud Jesus in a setting like that. Ever gone to a Christian camp? It’s easy to get a “spiritual high” at camp. But eventually we go home. Then what?

It can even happen at church. It’s easy to applaud Jesus when we’re in a crowd that’s already giving him applause. Then we go home. Then what? Do we fall away during the week? Are we like the disciples who made promises by day and then fled by night? Are we like one of the crowd in Mark 11 who praised Him one day and then lost interest in Him the next?

The point is we can’t gauge our commitment to Jesus solely by the applause we give Him.
Without close contact with the source of the excitement, our fervor will not remain. If our lives are consistently marked by the absence of a personal quiet time, there is no way that we will ever be anything but Carnival Christians.

If we don’t personally read the Bible and spend time in prayer regularly - on our own - we have no chance at ever becoming committed followers of Jesus Christ.

It’s about a love relationship with Jesus, something we talk about a lot around our church. Do you want to kick the Carnival habit and take the next step toward becoming a committed Christian?

Some of you may have never given Jesus applause. Maybe it is time to start. Some of you may have given him applause in the past, but by night you’ve fled. Don’t fall away – don’t ever quit praising Him - endure to the end. “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”[1]


[1] Revelation 2:10