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3.15.20

To Follow Jesus Requires that We Count the Cost!

I want you to “Think for a moment of the most worthless, unnecessary purchase you have made in recent years. Perhaps it was an item that now sits in the garage or an article of clothing that will never be worn. That item was not purchased with your money; it was bought with your time, which you traded for money.

In our Text today, Jesus warns us to first count the cost, before we follow Him. Which of course raises the big question: How? How do We Calculate the Cost?

LUKE 14: 26-33 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life (AMPLIFIED…More Than ME) —such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.  28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. 

KEY: “Authentic Discipleship Will Exact from You the Highest Price in every aspect of your life.”

He says, “Be sure to count the cost before you sign up for discipleship and to Follow Jesus…Because it’s Either Be All In or Not In at All.  When We Understand this up Front…Nothing later is going to Surprise You, because you’ve already made a Total Commitment and Understand there is No Going Back!!!

Then Jesus says, Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” This is the most extreme language Jesus could use…It shows the degree of the Cost we May have to Pay.

  • The first extreme language is “I am calling you to something that is going to look like hatred of wife and children and parents.”  Amplified Love Jesus More than these.
  • The second extreme language is “I am calling you to Get On a Cross,” which means a willingness to die to self and follow Christ at All Cost. This Means No Negotiating

Vs 33 (ESV) “So, therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple”.

There are Two Absolutes in That Sentence. One is found in the phrase Anyone”. This applies to every disciple, not just a select few: “Any one of you who does not renounce all he has.” That’s the first absolute.

The second absolute is found in the word “All”. You must renounce all that you have to be my disciple. Your resources may stay with you, but you must be ready to let go of everything for Jesus’s sake.

 How do we count the cost in advance when we don’t know what the cost will be in advance?” The answer is, You Assume the Cost could be Total.

  • All possessions given up, all relationships given up, all of life given up. That’s the expectation that Jesus calls us too…Jesus is Lord of All OR…He’s Not Lord at All!
  • America is somewhat protected…But in Many Countries Following Jesus can Cause Death!

In other words, there’s No Negotiating here with Jesus. There’s No Calculating.  There is No saying, “Well, if the cost reaches this, then I’m not interested in Jesus anymore.” Because Jesus says, “You Can’t Sign Up that Way.  Disciples Understand: Nobody Signs Up for 70% of what Jesus Requires.

  • Disciples are either All In, or They Are Not In at All.

But Here’s the Rest of the Story…You and I (Followers of Jesus) have been Promised a Rich Reward:

  • A Little earlier — in this same chapter — Jesus said, after he laid down some pretty high costs, Luke 14:14 “You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just”

In other words, “There is no cost that you can pay in following Jesus, that won’t be made up to You a thousand-fold in the Resurrection.” When You Enter Heaven!

Remember Matthew 13:44 which says, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

  • A Man Goes and Sells Everything He Has — To Get That Priceless Treasure!

KEY: All the so-called costs and all the so-called losses — Everything — are Nothing Compared to the Gains of having JESUS THE GREATEST TREASURE, THROUGHOUT ALL ETERNITY.

I BELIEVE THAT AFTER COUNTING THE COST, THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL COMMITMENT TO FOLLOW JESUS: THAT IS TO HAVE A CLEARER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR US IN HEAVEN.

Heaven for the Christian will be a place of glorious life that will never end. Joy inexpressible, limitless peace, pure love, beauty beyond description.

Greatest of all will be the presence of God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, with whom we will enjoy fellowship forever. AND>>>MORE…Our Loved ones who have known and loved the Lord will be there…There are So Many I look forward to being Reunited With for all Eternity!

Speaking of Heaven, Billy Graham wrote: “Heaven will be a place in which its inhabitants will be freed from the fears and insecurities that plague and haunt us in the present life. No energy crisis there … Free from the economic and financial pressures that burden us down here. Free from the fear of personal and physical harm … No fear of personal failure … Our relationship with Him will be intimate and direct. I’m looking forward to that glorious day of going to heaven.

“Heaven will be what we have always longed for.  All the things that have made earth unlovely and tragic will be absent in heaven.  There will be no night, no death, no disease, no sorrow, no tears, no ignorance, no disappointment, no war. It will be filled with happiness, worship, love, and perfection.

  • Revelation 21:4 says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

However, the Bible makes clear that there is only one way to heaven, and that is through repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ who said, “I am the way …” (John 14:6).

  • Jesus paid for our sins through His death on the cross. God offers us the free gift of friendship with Him in this life and eternal life in heaven when we die if we will but turn from sin and trust in Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  Acts 16:30 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved …”.

POINT: “To Follow Jesus I Must First Sit Down and Count the Cost”

Let me End with this Question…What Are YOU Trading Your time For that Will be of No Value in Eternity?  

  • This is the Question that Every Successful Christian has Answered…They Compared this Life to Eternity…And said to Themselves…I Want to Make an Eternal Difference!
  • Their Eyes Quit Looking at What this Temporal World could offer and Set there Eyes on Eternity!   This is the Only Way I know to Successfully Follow Jesus!

POINT: “To Follow Jesus I Must First Sit Down and Count the Cost”