Counting the Cost
Intro.1. Jesus was not a crowd-pleaser, Lk. 14:25-27. 2. He was most interested in telling people what they needed to hear so they could count the cost of discipleship and then, fully aware of its demands and challenges, could freely pay the price of following Him: a. Lk. 14:15-20, 24: Invited would not benefit because they made excuses instead of value the kingdom above all else. b. Lk. 14:33: Cannot be Christ’s disciple without forsaking all. 3. Have you counted the cost? Will you pay the price? I. THE COST OF BEING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS, Lk. 14:28-32. A. The Call: Prefer Christ Above All, 14:26-27 (16:13). 1. Hate: Not sinful hatred; to love Jesus more than everyone else, Matt. 10:37 (Gen. 29:30-31). 2. “If”: Cannot follow Jesus with a divided heart (Jno. 12:42-43). 3. Two points of preference: a. Relationships (family, brethren, life itself), 14:26. b. Responsibilities (bear your cross), 14:27; Gal. 6:5. B. The Consideration: What will it Cost to Succeed? 14:28-32 1. Families plan ahead (weekly, monthly, annually) to meet goals (groceries, bills, vacation, education, etc.). a. Successful businessmen plan ahead, analyzing many factors to set goals, strategies, costs, investments, work force, earnings… b. Same is true of a successful life; plans, goals, strategies, cost… 2. Intentions do not make one successful, 14:28. 3. “Sit down first and consider”, 14:31; cf. 1 Cor. 10:12. C. The Cost: Self-Denial, Sacrifice and Obedient Service, 14:33; 9:23 1. Jesus set this example, Matt. 26:38-44 (sacrifice, submission, steadfastness). 2. This is not a onetime payment; it is a lifelong obligation (Heb. 3:6, 14; 10:36-39 (Rev. 14:12). II. HAVE YOU COUNTED THE COST OF BEING A CHRISTIAN? Lk. 14:33 A. The Cost of being Saved from Your Sins. 1. Obedient faith (Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 17:30). 2. Renounce your past sins, Acts 2:37-38, 41 (19:18-20). a. Humble yourself before God and men (Jas. 4:10). b. “Means I’m condemning my parents/children, etc.” No, sin condemns (Lk. 16:28-30). c. Means I will lose friends, business, etc. (Acts 19:24-27) 3. A different way of life, Rom. 12:1-2 (1 Jno. 2:15-16). B. The Cost of Standing for the Truth, 1 Cor. 16:13-14. 1. Loss of friends and even some brethren, 2 Tim. 4:16. 2. Loss of reputation (among false brethren), 3 Jno. 9-12. 3. Cost Jesus his life! Cost apostles much (1 Cor. 4:9-13). Does it cost you anything? (2 Tim. 3:12) C. The Cost of being Faithful unto Death, Rev. 2:10. 1. Context: Persecution and remaining faithful to the point of death. 2. Conquer the fear of men, cf. Matt. 10:28 (Heb. 13:5-6). 3. Be watchful against the sins of self-righteousness, apathy and neglect, worldliness, carnality, lack of growth, willful sin, etc. (1 Pet. 5:8-9; Heb. 5:12; 6:9-12) III. HAVE YOU COUNTED THE COST OF BEING LOST? Matt. 16:26 A. You Will Pay the Price of Never-ending Separation from God and His Good Blessings, Rom. 6:23; Matt. 7:23; 25:30. B. You Will Pay the Price of Never-ending Torment, Lk. 16:24; Mk. 9:43-44; 2 Ths. 1:8-9. No rest forever, Rev. 14:11-13. C. You Will Pay the Price of Never-ending Regret, Lk. 16:25; 12:15-21.
Conclusion1. The price of sin is too high for anyone to truly want to pay it. 2. Sin will always take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay and cost you more than you wanted to pay! 3. So, we deceive ourselves that the cost of sin is not real; we comfort ourselves that we are not as bad as other people, and we convince ourselves that death is far away so we can change later. 4. Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:1-2). 5. Count the cost and pay the price to be saved and to follow Jesus to heaven, not hell!