Monday, September 12, 2011

Have You Counted The Cost Of Discipleship?

Have you truly counted the cost of discipleship? The cost is higher than you can possibly imagine? Are you sure you want to be a disciple of Christ? Do you know what you are getting yourself in for? But here is a bigger question for you. Do you call yourself a disciple of Christ and yet live for the lust of the flesh? BEWARE the COST that you will pay. Luke 14:25-35

v25...And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, (here Jesus is about to talk to all of the many many people who were following Him...)

v26...If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (hate is a pretty strong word, does God really mean that you must hate your family to be His disciple? Of course not, we are to love our family, it's just that our love for them should "look" like hate when we compare it to the love that we are to have for God. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing should be loved more than God. If anything takes its place before God then that has become our idol and that is breaking the first and second commandment. Is your love for God so great that it makes all other shows of love look like hate?)

v27...And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (do you have a cross that you carry? of course not. Then what is Jesus talking about? First off, if you are a baby Christian please do not lose heart over what you are about to read. The cross we will have to carry is one of persecution and hatred from the world. If we are truly a follower of Christ, we will be willing to forsake all things for His sake. That includes family, friends, jobs, homes, etc. Too many pastors preach that God loves you and you will only have good things happen to you in this life. That is obviously not true. Anyone ever read what Paul had to endure as a Christian? How about John? Stephen? and all of the other disciples? It is definitely not about having "your best life now" as Joel Osteen will preach. Our best life is not now, it is in heaven. If you have your best life now then hell must be waiting for you. For Osteen and his followers, there is no cross bearing taking place. It is all about getting along with everyone. And Jesus said, "whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, CANNOT be my disciple." Are you ready to pay the price?)

v28...For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]? (a good engineer will take everything into consideration. A good Christian will do the same. He will not accept Jesus on an emotional ride because the pastor made him cry. No. He will come to Christ because he realized that Jesus died for his sins and without a Saviour, he would be facing the wrath of God and sent to hell. Now, what does he do. He counts the cost. Is it worth it to him to endure persecution and hatred from family members and from friends for the sake of the cross that he beareth? Does he truly understand what the cost is in following Christ? What are the pro's and cons to following Christ (there are no true cons, just lustfilled desires to be fulfilled by the carnal person) and finally, when he counts the cost, will he have what it takes to endure to the end?)

v29...Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to mock him, (okay, you are going to learn something from these scriptures here. Have you ever seen a structure start to go up only to never be completed due to not having enough funds to finish the project? Well, how many times have we seen people start out on fire for the Lord only to fall away? They come to Christ on that emotional ride and they say the sinners prayer. They do good for a season but the minute the persecution starts, or the minute family members mock them for their faith, they compromise God and they choose to please the world instead. Their witness to the world is mocked because people will say that their faith is nothing to be admired by the unbeliever.)

v30...Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (or saying, he came to church a few times, got baptized and now we never seem him in church anymore)

v31...Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? (are there few that be saved? Remember this, the path is narrow that leads to life, wide is the gate that leads to destruction. If you are going to follow Christ and you are going to count the cost of following Him, are you ready for a steady stream of insults being hurled your way? Are you ready for the world to hate you? Are you ready for the persecution to begin?)

v32...Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (when going into battle, you cannot just go in with pure emotions. You must consider the cost, you must analize the opponent and you must know what you need to succeed. You are to plan ahead. Don't wait until Satan starts attacking you, consider right this very moment, what do you need to do to win the battle against the devil? Put on the whole armour of God and be ready for battle)

v33...So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Lot and his family were told not to look back at Sodom. They were to leave immediately. Lot's wife turned around to look at what she was leaving behind and was turned into a pillar of salt. When you become a Christian, you can not look back at your old life style and desire it. You cannot say, I wish I didn't have to give up this or that. When you become a Christian, God replaces your old heart of stone and replaces it with a new heart of flesh. Those things that you used to love such as alcohol, sex, drugs, lusts, lying, homosexuality, greed, covetousness, envy, etc should all be gone. If you still desire those things then your love for God is not stronger than your love for the lusts of the flesh. Examine yourself to see that you are in the faith. Do it daily! If you are not willing to give up your old lifestyle, then you have not been born again and you cannot be His disciple)

v34...Salt [is] good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? (we, as Christians are called to be salt of the world. When we have a witness of Christ in our lives, then we can share that message with others and it will be a blessing to them. Now here is where the lesson gets very strong. Please do not miss this point. But if the salt have lost his savour...if you as a christian have lost your witness or have destroyed your witness, then just saying you are a christian, will not have an impact on the lost and dying world whatsoever. Your witness as a Christian is useless! How do you destroy your witness? When you have not planned ahead, when you have desired to please the world instead of pleasing God. So where can a useless Christian go? Does it really matter? You might as well go walking into a bar, playing pool and just forget the fact that at one time in your life, you 'accepted" Jesus as your Saviour, the only problem is, you never accepted Him as your Lord.)

v35...It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; [but] men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (we are finally here and this is going to hit home with some of you who call yourself a Christian. When salt has lost its seasoning ability, when it has lost its flavor, it is useless. It does absolutely no good to the ground or even the dunghill for that matter, it is one of the most useless things on earth! Even men cast it out as nothing. Now read what Hebrews 6:4-8 says, For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, {this is those people who maybe said the sinners prayer emotionally but did not endure to the end} And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame. {how many people do we know who fit this description? I know one such person who's latter end will be worse than the first} For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: {for the person who has counted the cost of discipleship and decided that no matter what, they are going to even die for Christ, they will be counted as worthy to be His disciple} {I hope, I truly do hope that this next verse puts fear into you.} But that which beareth thorns and briers [is] rejected, and [is] nigh unto cursing; whose end [is] to be burned.

v4 of Hebrews 6 says it is impossible to bring to repentance that person who has lost his saltiness, his usefulness, for the person who has fallen away, who was not truly saved in the first place. Please repent of your sins today. God is a patient God, His mercy is ever before us and we thank God for that, but His patience is running out. He will be returning soon to take His church home to heaven at the rapture prior to the Tribulation. There is a fine line between the person who has erred and repented of his sins and has come back to the flock and the person who has once tasted the goodness of the Holy Spirit and has made a conscious decision to turn against God. That person, God's Word says, is impossible to repent of his sins. Please examine yourself to day to see that you are in the faith. Fear God, Love God, be obedient to God and His Word, repent of your sins and never look back! May your salt always be flavorful and may your witness for Christ always shine the light of His Word to the lost and dying world.

and finally, God's Word says in these scriptures that he who has ears to hear, let him hear. That is God's way of saying...HEY PEOPLE, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT WHAT I AM SAYING, BE SURE TO LISTEN TO THIS!!!! If it is important enough for God to stress this point, then please do not take these verses lightly!
God is not slack concerning His promises to us. He will love His children and provide a place for them in Heaven. Praise God for those who are His.

But He will also prepare to send those who are not His to an eternal punishment in a place called Hell. Those who are children of the devil will not see the Light, they refuse the Light and they mock the Light in the way they live, the way they speak and the way they totally deny the Almighty Great God of the Bible.

And yes, this includes many so called self professing Christians. Does that bother you?


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