Friday, March 24, 2017
 

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon It costs to be a CHRISTIAN ]

BON VOYAGE





Luke 14:25-33


Please read Luke 14:25-33. Large crowds were following Jesus, but some of them were there for the wrong reasons. Many of them went away and followed him no more. This caused Jesus to ask the apostles, "Will you also go away,?" But Peter said, "Lord to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life." Some followed Jesus out of curiosity. Jesus was the best show in town. He was an exciting teacher and a worker of amazing miracles. He could , create loaves of bread out of nothing, and feed thousands of people with a few loaves and fishes. What more could you ask for in a preacher and teacher?. He was the best. There are still people who come to Jesus for the entertainment and amusement value. Jesus is not interested in people becoming His followers who serve for a little while and then follow Him no more because of persecution, hard times and other difficulties. Even today there are some who enter one end of the baptistry and go out the other end, and we never see them again. We wonder what their plans were when they decided to follow Jesus and whether they had counted the cost when they decided to follow Him . Evidently, they gave little thoght to what is involved in becoming a disciple of Christ. There is a price to be pid, and it is not cheap. It costs something to be a Christian.



The first valuable truth revealed in this passage is an almost universal weakness of the human race. We make decisions on the spur of the moment without thinking ahead. We make decisions without considering the consequences. We buy houses we cannot pay for. Men and women go into bars and have two or three or more drinks, and then get in their cars and have a wreck or kill someone on the street. We run up credit card debts we may never get paid off. A man goes hiking alone in a remote area , gets lost or injures himself and dies before he can get rescued. We make quick decisions without thinking ahead. Men and women will take a walk at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and are attacked by criminals. I read about a man who made a bungee jump from a 70 foot trestle. He tied a rope to one foot and the other end to the trestle. When he jumped he hit the pavement and was immediately killed. What went wrong? The length of the rope was longer than the distance between the trestle and the ground. It would seem he would have figured this out before he jumped. It is a common mistake many of us make; we act before we think and invest before investigate. Jesus teaches that it costs something to be a Christian, and before we decide to become a Christian, it is wise to sit down and consider what it might cost us to follow Him. Jesus presented four requirements of discipleship, and they clearly reveal there is a price that must be paid.



The first requirement of discipleship is expressed like this, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his mother and father, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Many have gone away and followed Jesus no more because of the opposition of relatives to the teachings of Christ. Often the wife becomes a Christian, and the husband does not; and visa versa. Or it may be one of the children becomes a Christian, and the family disown him. When a younger member in the family forsakes Judaism for Christianity, the family treats that member as though he was dead. It can cause all kinds of problems for the Christian and may cause his departure from the faith. . Are you prepared to pay such a price when you may lose the love and respect of mother and father simply because you have chosen to be a Christian. That is a hard cross to bear. We cannot put parents and family before Christ. I counseled a young woman who was missing a lot of worship services. She told me that her husband was not a Christian, and he demanded that his lunch be on the table strictly at 12:00 noon every Sunday. If we cannot handle such problems, we cannot be His disciple. We cannot put our relatives before Christ no matter how much it may cost us. The word hate in this statement is to be taken in a comparative sense and simply means to love less. It was not the intention of Christ to separate family members, but we cannot leave Christ to make our family happy. He has the words of eternal life. Jesus knew situations like this would arise, and we should sit down and count the cost before we commit our lives to Christ. Christ comes first in our life and family second, but this was not what most of the crowd came to hear. They went away and followed Him no more. Will you do that?



The second requirement of discipleship is, "Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple." Jesus knew that in living the Christian life many troubles and problems would arise to test our faith. In Luke 9:23,24 Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." The life we lose by serving ourselves instead of Christ is our natural physical life. The life we will save will be everlasting life in heaven. What Jesus means is, "I bore Calvary's cross that you might live forever in heaven, and it is only right that you bear your cross, whatever it might be, to follow Me." Christians are called on to bear heavy crosses


sometimes. Crosses come in many differed forms. It may be financial problems, healthy problems, premature death of loved ones, loss of friends, and such like afflictions in life. Jesus said that in life we will have tribulations. Sit down and count the cost before take Christ as your Savior and Lord, All Christians have some kind of cross to bear for Christ. Jesus here is in effect saying, "It was not easy what I had to do to save you, and it may not be easy for what you may have to do for me.



The third requirement of discipleship is stated like this, "For which of you intending to build a tower does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it–lest after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'" Jesus here was talking about a disciple who committed himself to building a Christian life but quit and never got the job done. It is not easy to build a Christian life. Surely in building a house, a man should think through his plans and determine if he has enough to complete the job. This was all about what it might cost us to be His disciple. Christians are building a life for both time and eternity. Jude 20 is an excellent instruction to Christians to stand by Christ and finish building a Christian life. It says,s "But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal lie." To receive the mercy of Christ when we stand before Him on the day of judgment and receive the gift of eternal life, will be worth far more to us than whatever it may have cost us to have been a true and faithful disciple of Christ all of our lives.


The fourth requirement of discipleship states, " What king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand. Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." Not all have to do that, but some did in the first century. The need for self-sacrifice is the point Jesus is making. What He is saying here is that in making a decision to follow Him we should not make a false start nor make a hopeless stand, but give up all for Christ at once and give ourselves to Him. When you become a Christian make the solemn promise to Christ in your heart that you will serve Him to the end of your life no matter what happens. Your decision to follow Christ should be without qualification. You are to make a one time decision for all time decision to follow Christ. In becoming a Christian we accept Christ as the Director of our lives. Let Him live in your heart and direct all of your life. The cost to be a Christian is great. We must give our influence, our money, our energy, our life and our all if we would be a disciple of Jesus. Before anyone jumps into this Christianity business, Jesus is saying to all, "Be sure you understand what you are getting into." It is not easy to live the Christian life.


I am afraid that so many people have heard so many sermons on salvation by faith alone that they may have come to the belief that it doesn't cost anything to be a Christian.. Salvation is free. People have been given the impression that all they have to do is raise their hand, sign a card, or simply say, "I believe in Jesus and say , " Lord, I'm a sinner. Forgive my sins." Most people believe that is all there is to it. Many believe Jesus gives us eternal life at the time of conversion and that means you can never lose it once you have it.. The truth is no one has eternal life in this present life. Eternal life is the promise of God and the one hope of the Christian faith. You do not hope for something you already have. We sing the hymn that " Jesus paid it all" and He did. But sometimes we get the wrong impression from these words. Some get the idea that Jesus died on the cross, and there is nothing left for us to do. There is no price for me to pay and that's all there is to it. But this idea could not be farther from the truth, for following Christ is a life commitment. There is not anything in the world that costs as much as the religion of Christ does. Think what it cost Christ; it cost Him His home in heaven. It cost heaven its brightest jewel. It cost God His only begotten Son. How can people say, "Salvation is free; I don't have to do anything for it." Think what it cost the early Christians. The apostles were martyred for the cause of Christianity. They died because they believed, counted the cost and served Christ till death, and they were willing to pay for it with their lives.


I am now going to say something that may surprise you. You may or may not agree with me and feel l free to do so. Here it is. "Don't let me or anybody else talk you into becoming a Christian unless your mind is made up to give yourself to become a Christian. You need to sit down and count the cost, and real Christianity is not cheap. It demands a price, and the price will not be cut. Jesus made this clear when He told the story about the man who intended to build a tower but only laid the foundation and could not finish the building. It doesn't take more than we have, but all that Jesus asks is that we put Him first and do the best we can. Before deciding to become a Christian, let us make a determined commitment to be devoted worshipers of the one true and living God, be a faithful servant of His Divine Son Jesus Christ, be a devoted member of the church that Jesus purchased with His own blood, and be willing to turn away from your past sinful life. Then and not till then, is it time for you to be immersed in Christ for the forgiveness of all the sins of you past life. That will make you a saint, a priest of God, a new creation, and it will start you on the narrow way that leads to eternal life. Bon voyage!



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 




 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


BON VOYAGE


Luke 14:25-33


Please read Luke 14:25-33. Large crowds were following Jesus, but some of them were there for the wrong reasons. Many of them went away and followed him no more. This caused Jesus to ask the apostles, "Will you also go away,?" But Peter said, "Lord to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life." Some followed Jesus out of curiosity. Jesus was the best show in town. He was an exciting teacher and a worker of amazing miracles. He could , create loaves of bread out of nothing, and feed thousands of people with a few loaves and fishes. What more could you ask for in a preacher and teacher?. He was the best. There are still people who come to Jesus for the entertainment and amusement value. Jesus is not interested in people becoming His followers who serve for a little while and then follow Him no more because of persecution, hard times and other difficulties. Even today there are some who enter one end of the baptistry and go out the other end, and we never see them again. We wonder what their plans were when they decided to follow Jesus and whether they had counted the cost when they decided to follow Him . Evidently, they gave little thoght to what is involved in becoming a disciple of Christ. There is a price to be pid, and it is not cheap .. It costs something to be a Christian.



The first valuable truth revealed in this passage is an almost universal weakness of the human race. We make decisions on the spur of the moment without thinking ahead. We make decisions without considering the consequences. We buy houses we cannot pay for. Men and women go into bars and have two or three or more drinks, and then get in their cars and have a wreck or kill someone on the street. We run up credit card debts we may never get paid off. A man goes hiking alone in a remote area , gets lost or injures himself and dies before he can get rescued. We make quick decisions without thinking ahead. Men and women will take a walk at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and are attacked by criminals. I read about a man who made a bungee jump from a 70 foot trestle. He tied a rope to one foot and the other end to the trestle. When he jumped he hit the pavement and was immediately killed. What went wrong? The length of the rope was longer than the distance between the trestle and the ground. It would seem he would have figured this out before he jumped. It is a common mistake many of us make; we act before we think and invest before investigate. Jesus teaches that it costs something to be a Christian, and before we decide to become a Christian, it is wise to sit down and consider what it might cost us to follow Him. Jesus presented four requirements of discipleship, and they clearly reveal there is a price that must be paid.



The first requirement of discipleship is expressed like this, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his mother and father, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Many have gone away and followed Jesus no more because of the opposition of relatives to the teachings of Christ. Often the wife becomes a Christian, and the husband does not; and visa versa. Or it may be one of the children becomes a Christian, and the family disown him. When a younger member in the family forsakes Judaism for Christianity, the family treats that member as though he was dead. It can cause all kinds of problems for the Christian and may cause his departure from the faith. . Are you prepared to pay such a price when you may lose the love and respect of mother and father simply because you have chosen to be a Christian. That is a hard cross to bear. We cannot put parents and family before Christ. I counseled a young woman who was missing a lot of worship services. She told me that her husband was not a Christian, and he demanded that his lunch be on the table strictly at 12:00 noon every Sunday. If we cannot handle such problems, we cannot be His disciple. We cannot put our relatives before Christ no matter how much it may cost us. The word hate in this statement is to be taken in a comparative sense and simply means to love less. It was not the intention of Christ to separate family members, but we cannot leave Christ to make our family happy. He has the words of eternal life. Jesus knew situations like this would arise, and we should sit down and count the cost before we commit our lives to Christ. Christ comes first in our life and family second, but this was not what most of the crowd came to hear. They went away and followed Him no more. Will you do that?



The second requirement of discipleship is, "Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple." Jesus knew that in living the Christian life many troubles and problems would arise to test our faith. In Luke 9:23,24 Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." The life we lose by serving ourselves instead of Christ is our natural physical life. The life we will save will be everlasting life in heaven. What Jesus means is, "I bore Calvary's cross that you might live forever in heaven, and it is only right that you bear your cross, whatever it might be, to follow Me." Christians are called on to bear heavy crosses


sometimes. Crosses come in many differed forms. It may be financial problems, healthy problems, premature death of loved ones, loss of friends, and such like afflictions in life. Jesus said that in life we will have tribulations. Sit down and count the cost before take Christ as your Savior and Lord, All Christians have some kind of cross to bear for Christ. Jesus here is in effect saying, "It was not easy what I had to do to save you, and it may not be easy for what you may have to do for me.



The third requirement of discipleship is stated like this, "For which of you intending to build a tower does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it–lest after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'" Jesus here was talking about a disciple who committed himself to building a Christian life but quit and never got the job done. It is not easy to build a Christian life. Surely in building a house, a man should think through his plans and determine if he has enough to complete the job. This was all about what it might cost us to be His disciple. Christians are building a life for both time and eternity. Jude 20 is an excellent instruction to Christians to stand by Christ and finish building a Christian life. It says,s "But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal lie." To receive the mercy of Christ when we stand before Him on the day of judgment and receive the gift of eternal life, will be worth far more to us than whatever it may have cost us to have been a true and faithful disciple of Christ all of our lives.


The fourth requirement of discipleship states, " What king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand. Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." Not all have to do that, but some did in the first century. The need for self-sacrifice is the point Jesus is making. What He is saying here is that in making a decision to follow Him we should not make a false start nor make a hopeless stand, but give up all for Christ at once and give ourselves to Him. When you become a Christian make the solemn promise to Christ in your heart that you will serve Him to the end of your life no matter what happens. Your decision to follow Christ should be without qualification. You are to make a one time decision for all time decision to follow Christ. In becoming a Christian we accept Christ as the Director of our lives. Let Him live in your heart and direct all of your life. The cost to be a Christian is great. We must give our influence, our money, our energy, our life and our all if we would be a disciple of Jesus. Before anyone jumps into this Christianity business, Jesus is saying to all, "Be sure you understand what you are getting into." It is not easy to live the Christian life.


I am afraid that so many people have heard so many sermons on salvation by faith alone that they may have come to the belief that it doesn't cost anything to be a Christian.. Salvation is free. People have been given the impression that all they have to do is raise their hand, sign a card, or simply say, "I believe in Jesus and say , " Lord, I'm a sinner. Forgive my sins." Most people believe that is all there is to it. Many believe Jesus gives us eternal life at the time of conversion and that means you can never lose it once you have it.. The truth is no one has eternal life in this present life. Eternal life is the promise of God and the one hope of the Christian faith. You do not hope for something you already have. We sing the hymn that " Jesus paid it all" and He did. But sometimes we get the wrong impression from these words. Some get the idea that Jesus died on the cross, and there is nothing left for us to do. There is no price for me to pay and that's all there is to it. But this idea could not be farther from the truth, for following Christ is a life commitment. There is not anything in the world that costs as much as the religion of Christ does. Think what it cost Christ; it cost Him His home in heaven. It cost heaven its brightest jewel. It cost God His only begotten Son. How can people say, "Salvation is free; I don't have to do anything for it." Think what it cost the early Christians. The apostles were martyred for the cause of Christianity. They died because they believed, counted the cost and served Christ till death, and they were willing to pay for it with their lives.


I am now going to say something that may surprise you. You may or may not agree with me and feel l free to do so. Here it is. "Don't let me or anybody else talk you into becoming a Christian unless your mind is made up to give yourself to become a Christian. You need to sit down and count the cost, and real Christianity is not cheap. It demands a price, and the price will not be cut. Jesus made this clear when He told the story about the man who intended to build a tower but only laid the foundation and could not finish the building. It doesn't take more than we have, but all that Jesus asks is that we put Him first and do the best we can. Before deciding to become a Christian, let us make a determined commitment to be devoted worshipers of the one true and living God, be a faithful servant of His Divine Son Jesus Christ, be a devoted member of the church that Jesus purchased with His own blood, and be willing to turn away from your past sinful life. Then and not till then, is it time for you to be immersed in Christ for the forgiveness of all the sins of you past life. That will make


you a saint, a priest of God, a new creation, and it will start you on the narrow way that leads to eternal life. Bon voyage!



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 




 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

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