Text: Luke 14:25-33

Jesus Christ defines successful Christianity much differently than most.  Give them everything they want and call that success.  Jesus Christ is doing the exact opposite of the mega church movement.  This is Jesus Christ weeding people out.  Not with joy, but because they had not considered the price of following the Lord.  Quality is at stake.

There is a difference between someone who is saved and someone who actually follows Jesus Christ.  Now, after you’re saved, is following Jesus Christ optional?

Does Jesus say, I know you’ve got a lot on your plate like video games watching TV, but if you can find time to follow me that’d be great. But if not I don’t want to intrude on your fun.

Conditions of Disqualification

  • If you can’t do this, you are disqualified from consideration.
  • If you can’t do this, you are not able to perform the duties of service.
    • If what you do doesn’t help the mission, then you have no right to call what you do service.
    • I fear most of you don’t even qualify for service much less victory in the form of revival.
    • Not only are you losing, but you’re not even qualified to be in the game.
  • That also tells me this is what service is going to look like
  • The followers had not considered the cost.
    • Playing football I considered the cost.
    • Pastoring a church, I’ve considered the cost.
  • Some followed because they wanted to. Some followed him for the food.  Some followed him to improve their lives.  The problem was that none had considered the COST.
  • Because there is opposition
    • Following Jesus Christ has a price because of the enemies of the gospel.
  • We have a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.  We’ve never done anything that required spiritual strength.

The cost of family

  • Preachers take verse 26, then step out in front of Jesus as they push Jesus into the background and say, Now this is what he means.  His mouth just got ahead of him, let me do a little damage control with an explanation of what he’s saying.
  • We want to soften the blow, but you realize Jesus doesn’t explain himself.
  • LISTEN CAREFULLY! – You and I underestimate what God is willing to let die in order to gain a soul and conform that soul into the image of Jesus Christ.
    • Our problem is not that we don’t understand the definition of hate, our problem is we’ve underestimated what God is willing to destroy, or let go of, or allow to be broken in order to follow him.
  • Jesus was a prophet without honor in his own home.
  • Some of you have paid this price.  And I want to encourage you.  If it were easy, there wouldn’t be a cost involved.  But you know exactly what Jesus Christ means when he says at some point it will come down to you following family or you following me.  Because you’re family may not want to go in the direction I’m going and the question is when they don’t want to go, will you still follow me?

The cost of following

  • Jesus Christ says Christianity is following me and I carried my cross.  You don’t get to call what you do following Jesus Christ unless you’re walking in the same steps he walked.
    • Perverted view of Christianity thanks to lazy Christians and pep rally speakers that say Christianity is me getting my way, prospering, having good, doing good, feeling good, etc.
  • Walk in Jesus Christ footsteps.
    • He doesn’t ask you to go anywhere He hasn’t gone.
    • He doesn’t drive you like the devil does.  He’s a shepherd who leads.
  • The problem with following is we don’t want to walk where he walked.
    • No servant is greater than his master.  Jesus Christ isn’t going to walk one path while you walk another and still claim to follow him.
    • The Lord is my shepherdhe leadeth me.  But he’s really not your shepherd and he really doesn’t lead you because you’re not following.
    • Servant is led away of his own lust sometimes
  • Self denial.  It means your motivation doesn’t come from what’s happening to you now, your motivation comes from what going to happen in the future.

The cost of finishing

  • I’m saved and that’s good enough for me.
  • According to what Jesus Christ said your Christianity is a joke. All that behold it begin to mock him…
  • Some decisions need to be made before you ever get started.

The cost of forfeiting

  • Conditions of surrender.
  • Unreasonableness of fighting against God.  As though you’re going to ignore what the Holy Spirit says to you, but will go on to live a good life.
  • The blessed life is described in terms of how we hinder it
    • Our inability to relinquish our grip, to let go.
    • Our unwillingness to rest in faith
  • Illustration of holding on as the burden gets heavier and heavier.
  • Unsaved folks here, you won’t receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior because you don’t want him touching the pleasures of your sin.  That sin that comforts you will put you in hell one day if it continues to keep you from the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

The cost of forsaking

  • Have you ever had to just write something off as a loss?  You sold a car for a lot less than you wanted to.  A house maybe.  Something in business even.  You get to a point where you say it’s going to cost me more to hang on to this than it is to let it go.
  • The Bee and Businessman
    • A businessman often found a place to think high up in an office building away from his own office and away from his home office.  He’d go there to get away from all the clamour of the day.  It happened that oftentimes he’d find himself accompanied by an insect here or there.  Sometimes he’d stop what he was doing and just watch and consider the bug and its activities.  On this particular day a bee made its way into his get away.  He was fairly distracted, but was finishing up work anyway so he stopped what he was doing and considered the bee.  After a little while he decided to head home, but before doing so he opened a window to let the bee fly out to freedom.  But the bee was stubborn and unaware of the prison he’d be trapped in if he didn’t leave.  The man tried to encourage the bee to fly out, but the bee grew angrier and his curious wondering turned malicious toward his would be liberator.  The man tried a little more coercive action, but about that time the bee stung him then landed on a shelf above what the man could reach.  Resigning to know the bee would be dead the next time he made his way there, he shut the window and made his way home.  A few days later the businessman returned to his hide away to find the dried carcass of the bee right on the shelf where it landed after its furious fight to stay a prisoner.
    • We are the bee and the Lord Jesus Christ is the businessman trying to liberate, trying to make free if only we’d yield to his will.  But what we will soon find out in this short life is that what we tried so hard to hang on to was what kept us from truly living an abundant life here.