Summary: What would it be like to serve God all your life only to hear Him say the words “I never knew you?” Have you counted the costs of becoming a disciple of Christ? Have you really become a child of God? Please read this sermon and make sure!
COSTS OF BEING A DISCPLE OF CHRIST
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Matthew 7:21-23, NIV
What would it be like to serve God all your life only to hear Him say the words “I never knew you?” Hearing the music of Jaws right before the attack, or the scraping of Freddie Krueger’s claws, the moans of zombies, or the wings of Dracula would not instill fear in a person as intense as hearing our Saviour say that we are not going to heaven. No car wreck, divorce, bankruptcy, or disease could ever be more damaging than taking an eternal journey through the valley of death! With these four words “I never knew you” eternally ringing in our ears, will we not spend an eternity beating ourselves up for having let a lifetime of opportunities to say YES to Christ only to be answered with a profound NO? Wearing all our pretentious good deeds on our hearts will not hide the fact that the stone was never turned to flesh. It saddens me greatly that way too many people in the church have a form of religion that gains them a good reputation but not an eternal home in heaven!
Does this passage not serve as a warning not only to those who knowingly reject God but also to the pretenders as well? Do you this morning have a false sense of security because you are standing on the foundation of unbelief? You may say but pastor I believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God! This is a good start, but I want to remind you that even the demons believe in Jesus and shudder in fear (James 2:19), but everyone knows that they are not going to make it into heaven! You may say but pastor I read my Bible, pray and sing the hymns! No matter how high the mountain of cheap grace one is standing on without making Jesus Christ as the Lord of one’s life, one cannot expect anything at the end of the valley of death but to be cast into a sea of fire. My intention in today’s sermon is not to put fear into one’s heart but out of love to encourage you to examine your heart to see if you have counted and accepted the costs of becoming a disciple of Christ. To accomplish this, I am going to examine Luke 14:25-35 and in doing so outline four points of what it truly means to be His disciple!
“25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be My disciple.”
Luke 14:25-27, NIV
Point 1: Not all People who “Follow” Jesus Have Good Motives
After Jesus had left the home of the Pharisee in Luke 7:36-50 we are told that a large crowd formed “an entourage” and accompanied Jesus on His journey towards Jerusalem. While coming to Jesus was a good “first step” in response to the Gospel message (John 5:40; Matthew 11:28), the motives of this crowd were highly questionable. Many expected Jesus to say to those who followed Him since you are such good and faithful servants let me now fulfill all your social, physical, mental needs and desires. Some of them probably thought they could get Jesus to once again perform the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1-14) so that they could use their money to buy things such as luxury goods. Others might have bought into the Jewish belief that this king of king would conquer Rome only to make them “privileged” over all other people. Others might have joined the crowd because in their minds it was the “in or cool” thing to do! While we do not know what were the exact motives of this crowd, we do know that they were questionable enough that Christ felt compelled to explain to them what a true disciple entailed.
Lest we think too little of this crowd, do not many people in our churches today have questionable motives as well? While many go to church for spiritual growth and guidance, to worship God and have fellowship with other believers; do not others go to church for the same reasons that this crowd followed Jesus? How many people attend church each year to appease a mother, father, spouse or child? How many of you have met the “one” or “group” that goes to church to seek control over other people? Who has not met the “modern day” Pharisee who demands holiness from church members while refusing to clean the inside of their own cup? And who has not met those whose only aspiration is to promote their “good” reputation or those whose prayers reflect their mistaken belief that Jesus is to be nothing more than a genie in a bottle? While it is true that the church is to be a hospital for us sinners, should not our motives at least reflect the desire to become true disciples of Christ?