Summary: In order to live a committed Christian life, we must first count the cost. Ask yourself "What is the cost of NOT following Jesus?"
Count the Cost
Sept 8, 2002
The following are actual responses from comment cards given to the staff members at Bridger Wilderness Area in 1996:
1. Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
2. Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the areas of these pests.
3. Please pave the trails…Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.
4. The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.
5. A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call…
6. Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.
7. A MacDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.
8. Too many rocks in the mountains.
These comments and complaints indicate that the people who made them do not really understand what it means to stay in a "wilderness area." They were looking for something convenient and comfortable, but not truly a wilderness experience.
1. In a similar way, many people today do not understand what it means to be a genuine Christian.
2. There are multitudes that often follow Jesus or claim to be a Christian but they do so on their terms and not his.
1. They do not truly comprehend the biblical definition of discipleship.
Because of this ignorance there are many who consider themselves to be followers of Jesus who are not, even though in many ways they do look like followers of Jesus.
1. They go to church, have a profession of faith, read their Bibles, pray, even give in the offering, but they
are not the real deal or at least are not living and thinking like the real deal.
2. Jesus confronts this problem in our text today.
3. He makes very, very clear what it means to be a Christian, and therefore there is no reason for anybody to be deceived.
Everybody wants to go to heaven but not many are willing to pay the price to get there.
There is a cost associated with being a Christian.
Gangaram Mahes is no ordinary criminal. Although he’s been arrested nearly three dozen times, you probably wouldn’t be frightened by his presence. He’s known in New York as the "Serial Eater." This emigrant from Guyana likes elegant dining but doesn’t have the budget to support his taste. So rather than deny his expensive taste, he simply treats himself to some of the finer restaurants. Mahes orders fine cuisine and top-shelf liquor. He then savors the meal until the check arrives. At that point he informs the waiter of his inability to pay the bill. The police then arrest him and Mahes ends up with at least a few days of regular meals in jail. His alibi is simple: "I like to live decent." Mr. Mahes’ "decent" lifestyle has cost New York taxpayers more than $250,000. You see, although this type of activity seems unorthodox, it is most prevalent in every church. Plenty of people savor the menu of ministries and activities the church offers but leave the tab for someone else to pay.
As Christians, we are all CALLED to be disciples of Christ
1. But many are like the people that Jesus was speaking to in Vs 25.
2. He specifically “turned to them” and elaborated on being a disciple.
3. Who were these people?
a. People who claimed to be followers of Christ
b. People who were positive in their attitudes but mistook their positive attitudes for real, true discipleship.
4. They were willing and even anxious to follow Jesus providing the cost was not to high or the demands too great.
a. They were like many people today who do “Christian things” like:
Go to Church, Pray, Sing Christian songs, give to the church
b. But they are not truly committed to Jesus.
c. In a sense, these people were along for the ride, like many today.
5. They were like so many who ride along so that they can count on Jesus to solve their money problems, relationship problems, health problems, and so forth.
a. But they get discouraged when following Jesus doesn’t solve all of their problems in life.
6. These followers were casual followers and not “committed followers”.
a. Which are you?
The life of a disciple is the life of full surrender to a cause that is greater than your own.
1. The life of a true disciple is a life of discipline to force our will to conform to the will of God and not to the image of the world.
2. A disciple is a true follower of Jesus Christ. (What we call a Christian)