Summary: There is a cost to following Jesus, but it’s not as high as the cost of not following.
READ ACTS 7:2-4, Gen... 11:31-12:7
Steven’s sermon in Acts gives us by the Holy Spirit’s revelation a glimpse at the first of two calls on Abram’s life. When Abram was still living in Ur, before he moved to Haran, God called him to pull up stakes, God told Abram to leave his family, all of them, and he told Abram to leave his people, All of them and God said "go to a land I will show you"
So Abram ½ obeys and he pulls up stakes and according to Genesis 11:31, Abram is joined on his journey by his father and his nephew, but God had told him to leave his family. And since Abram is slightly disobedient he settles in Haran instead of Canaan, and I wonder but what that move didn’t cost Terah (Abram’s father) his life.
So now, here they are living in Haran and Abram’s dad dies and I bet the whole clan of people were just going to settle down there for good. Because they would want perhaps to be near dad’s grave. I mean, we like to be near the grave of our deceased loved ones, family ties run deep and especially so for Abram, because he was a righteous man and he loved his family dearly. So as they settle down in verse 31, God has to repeat himself, and let me remind you, whenever God repeats himself, he does so because it’s important.
God wanted Abram away from Idolatry, he wanted Abram away from a family that would lead him astray and he wanted Abram separated to God himself. So in verse 1 of chapter 12 God comes to Abram and he calls him again.
Now, I know that your Bible like mine probably reads "the Lord HAD said to Abram" But the word "Had" doesn’t belong there, it was inserted because the translators of the KJV and the NIV saw The first call found in Acts 7 as the ONLY call. But I don’t think God’s word needs extra help. The translators of several versions including the New American Standard which is highly accurate do NOT have the extra word in there. So don’t scratch it out, but put a note to the side indicating that HAD doesn’t really belong there.
SO the text ought to read "Now the Lord said to Abram..."
So Now back to the story, Abram is sitting in his living room one day and God tells him for the second time, Get up, and get going. Leave your country (he’d taken up residence in Haran now) and Leave your people, and Leave your Fathers Household. And then God makes a covenant or a promise with Abram, and that promise known as the Abrahamic Covenant is what much of the rest of the entire Bible is about.
And verse 4 of Genesis 12 tells us, that Abram left, as the Lord had told him. This time Abram left everything just as he was supposed to. And Lot as it happened Followed him. Since Lot followed him; Abram as the Senior is responsible for him and so verse 5 says that he took Lot. At any rate God is going to use the rest of Abram’s life to get Abram to obey him and to trust him. The text says that Abram took it all and in verse 5 "...they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. And When they got there, Abram wanders around till he gets to Shechem which is just north of Jerusalem and There God appears to him and blesses him by saying I’m going to give THIS land to your descendants."
I want to focus on three items from the text this morning as it relates to us today.
1. God has called us and we have stopped obeying
2. God is repeating his call to us and we must decide if we will obey.
3. God has called us and he will bless us if we obey.
When this church was founded, it was done upon the foundation of the great commission, that commission or rather that order from the lips of Christ Jesus himself is that we make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit.
And so during the revival services converts were made, and not just being converts they were then taught the truths of scriptures in the Old Fame School house, and in so doing they were made into disciples. Do you know what the term disciple means?
Disciple in the American Heritage Concise Dictionary reads "one who embraces and assists in the spreading of the teachings of another."
There are different failures that have crept into the church as a whole on the subject of what a disciple is. First there is the focus of some Christians that a disciple is a Christian, that is to say it another way, that a disciple is a convert to Christianity. Some have concluded that as soon as a person accepts Christ than he is a full fledged disciple.