Summary: Jesus tells us that much is required if we are to be true followers.

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The Hard Stuff

Luke 14: 25-27

Intro: The Bridger National Wilderness is located in the Teton National Forest in Wyoming. This 428,000 plus wilderness area has everything for hardened outdoors people. Over 600 miles of hiking trails going from lower elevations to higher where you can find glaciers. As you leave this rugged wilderness area, they have comment and suggestion cards available for visitors to fill out and put in the box. I want to share just a few of them with you.

. Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.

Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the areas of these pests.

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.

The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.

A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call…

Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.

A MacDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.

Too many rocks in the mountains.

. These people obviously do not know what it means to stay or travel in a wilderness area.

. It seems that they were looking for something a little bit easier. A little more comfortable and convenient.

. In a similar way, many people today do not understand what it means to be a genuine Christian.

. There are multitudes that often follow Jesus or claim to be a Christian but they do so on their terms and not his.

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.

They go to church, have a profession of faith, read their Bibles, pray, even give in the offering, but they are not living and thinking like the real deal. Jesus confronts this problem in our text today. He makes very, very clear what it means to be a Christian, and therefore there is no reason for anybody to be ignorant or self deceived. ( Larry Sarver, New Life In Christ)

. Jesus reveals to them The Hard Stuff.

.In his interview with Christian author Peter Gomes, Daniel Smith with the Harvard Divinity Bulletin asked him this question about his book The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus.

. He asked, Do you think church leaders and preachers are giving people fluff?

. This was his answer

. “Yes. I think they're afraid to give them the hard stuff. I make the point that every preacher I know who is a graduate of an accredited seminary has had to deal with the hard theological stuff. But it never makes it to the pulpit …”

. This morning, I want to give you the hard stuff.

. Probably one of the hardest passages in scripture.

. Luke 14: 25-27

. 25A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them,

26“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

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