Summary: Part of a series on Core Issues, this message talks about counting the cost of discipleship.
The Unfinished Tower and a King's Rash War – Counting the Cost of Discipleship
Text - Luke 14:25-35
Did you hear about the accidental burning of the Quran in Afghanistan?
Quote - "They should leave Afghanistan rather than disrespecting our religion, our faith. If next time they disrespect our religion, we will defend our holy Quran, religion and faith until the last drop of blood has left in our body."
In their country they swarm likes ants having their hill disrupted when their holy book is disrespected but in America when the Bible is trampled upon there's hardly a whimper.
"In God We Trust" on edge of coin. It's also on outskirts of town squares of America.
God is being scrubbed from our national forum, society, and way of life.
The things we once thought were non-negotiables as it relates to the Bible and our nation's Judeo-Christian heritage are now seemingly up for debate.
Our nation is being reinvented, slowly, but very intentionally.
"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." Abraham Lincoln
* We see this in the militant homosexual agenda of equal rights and gay marriages being legalized.
* We see this in the sexual revolution of the 1960's which led to the justification of murdering unwanted, innocent babies through the legalization of abortion, with the mantra "hey, it's my body, I can do what I want to with it".
* We see this in how prayer & the Bible have been removed from schools and other public venues with the inaccurate interpretation and implementation of separation of church and state in the Constitution.
And those children who grew up without the Bible as one of their text books are now leaders legislating on our behalf without any Biblical moral foundational standards with which to harken. And sadly, we the people by and large accept this with hardly a fight.
Another Abraham Lincoln quote - "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
Society today is enamored it seems with the superficial events of the day and looking out for self. Being a disciple of Christ is not even on most people's radar screen. We're destroying ourselves from within by rejecting God and embracing the things of this world.
We need to be vigilant, but in the bigger picture, that of God's Kingdom, Jesus is our leader. And so we turn to His Word today to see what He says to all of this.
Question - How could a handful of original disciples get more accomplished than 2 billion current professing Christians?
Well, maybe Jesus was on to something.
Was Jesus Numerically Challenged?
"Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "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. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."
Here He was with this large crowd, the envy of any pastor today, and He says something that had the potential to drive most of them away. He did that frequently. And many did walk away. But He was okay with that.
Jesus went about changing the world in a remarkably small way. Short life, few followers, handful of seed at the end.
The resurrected Lord tossed the seed into the ground and said, “I’m outta here.” He left eleven uncultured leaders, perhaps 120 people, no budget, no map, and no plan
except “make disciples and teach them to obey.”
The only assets they possessed were the Holy Spirit and an imperishable seed.
"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." (1 Peter 1:23 NIV)
Jesus knew that shear numbers alone wouldn't cut it, but only those who really were committed to Him and His kingdom.
So He filled them with His Spirit, gave them the imperishable Seed of God's Word, and sent them out. This sold out band of believers were fully committed to the cause of Christ. When their ant hill was kicked over, they scattered and more boldly proclaimed Christ. There was no compromise, no wavering, no distractions, no doubt. They were all in.
The proof of an effective Church and committed Christian is not how large the crowd is on any given Sunday, but what the people are doing Monday through Saturday.
So He says to the large crowd, "love me more than anything & anyone else. Be a fully committed disciple. Take up your cross and follow me." It doesn't say it, but I imagine some drifted away after that. Jesus was forming His own "Gideon's Army".