A. Many people are all too willing to irresponsibly jump into commitments and simply donít care about what it will cost later on
1. "Youíve been pre-approved for a $5000 line of credit..."
2. "Need cash? Weíve got cash. Cash your check before you get it."
3. People who make offers such as the ones above hope that you will take advantage of what is offered without asking, "What is it going to cost me?"
4. They want you to make a commitment without knowing what it is going to cost you
B. Sometimes people do that with spiritual matters as well
1. They hear that they have been offered eternal life so they obey the gospel without really stopping to realize what the cost is
2. Jesus was extra careful to make sure that people who said that they wanted to follow Him knew what they were getting into and that it would cost them something - Luke 14:28-32
C. Why is this concept so important?
1. Because there will be consequences for those who turn back - 2 Peter 2:20-21
2. In Luke, we have an account of Jesus speaking to three different prospective followers. In speaking to them, He reminds them of the cost of following Him - Luke 9:57-62
A. Jesus was told, "Lord, I will follow you wherever you go."
1. Jesus wanted this person to know that often, He had nowhere to lay His head
2. During His ministry, Jesus was forced to rely on the charity of His followers for food and shelter
3. He wanted this man to know that following Him would not always be easy
4. In other words, one has to be willing to sacrifice in order to follow Jesus
B. What types of things are we asked to sacrifice as Christians?
1. Things we all must sacrifice:
a) Time - Ephesians 5:15-16
(1) Must devote time to go to worship
(2) Must devote time to personal Bible study
(3) Must devote time to do the work of the church
b) Riches - 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
(1) As followers of Jesus we must be generous with the wealth that God has bestowed upon us
(2) Also, being a follower of Christ will often mean that we donít makes as much money (for various reasons) as someone who is willing to lie, cheat, and do other immoral things
c) Sin - Romans 6:1-2
(1) Sin does offer pleasure for a season - Hebrews 11:24-25
(2) As followers of Jesus, we must be willing to forego those temporary pleasures in preference to the eternal bliss that awaits us
d) Our very lives - Romans 12:1
2. Things some will have to sacrifice:
(1) - Luke 14:26
(2) - Mark 10:29-30
b) Friends - 1 Corinthians 15:33
c) Jobs, if such jobs are in contradiction to the will of God
C. Are you willing to sacrifice to serve Jesus?
A. In this second instance, the potential follower of Jesus wanted to first go and bury his father
1. Jesusí response, to many, may seem rude
2. Jesus informs this man to let the dead bury the dead
3. Upon further examination we see that Jesus was trying to teach this man an important lesson
a) Most likely, this manís father was not yet dead
b) He was asking Jesus for permission to go and take care of his father (for however long) until he died
c) Jesus wanted this man to understand that in order to be one of His followers, he had to put God first
d) Jesus didnít say that the manís father should be neglected but that others could take care of him while this man preached the gospel
4. Rather than dealing with one manís physical sickness, Jesus wanted this person to see the need for him to help multitudes of people with their spiritual sickness
5. Jesus did not come to seek earthly wealth or fame; Hebrews came to seek and to save the lost - Luke 19:10
6. As His servants, that must be our priority too.
B. Are we willing to make the spreading of the gospel a priority in our lives?
1. - Matthew 6:33
2. What would you be willing to sacrifice to spread the gospel?
a) Would we be willing to leave a sick father, mother in order to follow Christ?
b) Would we be willing to accept less pay for working less hours so that we had time to work for Christ?
c) Do we encourage our young men to be preachers?
C. "Iím not a preacher. I want to make spreading the gospel a priority in my life. What can I do?"
1. You can do mission work
2. You can grade correspondence courses
3. You can invite friends, co-workers, family to church services
4. You can pray diligently for your preacher and elders
5. You can organize a weekly Bible study at your home (Iíll even come teach it!)
6. Come to my weekly Bible studies with me at the local nursing homes
7. Visit wayward members or send them a card
A. This person wanted to go back and say farewell to his family
1. Jesus used this opportunity to point out another important principal... If we would be followers of Christ, we should never look back
2. All of us must leave certain things behind when we decide to follow Christ
B. We dare not look back
1. Looking back is the first step toward turning back
a) Proverbs 23:16-18
b) Psalm 85:8
2. Jesus says that those who look back are not fit for the kingdom
C. We must press forward, forgetting those things which are behind - Philippians 3:13-14
1. So you want to be a follower of Jesus?
2. Make sure you count the cost!
3. And remember... Whatever the cost may be; even your very life, it will be WORTH IT!
4. With all these things in mind, are you now committed to follow Jesus? Are You Saved?
-- Ralph Price at Streetsboro, January 2011 --