The world has some what distorted Jesus, and turned Christianity into what’s most comfortable for them. “Oh I can do this, even though I know it’s wrong, because God’s grace is forgiving. God will still love me.” or, “I don’t have to do this, because God will understand how much I don’t want to.” I love finding preachers that are true disciples of God, that speak the truth and don’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings with it. “Truth hurts”, and sometimes you have to step on some toes to get your point across. I recently heard a sermon by Francis Chan and I just wanted to sum up a lot of what he talked about.
We’re told in Luke 14:26, “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.” And when Jesus got a crowd He didn’t say, “Oh! Awesome! Look at all of these people! Come again next time, and bring a friend!” No, instead He looks at them again and begins to question them. He says, “Hey wait, are you guys all supposed to be here? I mean, you can’t really follow me unless you hate your mother, and your father, and your children, ect. Are you all ready to go die for me? Are you all ready to pick up a cross? If not, you’re in the wrong place.” And a lot of times, I think that’s where people start to get it wrong. I’m not saying I don’t get things wrong, I’m not saying I have my act together. I’m saying, we as human beings, think doing just an “okay” job is going to cut it. We’re either in this, or we’re not. If Jesus showed up at your house tonight and said, “Oh hey, there’s a cross down the road. I thought me and you could go carry it, and then get tortured in the mean time. Still wanna follow me?”, would you? “Okay, now we’re going to get nailed to them!” Now will you turn back? I mean, how far are you willing to go? Can you put Him above everyone else, above all the things this world has to offer us? When it comes down to it, would you give up your life like He did?
Luke 14:28, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” Well that makes sense. If you or I were to build a house, first we’d look at our money situation to see if we could afford it. We wouldn’t build the foundation if we couldn’t afford a roof. What good does a house do you if there’s no roof covering it? Are we willing to put that much money into a house? As you can see where I’m going with this, the same goes for Jesus. Are we willing to go full force and give Him everything? God doesn’t want us stopping half way. We’re no use if we don’t go all the way. We have to count the cost and realize what’s on the line. Our salvation, our relationship with Jesus Christ is what’s being risked here. Don’t worry about your friends being put on the line, some of your friends may no longer follow you just because you follow Jesus. You may no longer be the popular one. You might be lonely. You might have your own parents hate you, but is Jesus beautiful enough to you that you’d be willing to give that all up? He doesn’t want you following Him unless you’re giving it you’re all.
Okay, then we read, “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” People will come at you, people will fight you, people will persecute you, ect. You have to trust Your God rather than quit because you don’t have people here on earth to fight the fight for you. Like I said, you don’t know who’s going to leave you. But in Exodus 14:14 it says, “Be still, The Lord your God will fight for you.“
We’ve forgotten what Christianity is, we’ve forgotten we’re a part of this army. We complain so much when we come across battles in life. We think, “Okay, this isn’t what Christianity is supposed to be like, is it?” Somewhere along the way, something or someone mislead us. We think this life is going to be real nice and easy going, rather than suffering like Jesus said it would be. Imagine someone in the middle of a war, just walking off the battlefield because he doesn’t want to be shot at. I mean, that’s what he signed up for, right? Jesus didn’t get on that cross and say, “No, let me down. Sorry, I can’t do this today.”
This is the commitment Jesus calls for, we have to give up our family, our friends, our lives, if we want to follow Christ. We’re at war. We’re fighting a battle. We may face a cross, we may face prosecution, but that is the life we chose when we decided to really follow Jesus.