Message Follow Up - Week 5, 2021
Dietrich Bonhoeffer summarized much of what he spoke about in his book, “The Cost of Discipleship,” this way: "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” This isn’t a message that you hear in our society very often, is it? And this certainly wasn’t the message that the crowd Jesus was speaking to was ready to hear. But Jesus speaks of this kind of uncompromising, sacrificial life so very clearly in this text. In fact, he states emphatically, three times, that unless certain things are true of you and I, we cannot be His disciple (or, we do not show ourselves to actually be his disciples). We may ascribe to certain teachings. We may agree of the importance of religion, of Jesus, of church, of the Bible, etc… but if these realities aren’t true of us, we cannot be His disciples. Following Jesus certainly does demand a life of uncompromising sacrifice, but it only does so because of the intrinsic value of Jesus and all of God’s promises that are “yes and amen” in Him.
The Sermon Text
“Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”” (Luke 14:25–35 ESV)
The Main Point of the Sermon
Following Jesus demands a life of uncompromising sacrifice that promises unparalleled and eternal treasure.
In light of the fact that many of us, perhaps even all of us, understand to a great extent what kind of life the Lord is calling us to as his Disciples…why don’t we live like this? Have you ever wondered, “why is it that I'm not living the kind of life that Jesus has just called for? Why do I hold back?” Is it not simply on account of unbelief? You and I tend to simply not believe that if we lose everything for Christ’s sake, that He Himself will be more than enough for us. We don’t truly believe he is worthy of it all. We don't believe that if we take up our cross and bear the burdens of others, that he will supply us with the strength needed to see it through. We don’t truly believe he is worthy of it all. We don't believe that if we forsake all else for him, he will be true to his promise and never ever leave us or forsake us. We don’t truly believe he is worthy of it all. We just don't believe it.
- In what ways is this true of you? Take time to assess the extent of your own unbelief and then take it to God in prayer, confessing, repenting, believing the gospel, and asking for more faith, more belief. Ask for fresh sightings of the beauty of Jesus in His word. Strive, by the Spirit
- Is Jesus worth it? Is he worthy of your Unrivaled Affection, Unapologetic Allegiance, and Unqualified Surrender? How would you answer? And what might it mean for you if he is truly worth it?
When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).
[According to Matthew 5:29,] if you make peace with your sin—if during your life, you develop a pattern of worldliness that does not make war on your sin—you will go to hell. How serious is sin? Infinitely serious. How serious is the fight against sin? Infinitely serious. Your eternal destiny is at stake (John Piper).
In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion, which undermines the whole mind of man. If you think you are a poached egg, when you are not looking for a piece of toast to suit you you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you. We may note in passing that He was never regarded as a mere moral teacher. He did not produce that effect on any of the people who actually met him. He produced mainly three effects — Hatred — Terror — Adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild approval (C.S. Lewis).
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose (Jim Elliot).
There is truth, and there is a lie. There is deception, and there is liberation. The lie, the deception, is that if you give yourself up wholly to God for him to do whatever he pleases to make you holy, God-glorifying, and fruitful, you will be joyless, miserable. That’s the lie. The number one lie of the universe is that lie,…. The truth is that if you give yourself up wholly to God for him to do whatever he pleases to make you holy and God-glorifying and fruitful, he will give you an eternal treasure: Jesus Christ and all that God is for you in him, a treasure more enjoyable than anything in this world. And he will give you a heart that experiences this treasure as gain — not loss — even if it costs you your life (John Piper).
It is the only prize that ultimately matters, and we make it our one great life goal to obtain it (Phil. 3:14). It is the culmination of the gospel (1 Peter 3:18). The whole reason Jesus came into the world was to give us eternal life (John 3:16). He died for us, that we might live with him (1 Thessalonians 5:10). Jesus did not come to give us our best life now. He came to “deliver [us] from the present evil age” (Galatians 1:4) and “bring us safely into his heavenly Kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18). Jesus’s great longing is that you will be with him. And when you are finally with him, “he will wipe away every tear from [your] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things [will] have passed away” (Rev. 21:4). Never again will you know any kind of separation from him (Rom. 8:39) , for you “will always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17).That is the treasure you have discovered in the field of this fallen world. Jesus has paid it all, and it costs you everything you own in this age to have it. Yet it is such a small payment for such and everlasting, never-ending treasure that only a fool would pass it up (Jon Bloom).
RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK
Read the Following Scriptures
(while you listen if you utilize Dwell)
Day 1 - Revelation 4-5
Day 2 - 1 Peter 2-3
Day 3 - 1 Peter 4-5
Day 4 - 2 Peter 1, 2 Peter 3
Day 5 - Colossians 1-2
Day 6 - Colossians 3-4