COUNTING THE COST
1. Anything that is of value costs something.
2. If we obtain an education, it costs us time, money, and much human effort.
3. If we have a successful marriage, it costs us love, devotion, and understanding.
4. If we have a successful business, it costs time, effort and much mental and physical strain.
5. Anything that we do, accomplish, or obtain, costs us something.
6. Most people understand this and are willing to pay the price to obtain these things.
7. But, when it comes to Christianity, too many people believe that everything comes free, and that it costs nothing, and that no effort will need to be put forth on their part.
8. But, in this lesson, we want to consider what Christianity, and thereby salvation of our souls, will cost us.
I. IT WILL COST US SOMETHING IN OUR HUMAN RELATIONSHIP.
A. Jesus must come first in our lives. Matt. 6:33.
1. Jesus said: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matt. 10: 37.
2. Too often our loved ones or our friends are put before Christ.
a. For example, husbands and wives sometime believe that they can bring their mates to Christ by neglecting services to the Lord in an effort to please them.
b. With this practice, they will not only lose the soul of their mate, but their own soul as well.
c. Peter tells us how the unconverted husband might be won to Christ: "In like manner , ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, even if any obey not the word, they might without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives; beholding your chaste behavior coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1 Pet. 3:1-4.
d. Also notice what Paul said in 1 Cor. 15:33.
3. Many times old friends and close associates will lead us from Christ if we allow such.
a. If such seems likely, we must abandon such friends and associates. 2 Cor. 6: 14-18.
4. Yes, it cost something to put Christ before our family and our friends and associates. Are we willing to pay the price?
II. IT WILL COST US SOMETHING FINANCIALLY TO BE A CHRISTIAN.
A. many of us are like the wealthy old lady who said as she gave a nickel to a beggar, "Tell me, how did you get so destitute?" The beggar replied: "Well, ma'am, I was like you at one time, always giving vast sums of money to the poor"
1. Multitudes in the world are without the necessities of life, yet we had out nickels.
2. Millions and millions of people have never heard the saving gospel of Christ, yet most of the riches that God gives us are spent foolishly on the luxuries and entertainment ofthis life.
3. In 1 Cor. 9:6-15 is an account of how God expects His people to give.
a. A well-dressed lady was sitting in a pew beside a young lad. When the collection plate started down the row in which they sat, the lady begin to fumble in her purse looking for something to put in the plate. The young lad saw her desparation and he handed her his nickel and said: "Here lady, take my nickel and put it in the plate, and I will hide under the bench."
4. Paul tells Christians to give as they have been prospered. 1 Cor. 16:1,2.
5. Yes, it will cost us money to be a Christian. Are we willing to pay the price?
III. IT WILL COST US SOMETHING AS CHRISTIANS TO STAND FIRM FOR THE TRUTH.
A. Stephen faced the Jews of his day and preached the truth. Acts 7:51-60. It cost him his life.
B. The early church was referred to as the sect that is everywhere spoken against. Acts 28:22.
C. It is not much different today.
1. When one declares that the Bible is from God, and is to be our sole authority in religion, charges of bigotry, legalism and narrowness are hurled at him.
a. Sometimes he is even called an "Anti".
D. I am afraid that the cost of standing for the truth, in the face of zealous opposition has been too great for some.
1. In many places, we see definite changes being made.
a. Men are denying the inspiration of the Bible, the miracles, the pattern of church entrance, worship, organization, and work.
b. Such men have ceased to contend earnestly for the faith.
c. Such men will inherit a place with the fearful in the lake of fire.
E. Are you willing to pay the price to stand for the truth?
IV. IT WILL COST US OUR OWN SELFISH WILL.
A. The old selfish will, guided by our selfish desires must be destroyed. Rom. 8:12- 17; 7:16-25.
B. All Christians are to be new creatures in Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17.
C. We are to deny our own desires and wills, and follow after Christ. Matt. 16:24; Rom. 12:1; Gal. 2:20.
D. Are we willing to totally surrender ourselves to Jesus by our complete submission to His will? Are we willing to pay the price? To buy the truth and sell it not?
V. IT WILL COST US OUR WORLDLY DESIRES, OUR INDECENT DRESS, AND OUR UNCLEAN HABITS.
A. Paul gives us a list of things of the flesh that will keep us out of heaven. Gal. 5: 16-21.
B. Note waht is said in 1 Tim. 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 3:1-4.
C. No lady can truly live the Christian life without giving up the indecent and immodest dress. For such dress is in many respects obscene, lewd and by no means shows forth chastity. If the heart is right, one will dress right.
D. Unclean habits that abuse and offend the rights of others, that are costly to exces with not inherent good in return for money spent, that are harmful to ones health, and destructive to ones influence.
1. Drinking alcoholic beverages, using tobacco, illicit drugs, etc.
E. Using vulgar and questionable language will have to be given up.
F. Visiting questionable places and engaging in questionable activities will have to be given up.
G. Are you willing to pay the price?
1. Yes, Christianity will cost you something.
2. Are you willing to pay the price in order to go to heaven?
by Jim Sasser
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