Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #156
TEXT: Luke 14:25-33
Many Christians today are confused about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Some believe that because they come from a Christian background and upbringing, they qualify as true disciples. Some think that all it takes is reading the Bible every day, attending church every week, and praying on occasion. Still others engage in “a la carte Christianity”, picking and choosing what they like and leaving behind what they don’t.
Recently, the Barna Group did a study of Christians in America in an attempt to pinpoint how many people who called themselves Christians were actually like Jesus Christ in their attitudes and their actions. Using a 20-question survey, they came to the conclusion that only 14% of Christians in America lead a lifestyle that closely reflects the values of Jesus Christ as shown in the Gospels. Unfortunately, they found that 51% of Christians were more like the Pharisees than they were like Jesus. One commentator noted, “It is one of the supreme handicaps of the church that in it there are so many distant followers of Jesus and so few real disciples.”
So, what holds people back from being true disciples of Christ? Even in Jesus’ day, there were people who wanted to follow Him, who expressed a desire to follow Him, but who, for some reason or another, would not follow Him. Jesus had to deal with these people all of the time. Throughout his ministry, He informed those would-be disciples that to follow Him meant they would have a price to pay, there would be some things they had to give up, and there would be some people who would try to hold them back.
Today, we are beginning to look at one of those passages in which Jesus is talking about the cost of following Him.