Consider the Cost, Consider the Gain – Luke 9:21-26

Consider the Cost, Consider the Gain – Luke 9:21-26

Introduction

Luke 9:21-26 ESV  And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,  (22)  saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”  (23)  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  (24)  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  (25)  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?  (26)  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  

  • I want to start by just looking at the first two verses of this passage, then we will dive into the latter four, which will be our man text for this morning’s message.
    • In the first two verses Jesus foretells His own death to His disciples…

Luke 9:21-22 ESV  And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,  (22)  saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

  • Now consider being one of the disciples of Jesus, and Jesus tells you this secret: “In order for things to be complete, I must suffer at the hand’s of man and be killed by them, but don’t worry on the third day I will be raised from the dead.
    • Now, as Christian’s today that is an awesome thing to read, because we know how the story ends… but the disciples would not have known… they would not have known about the cross, the tomb, the anxiety that came after His death. They would not have known that Jesus would rise again and reveal Himself to them and live again in and through them.
    • So it was probably a shocking thing to hear Jesus say.
  • But more so, consider this… Jesus has made it clear that we are supposed to live like Him, be like Him, be transformed into His likeness… what does this mean? Are we too supposed to look forward to a painful and suffering death? Is that what Jesus want’s?
  • Now consider pondering that question “If I am supposed to be like Jesus, and Jesus was tortured and murdered, does that mean I am supposed to be tortured and murdered?”
    • Imagine pondering that question and then hearing Jesus say “Now take up your cross”
      • Remember, a Cross was not a religious symbol then, it was an instrument of torture and death. It was used to kill people in one of the most painful and public ways possible.
    • “Am I supposed to be tortured and murdered Lord?” “Take up your Cross”.
  • Today’s message “Consider the Cost, Consider the Gain” has to do with just that question…

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Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

  • Now before I get into it this morning, I want to point something out about this message I am fixing to preach…
    • We are going to talk a lot about considering the cost and gain of following Christ before committing your life to Him…
      • If you are a born again believer, which most of you are, you may be thinking what is in it for me in this message, I have already done all of this.
      • Praise God, here is what is in it for you… I want you to listen doubly so, because when you are charged with leading people to Christ you are charged with presenting them an honest opportunity to follow the King of King’s, and you should be able to adequately explain the costs and the gains of following Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit, this message should be so ingrained in your heart that it is reflected every time you share the gospel!
      • Because what this world needs is not better recruiting tactics for Jesus… but it needs honest recruiting tactics for Jesus, so that when people decide they want to follow Him they actually know what they are signing up for! So they don’t say a prayer and then a few weeks later through it to the curb when it get’s hard.
    • If you are not a born again Christian, praise God, you are here on the right Sunday! And we will have an opportunity at the end of this message for you to become born again.
  • Now let’s get into it…

Point One – Consider the Cost

Luke 9:23 ESV  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

  • What’s Jesus saying here?
    • He is saying “If you really want to follow me” that’s what the line “If anyone would come after me” means…
    • He says “If you really want to follow me, then pick up your cross, get ready to suffer, get ready to die, get ready for pain and hurt… then follow Me!”
    • BUT JESUS I DON’T WANT TO DO THAT! THAT DOESN’T SOUND AWESOME AT ALL!”
    • Jesus responds “I know that’s what you think, but you must deny yourself… tell yourself to shut up, tell yourself that you are no longer lord, but that I am Lord, tell yourself that I know better than you… take up your cross and follow me.”
    • He says “get ready to die, because that’s what it takes to follow me!”

Luke 9:24 ESV  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

  • You know I almost named this message “Kill yourself” but I thought that might be taken the wrong way…
    • In fact I once was counseling someone trying to get through a hard spot, and they were harboring some serious bitterness…
    • When I ask them to forgive the person who hurt them they said “That’s just not fair” to which I responded “You have to die to yourself” and they in all seriousness asked “You want me to KILL myself?!”
      • In all there live as a Christian they had never heard, or never taken to heart at least, a message about dying to themselves… this person really thought I was asking them to commit suicide…
    • I don’t want that to be the story of anyone in Christian Life Church… because part of living the Christian Life is dying to our old selves, our non-Christian selves, and becoming new, amen… to live the Christian Life we must first die to the world.
  • So back to the verse here… let’s read it one more time…

Luke 9:23 ESV  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

  • Jesus is saying, “look there is a cost to following Me! There will be pain, there will be suffering, you will definitely die in a metaphorical sense, and you may actually die in a physical sense, for following me. So if you want to follow Me you better consider this and be willing to DAILY take up your cross to follow Me”.
  • So what is the cost? Here are just a few examples… to deny yourself and follow Christ:
    • You will face the opposition of loved one.

John 7:3-5 ESV  So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing.  (4)  For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”  (5)  For not even his brothers believed in him.

  • You will face the hatred of the world.

John 15:18 ESV  “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.

  • You may be asked to leave your family and home behind.

Luke 9:59-60 ESV  To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  (60)  And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

(Pastor Amanda and I where asked to leave our family behind, we knew NO ONE within thousands of miles of Iowa, yet here we are)

  • You will be tasked with depending on God Completely.

Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV  Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (6)  So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

  • You will be expected to obey God always.

Luke 6:46 ESV  “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

  • You will be called to proclaim an unpopular message.

Luke 9:26 ESV  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

  • You will be called to chose righteousness instead of comfort, even suffering for Christ’s sake.

2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

  • You will be asked to pour out your life for others.

Philippians 2:17-18 ESV  Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.  (18)  Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

  • You will be called to die to yourself and the pleasures of this world.

Galatians 2:20 ESV  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

  • Now, church, I could preach a whole sermon each one of these things, and many more things that Jesus calls us to do in following Him, but today I just want you to be aware… there is a cost to following Jesus… and the cost is YOU!
    • You must give up yourself. You must die to yourself that you should live in Christ.
  • And my prayer is that one or two of those things that I read would prick your soul this morning, that the Lord would highlight it. And if He did, then LISTEN TO HIM because He is telling you either:
    • A: You need to die to yourself in that area… being willing to give up whatever comfort you are holding onto, give it up for Christ’s sake.
    • Or B: He is preparing you to be tested in that area…
    • So if He highlighted one of those areas, I will read them again, write it down and focus it on it in prayer…
  • So once again, the Cost of following Christ:
  • So what is the cost? Here are just a few examples… to deny yourself and follow Christ:
    • You will face the opposition of loved one.
    • You will face the hatred of the world.
    • You may be asked to leave your family and home behind.
    • You will be tasked with depending on God Completely.
    • You will be expected to obey God always.
    • You will be called to proclaim an unpopular message.
    • You will be called to chose righteousness instead of comfort, even suffering for Christ’s sake.
    • You will be asked to pour out your life for others.
    • You will be called to die to yourself and the pleasures of this world.
  • What is the Lord highlighting in your heart as a cost for you today?
  • But let me encourage you church… it is worth it, when you consider the gain… that’s my final point this morning… consider the gain!

Point Two – Consider the Gain

Luke 9:24-25 ESV  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  (25)  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

  • Consider the gain, consider what you get for the price of suffering! For choosing Christ and all that comes with Him, instead of choosing yourself or the pleasures of the world.
    • There is the temporary benefits to consider of course:
      • With Christ comes rest like you have never known before:

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (29)  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  (30)  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  • There is peace that we can’t even begin to understand.

Philippians 4:7 ESV  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  • There is perfect contentment in all situations

Philippians 4:11-13 ESV  Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  (12)  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  (13)  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

  • And of course there are ALL the fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-25 ESV  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (24)  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  (25)  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

LOOK AT VERSES 24 and 25, these fruit are for those who have CRUCIFIED the flesh and obey the Spirit!

  • So we have all of these temporary rewards, and so many more than I just listed… but all that is not when compared to the eternal reward…
    • I want to read you this story from the Christian Daily Reporter…

At the age of 14, Leah was kidnapped on February 19, 2018, by Boko Haram.

The militants entered the town of Dapchi, Nigeria and went straight to a girl’s school.

During the kidnapping, five girls died, but the Islamists escaped with 105 girls.

During the next month, the girls were moved to a secret location, indoctrinated with extremist ideals, and told that if they ever wanted to see their families again, they would have to do everything they were told. They were given little food or water, forced to work, and may have been sexually abused.

On March 21, one month later, Boko Haram released most of the girls. The government claims that no ransom was paid, but this has not been confirmed. Regardless, the heart of the story is the fact that when the girls were released, one of them remained with her kidnappers. That girl, 14-year-old Leah Sharibu, was the only Christian kidnapped.

Several of the released girls witnessed and testified to her amazing strength and faith while in captivity.

The morning of their release, Boko Haram had gathered the girls together and told them that they would be going home. As they were loading the girls onto trucks to return them to Dapchi, they pulled Leah from the group. They told her that she had to recite the Kalima Shahada, the Islamic recitation of faith. She replied that she “did not know it and that [she] would not denounce Christ.” As a result, they said that she wouldn’t be returning to her family. She sent word through the other girls to her parents, saying, “The will of God be done whether or not I survive.”

  • Church this girl was kidnaped almost exactly a year ago. For the past year she has had no comfort, no pleasure, no joy… outside of Christ Jesus. The world has given her for the past year beatings, rapings, and mockery, and indoctrination.
    • She had the opportunity to return to the comforts of this world…. But She chose torment over rejecting Christ.
    • And I want you to think, how she is going to feel, when she has been in heaven for 10 billion years.
    • 10 billion years do you think she will regret her decision to proclaim Christ, to literally take up her cross and die for Him?
    • Certainly not! 10 billion years from now, 100 billion years, 100 trillion years from now… her life on earth will seem to her but naught.
      • But her time in glory will be everything. Amen?!

Conclusion

  • In conclusion, the Lord is inviting all of us to glory this morning! An invitation to heaven that only He can give, most of us have already accepted it, but maybe there are some here today who are still counting the cost… let me encourage you, it’s worth it!

John 3:3-7 ESV  Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  (4)  Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  (5)  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  (6)  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  (7)  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

  • Gospel Call

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