"Any of you who does not give up everything he has, cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:33
What does it cost to be a Christian?
I grant freely that it costs little to be a mere outward Christian. A man has only got to attend a place of worship twice on Sunday, and to be tolerably moral during the week--and he has gone as far as thousands around him ever go in religion. All this is cheap and easy work--it entails no self-denial or self-sacrifice. If this is saving Christianity and will take us to Heaven when we die--we must alter the description of the way of life, and write, "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to Heaven!"
But it does cost something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible. There are . . .
enemies to be overcome,
battles to be fought,
sacrifices to be made,
an Egypt to be forsaken,
a wilderness to be passed through,
a cross to be carried,
a race to be run.
Conversion is not putting a man in a soft armchair, and taking him pleasantly to Heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory. Hence arises the unspeakable importance of "counting the cost."
True Christianity will cost a man . . .
his love of ease, and
the favor of the world.
A religion which costs nothing--is worth nothing!
A cheap, easy Christianity, without a cross--will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown!
If any reader of this message really feels that he has counted the cost and taken up the cross — I bid him persevere and press on. I dare say you often feel your heart faint and are sorely tempted to give up in despair. Your enemies seem so many, your besetting sins so strong, your friends so few, the way so steep and narrow — that you hardly know what to do! But still I say, persevere and press on.
The time is very short!
A few more years of watching and praying,
a few more tossings on the sea of this world,
a few more deaths and changes,
a few more winters and summers —
and all will be over. We shall have fought our last battle, and shall need to fight no more.
The presence and company of Christ, will make amends for all we suffer here below. When we see as we have been seen, and look back on the journey of life — we shall wonder at our own faintness of heart. We shall marvel that we made so much of our cross — and thought so little of our crown. We shall marvel that in "counting the cost" we could ever doubt on which side the balance of profit lay. Let us take courage. We are not far from home! It may cost much to be a true Christian and a consistent holy man — but it pays!
from J. C. Ryle presented by Grace Gems
I highly recommend reading the entire article by J. C. Ryle found here...