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In my previous post I shared what does it mean to count the cost. But now I want to answer the question: Why is it important to count the cost?
Count the cost— when the Church was persecuted
Before December 1989, Romania was under the Communist regime. I was very young when the revolution against Communism started, in my city, Timisoara. Every year we hear new stories about how life was back then and how the believers were persecuted.
During Communism, when a person wanted to become a believer, he had to talk with the Pastor of the Congregation about what he needs to do to be part of the Church. Then the Pastor would have asked the person ‘why do you want to become a believer?’ and similar questions.
Next, if the person answered well to the questions, the Pastor and the leaders of the Congregation would explain to the person the cost he might have to pay if he chooses to pursue his desire. So, the leaders of the Congregation would have told the person that he might loose his job, his family, and career. The person might also be persecuted by the authorities, by colleagues at work, or might even go to prison for his faith and even loose his life.
And the leaders of the Congregation would make the man consider carefully the ways he may have to count the cost for his faith. Needless to say, only if the person said ‘yes— I will follow Jesus, no matter what,’ would he have been
Did you count the cost?
The Church in Romania was much stronger back then because people knew how to count the cost. For them, to gain Jesus was more important than anything else the world could offer. Jesus was even more important than their life! I am afraid Christians have almost lost these principles! D
It is essential to consider the cost of being a disciple of Jesus, sooner rather than later. However, many close their eyes to this truth.
Likewise, many believers in our Congregations today are led by emotions rather than by the true saving faith. Yes, they might have much Bible knowledge, maybe are even born in genuine Christian families. But their heart was never changed— like the wife of Lot. So, why is it important to count the cost?
1. If you count the cost, you will face hardships and persecutions so be well prepared
Because they did not count the cost well, the Jews died in the wilderness, between Canaan and Egypt. They left Egypt full of zeal, but when they found dangers and difficulties in the way, their courage cooled down. Indeed, they had to face hunger, thirst, privations, and enemies. So, they grumbled to Moses and God and wanted to go back to Egypt. In other words, they did not count the cost of getting to the Promised Land.
I don’t know what is happening in your life right now. Maybe you face many privations and persecutions because you want to live a holy life and because you do not want to compromise your faith. I want to encourage you to press forward and know you are not alone. Many others are facing the same hardships right now.
I think of our brothers and sisters in China, India, in many places in Africa and the Middle East or the Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Perhaps you lost many things but it is more important not to loose your soul! It is not worth it to gain the whole world but loose your soul. Count the cost!
2. If you count the cost you will not give up on your faith
In John 6:66 we read about the many disciples who did not count the cost of following Jesus so they left Him. When they heard Him preach and teach and do healings and miracles, they believed in Him and His Kingdom. They followed Him without counting the cost as many do today. Despite all the things they had witnessed when they heard the doctrine Jesus taught; the labor needs, the things they need to endure, they give up on Jesus and showed what kind of faith they had— a small kind of faith.
Likewise, Herod did not want to count the cost of choosing the message of the Gospel. He did hear John the Baptist preaching God’s ways, and he even liked him and thought that he was a holy man (Mark 6:20). But when Herod understood that he needed to renounce Herodias his faith broke down and returned to his old sinful ways. It was not worth it for him to give up his sins for the ways of righteousness. Today many think in the same manner!
We need to tell people that it is hard to be a Christian— yes, we need to tell them the truth. Because they need to count the cost and decide for themselves! As a matter of fact, we need to tell them that the cross is heavy, the path is narrow, and the enemies are many! But it is worth it to be a Christian!
3. If you count the cost, you will not complain as you labor in the Kingdom.
Demas, for not counting the cost forsook Paul, the Gospel, Christ, and the Church (2 Timothy 4:10). For a long time, he journeyed with the Apostle Paul and was his ‘fellow-labourer’ (Philemon vs. 24). But when he did find out that he could not have the friendship of the world and the friendship of God at the same time, he gave up his faith and chose the world.
Missionaries pay a great price in serving the Lord and labouring in God’s Kingdom. They choose to sacrifice their entire life rather than pursue a career, start a business or a family. Do not get me wrong— I am not saying you cannot serve the Lord wholeheartedly and at the same time have a career or a business. No, but there are some people which God requires to give up all these things and only follow Him, as the Lord wants to bring healing to the nations. So, please make sure you appreciate and honour these people and bless them.
By following Jesus, you will have to count the cost carefully. You will probably be persecuted, blamed, and mocked because of your faith but you will have the praise of the King of kings and the Lord of lords! Which is more important? People might hate you, but God will be your faithful friend! Count the cost!
Here on earth, we live temporally, for a short time, but after all is finished we will sit fully in His presence, forever! As someone said, ‘here on earth we overthink at the cross we need to carry and too little at the crown we are about to wear!’ A crown the Lord will give to all who overcome. Friend, count the cost!
And if you need some inspiration for the season ahead of you, read the story of Richard Wurmbrand’s imprisonment— a man who counted the cost. I read this book for the first time 20 years ago, and I believe it is worth every dollar.
Do you agree?
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