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The Burden Of The Truth

John Collins12/22/2012In Luke 14, Jesus tells us the cost of discipleship.

Jesus gave an example of a builder.  Those who build towers carefully plan the construction.  They count the cost carefully to make sure they do not start a tower that cannot be completed.  Otherwise, the builder stands a great chance of laying a foundation that he is not able to finish, and he would be a mockery.

He gave another example of a king preparing for battle with another king in war.  The king will make sure he is able to gather enough able-bodied men for war before rising against an army of twenty-thousand.  At the same time, the king prepares for peace by sending a delegation to the opposing army.

Discipleship will cost you everything.  A true disciple of Christ will be willing to give up everything to follow Christ.  Jesus said that if you are unwilling to hate your own father, mother, or wife, you cannot be a disciple.  If do not hate your own life, you cannot be a disciple.  

He gave words of wisdom:  "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."  

Crucifixion was a horrific fate, one of unbearable pain and agony.  To suffer crucifixion was to suffer the worst fate known to mankind in that day, but Jesus gave example of a worse fate: to suffer crucifixion willingly.

It is easy for us to say that we are His disciples, especially in this modern age of comfort and security.  But how many of us would be willing to be his disciple in the camps of the Taliban?  How many would be willing to stand in Mecca to proclaim Jesus Christ, passing out Bibles?  How many would be willing to leave their own mother and father, wife and children, knowing that they would die a torturous death?

In our modern society, we cannot fathom the hardship to be a disciple of Christ in a time of persecution.  But sometimes I wonder if we would even take the first step.

Having known the Truth, how many pastors were not afraid to tell it?  How many pastors would forfeit the security of their congregation to tell them that not a single prophecy was vindicated by success?  How many who learned that the supernatural events had technological explanation were not afraid to forfeit their fine dining?  How many who knew childhood stories were fictional, healing claims were exaggerated, or that prophetic claims came from magazine articles were brave enough to tell their congregations the Truth?

Worse, how many pastors have came and gone who found the false prophet to stray from the Word of God, and sided with the false prophet to maintain their popularity?  How many chose the Lord's side, and how many chose the false prophet's side?  

In Luke 12, Jesus Christ said He did not come to cause peace, but division.  He did not mean division among the body of Christ as the false prophet claimed, but spiritual division between the Word of God and those who stand against it.

When you first learned that the Bible did not match the prophet's doctrines, which side did you choose?  Did you chose to stand with Christ?  Or did you choose to stand against Him?