TO BE A CHRISTIAN means citizenship in God’s Kingdom. It means a transfer of authority from self to Christ. It means a clear decision to obey Christ no matter the cost. It means no compromise on essential issues. Because the cost to follow Jesus can be very great, Jesus told us to count the cost before deciding to follow him.
(Luke 14:27–30) “27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’”
Although we need to count the cost in every area, the issue that we need to think hardest about today is the willingness to take a stand on the sinfulness of homosexual behavior.
The pressure is ramping up. Our opponents are aggressively and publicly bullying anyone willing to take a stand on biblical morality. In recent weeks we have watched Louie Giglio step down from the president’s request to pray at the Presidential Inauguration.
When Chick-Fil-A announced that they were going to open a restaurant in Philadelphia the media erupted into a feeding frenzy because the CEO, Mr. Cathy, publicly stated that homosexual behavior was wrong.
This week Tim Tebow was publicly and brutally bullied into not giving the Easter sermon at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. Why? The pastor, an evangelical, has stated that homosexual practice is sinful. Al Mohler’s comments on this event in Christianity Today
As I look to the short-term future, I don’t expect our culture to change. In fact, I expect it to get progressively worse, but I also joyfully expect God to use that for the good of the church.
So, where are you today? Have you counted the cost? What if a stand on this issue should mean the loss of your job, the destruction of your property, the loss of your tax deduction for giving to the church, being cut out of Medicare or the Social Security system, ridicule from friends and neighbors, being labeled a bigot, or a hate-monger?
We are not saved until we persevere to the end. We need to persevere in the truth until the Lord calls us home. Jesus told his disciples, “You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake.” But then he also promised, “he that endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 10:22). In the parable of the sower Jesus grieved over the seed that fell on rocky soil. It endured for a while, but when persecution came it immediately fell away (Matt 13:20). We don’t want to end up in this category.
I am not writing this not to frighten you. I am writing this to fortify you. I want us to endure to the end together. I have written this blog because it is unlikely that you will do this unless you carefully, soberly, and prudently count the cost.