Go to Jesus and find him to be everything you’ve ever needed. And as you go to him, count the cost. For some of you, in the moment of conversion, counting the cost is a quick and easy thing. In that moment, when God supernaturally flicks on the eyes of your soul and you see God, fiercely holy, in all his white purity—it is immediately clear that no sin can be in his presence; hell seems to be opening its mouth at your feet, sin feels like shackles around your hands and ankles; you know immediately that your condemnation is totally just and right—you are a sinner, you have no excuse, and all out of the blackness all you see is the wounded, bloody hands of Jesus, reaching down to you in grace. There are no other options; Jesus alone can save you, and through him alone can you be forgiven. And in that moment, counting the cost is easy—you could easily suffer a hell on earth if it means eternity with Christ.
But for others, it doesn’t happen that way. Some stand at a distance and examine Christ. They put him under the microscope. They think hard about the claims of the gospel and take their time to make an informed decision. This is good. This way is the most common way people get saved. Some are awakened in an instant, as if a bomb of grace went off under their bed. Others are slowly nudged awake. This is counting the cost.
Peter says, “as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men.” Christians, this is our leader and example—Jesus is the living stone rejected by men. We follow him. And if our leader was rejected by men, so will we. It comes with the territory. Count the cost.
Peter will later tell his audience not to “be surprised when the fiery trials come upon you, as if something strange were happening to you.” Why should they not be surprised? Because trials come with the territory. Count the cost.
Romans 8:16-17 says that we are heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. But it doesn’t stop there—Paul gives a condition for his truth. He says that he are fellow heirs with Christ, provided that we suffer with him, in order that we may also be glorified in him.” In other words, Paul seems to be saying that We are fellow heirs with Christ if we share in his sufferings. And if we suffer with him, then we will be glorified with him. In short, suffering is part and parcel to being an fellow heir will Christ. It comes with the territory. Count the cost.
When Jesus called Paul on the Damascus road he said to Ananias, “I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” It comes with the territory, count the cost.
Acts 14:22 says, “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” It comes with the territory, count the cost.
Jesus in John 15:20 “A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” It comes with the territory, count the cost.
When Paul sent Timothy to the Thessalonians, he said it was so that “no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.” It comes with the territory, count the cost.
Paul writing to Timothy said, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” It comes with the territory, count the cost.
Do you want to count the cost? I’ll help you. It costs you everything. Your whole life. Your plans, your dreams, your family, your friends, your comfort, and your security (earthly security, that is), your petty hidden sins, your selfish agendas. Quite possibly, your dream house, dream car, dream life. That’s what it costs you. In return, you get salvation from hell, and your sins that hold you condemned. You get promised eternal life in glory with Jesus Christ, peace with God and adoption into God’s family—God will be your Father, and he will love you relentlessly and grace you lavishly for eternity. And God will throw in some heavenly joy just to give you a foretaste of your true home. Need help deciding?
Let me, and every true follower of Christ, with resounding joy, say: “It’s worth it!”