Chapter 5. First Sit Down from Even The Demons Believe
Will he not first sit down . . . ~Jesus
Jesus did not say, “Come on down to the front of the church and accept Me as your personal Lord and Savior.” Jesus did not say, “Come get your blessing.” Nor did Jesus apply rules to your life in order to receive salvation from hell. Jesus said that anyone even remotely thinking about becoming a Christian must first “sit down and estimate the cost.”
He said, “sit down” and consider very carefully what it means to follow Him. Without emotional fanfare, Jesus calls all who desire His salvation to “sit down” and do some very sober thinking. Jesus never worked the crowds in order to gain followers, rather He always called for them to quietly “sit down” and “estimate” the cost of being saved. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower . . .” and just “suppose one of you wants to” be a disciple . . . then “sit down.”
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” (Luke 14:28–30)
Many did not count the cost of laying a “foundation” only later to quit. Therefore do not take lightly Jesus’ words about counting the cost. If those who did count the cost later decided it was not worth finishing the tower, then how much more should you, with sober thought, consider what it will cost you?
Sad to say, many are “ridicule” today because they counted the cost but later became unwilling to pay the price for full redemption from sin. Indeed, the next passage reveals that many of Jesus’ “disciples,” not mere travelers, left because the crucified life became too much for them.
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (John 6:66)
Many might think this all sounds like salvation by works and an attempt to earn God’s salvation. But truthfully, Jesus declared that in order to receive God’s free mercy, we must let go of all. Those who whine that this is salvation by works miss the whole point.
Disciples simply respond to God’s mercy everyday. Like “rain” that falls on good soil, it produces a “useful crop.” If the soil becomes hard, nothing of value can grow.
If a man hardens his heart, cutting off the power of grace, he will forfeit eternal life. A disciple simply says “Yes” to the grace of God every day. This is the test, to say “Yes” to God at all times out of love for Him. If we do that, God can keep us from falling. God will never, however, force a man to be saved if he is unwilling to allow grace to flow through him.28 If we refuse the grace that crucifies self, then we will be cut off, “thrown away,” and eventually “burned” in hell.
No man who truly wants to be rid of the sins in his life considers this a cost at all. “In his joy” the true disciple sells “all” to buy the “treasure” of God’s grace and mercy. In short, it only sounds hard and legalistic to the hard-hearted. For only the hard-hearted and hard-headed refuse to give up all in exchange for a “treasure.”
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44)
The treasure of Jesus is “hidden.” God doesn’t give knowledge about the message of the cross to everyone. It is too valuable and powerful for God to let the wicked trample upon it. Many religious churchgoers never find this treasure. While many who do find it never go back to it because they didn’t “sit down” and think about the matter between themselves and God. They lose the treasure through confusion.
Once a man finds this treasure, he conceals it or keeps it to himself. Indeed, he hides it again, so that others are not aware of why he is selling everything. He becomes very quiet, contemplating alone what he has found between himself and God. Unlike so many who go out to find opinion after opinion about what others think about Jesus, this man realizes the value and ponders it between himself and God.
Those with bad hearts go from person to person, book to book exposing the treasure to the evaluation of men. They take before sinful man that which the Holy Spirit has opened their eyes to. They treat the treasure of grace as if it were a trinket found in the sand on a beach. How sad to watch so many, as God points them to the treasure, go out and become thoroughly confused as to whether Jesus, or the message of the cross, really is of God.
Finally in their confusion they give up and refuse to dig up again the treasure they found earlier. The treasure became tarnished by man’s hands, voices, commentaries, and watering down the gospel. Those who will not “sit down,” with the treasure of God hidden again, will never find eternal life. It is “good” for a man or woman, when they discover the message of the cross, to “wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:25–26)
To make an understatement, those who have read Insanity in the Church or seen my life know that I am not big into recommendations.
However, though I have never met J.F. from Brazil his comment might encourage those who are striving to love God.
Though Jesus said His flock is little, there are those who truly hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Not everyone is hostile or persecutes the narrow road gospel. There are those who are willing to embrace the offense of the cross unto a resurrected life out of a selfless love for God.