One of the ministries the Montana Street conqreqation is engaged in El Paso involves the teaching of the gospel to homeless folks who reside in the local homeless shelters. There have been at least six of these precious souls who have responded in obedience to the hearing of the gospel. However, after only a few short weeks of their being baptized into Christ the majority of these new Christian converts have returned to their old worldly way of living (cf. Matthew 13:18-22). The question is, "Why did they return to their worldly lifestyle so quickly?" The answer is that these folks simply did not "count the cost" (Luke 14:28) of discipleship.
In the text of Luke 14:26-33), our Lord uses two illustrations:
1) Would we begin building a tower without first considering the cost of the tower, and then seeing if we had enough funds to pay for it?
2) Before we went to war against a larger opposing army, would we not first count the cost of whether or not we could defeat that army and win the war?
Prospective disciples need to fully understand that the cost of discipleship will require:
Self-denial of worldly passions and influences (Matthew 16:24 ; cf. Colossians 3:1-10).
Forsaking worldly lifestyles such as gambling, drinking, smoking, taking illegal drugs, and all other worldly vices (Matthew 1 6:26; Romans 1 2:2,• Gal. 5:19-21; cf. 1 John 2:15-17).
Loving the Lord more than family and friends (Luke 14:26; cf. Matthew 10:34-37-39; 2 Timothy 4:16).
• Standing up for the truth of the gospel (Acts 4:13-20; Acts 5:1729; cf. Ephesians 6:19-20; Philippians 1 :20).
• Being faithful to the Lord's church making it priority number one (Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:25-27; cf. Matthew 6:33).
• Being concerned for the souls of men (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; cf. Proverbs 1 1:30; James 5:20).
• The sacrifice of time talents, and monies for the cause of Christ (cf. Ephesians 5:15-16; Colossians 4:5; Matthew 25:14-30; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
• Being faithful to the Lord even if certain death is imminent (2 Timothy 4:6-8; cf. Matthew 10:16-22; Revelation 2:1 0)
Brethren, when we are teaching folks about becoming New Testament Christians, it's imperative to emphasize their need to count the cost of discipleship as our Lord taught in Luke 14:26-33). They may decide that the cost is more than they are willing to pay (Matthew 19:16-22; Mark
10.•17-22,• Luke 18:18-23; cf. 2 Timothy 4:10).