Christ’s words, in verses 27 and 28, are “And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”
True Christianity is not the easy way of life advertised by most professing Christians. Christ said, “Enter you in at the strait [difficult] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
Hebrews chapter 11 gives a brief description of the hardships and trials endured by true Christians throughout history. Hebrews 12:1 is God’s instruction to Christians today: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses [the examples in chapter 11], let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” In I Corinthians 10:6, the apostle Paul also wrote, “Now these things [the history of ancient Israel] were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”
Counting the cost involves looking at those examples and asking yourself, “Am I prepared to face trials as a result of my beliefs?” Christ stated, “…In the world you shall have tribulation…” (John 16:33). In Matthew 10:16, He said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves…”
Another “cost” of true Christianity is the forsaking of this world’s ways, customs, and traditions: “…Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4). (You may read our free article “Worldliness – What Is It?”)
You will find that family, friends and acquaintances will no longer view you in the same way. They will not be able to accept your new way of life: “Wherein they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you” (I Pet. 4:4).
You must be willing to accept that that your own family will likely reject you for your beliefs (Matt. 10:34-38; 19:29; Mark 10:29).
You must also be willing to accept that, ultimately, as Christ stated, “…you shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake” (Matt. 24:9).
You must also understand that “…judgment must begin at the house of God” (I Pet. 4:17). Once you accept God’s calling (John 6:44, 65), there is no turning back (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-27).