Saturday, November 12, 2011

Have you counted the cost?

Was not Joseph hated of his brethren? Was not David persecuted by Saul, Daniel by the Persian princes, and Jeremiah by the kings of Israel? Has it not ever been so? Did not the Lord Jesus Christ himself meet with slander, cruelty, and death, and did he not tell us that we must not look for favor where he found rejection? He said plainly, “I came not to send peace upon the earth, but a sword;” and he declared that the immediate result of the preaching of the gospel would be to set the son against the father and the father against the son, so that a man’s foes should be they of his own household. Did he not carefully inquire of every recruit who wished to enlist in his army, “Have you counted the cost?”

Have you not admired his perfect honesty and admirable caution in dealing with men, when he bids them remember that if they follow him they must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and be content to be hated of all men for his sake? He warns us not to expect that the disciple will be above his Master, for if men have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, they will assuredly confer no sweet titles upon his household. Since our Lord has forewarned us, it is well for us to stand ready for the trial which he predicts, and to ask ourselves whether we are ready to bear oppression for Christ’s sake.

I press the question upon you who think of avowing yourselves believers, for most likely it will come practically home to you, and it is well when you begin to build a house to calculate whether you will be able to finish it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Word For The Persecuted," delivered August 16, 1874. Image by yugoQ n Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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