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Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple

Luke 14:27     


Sermon Excerpt: With Christ it is all or nothing Luke 14:25-33, Rev. Philip Van Dam

In Roger and Hammerstein's musical "Oklahoma" there is a song that goes : "For me it's all or nothing. Is it all or nothing for you? It can't be in between. It can't be now or then. No half and half romance will do." This is what Luke is talking about in this passage. Luke is talking about discipleship, and its cost. Let me first make clear that Luke is not talking about works righteousness. He is not talking about earning salvation. Salvation is free. But the next step, discipleship is expensive. In verse 25 it says that large crowds were journeying with Jesus.

Often today we talk about large crowds at church, we talk about "turn out" for worship, we talk about church growth, in fact there is something called the church growth movement. Some of the congregations that have bought into this philosophy have paid a high price in a different way. In exchange for numbers they have sacrificed real discipleship. They water down the gospel by making it inoffensive. They remove the crosses from their churches so no one will be offended. The gospel is offensive. In fact one of my professors used to say that in any scripture passage, the gospel is the part that offends. The gospel is not what sounds good to us. Speaking of offensive look at this next verse: "whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and even life itself cannot be my disciple."

What does this mean? Does it mean that we should wish our family dead, or that we should be suicidal? No, that would be insane...Subscribers: click here for the full sermon and more.