What Does It Cost to Be a Christian?

What Does It Cost to Be a Christian?

"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account."—Matt. 5:11

"Why it cost nothing," some would reply. But how mistaken they would be.

Being a follower of Jesus Christ is very expensive. If not, then we don't follow him very closely.

True, God gave his Son to the world. And Jesus Christ gave his life to save us from sin and death. He did this gladly, so great was his love for you and me.

But never be deceived. Anything fine and great can be achieved only at great cost.
For example, when we say we want to be Christians, or followers and imitators of Christ, we must first give up these things:

  1. Selfishness.

  2. Bad habits which we like but which are against God's will.

  3. Putting our interests ahead of God's.

Now these are just three costs. We could list many more.

Perhaps the greatest cost is to be so grateful for God's gift of his Son that we feel sinful before him and ask his forgiveness for our sins. Then we must ask God to help us be Christians. Many people are too proud to do this. They think they can run their lives without God. They are wrong.

Then, being a Christian should cost us money. If you are a stingy, ungenerous Christian, then this won't be so. Many boys and girls, for example, spend from twenty-five cents to a dollar a week on themselves and take a nickel to church. But God isn't fooled.

Some grownups are very stingy Christians too. They give a dollar to the church but gladly spend many dollars on their own fun and pleasure.

Just what kind of Christian does this? A stingy Christian.

Once a rich young man came to Jesus asking what he could do to have everlasting life in heaven. Jesus saw how much he loved his money so he said: "Sell what you have, and give to the poor." The cost was too great. The young man went away sad, for he simply couldn't do that.

Being a Christian costs much in time also. Some church members don't like to have Christ interfere with their plans and convenience. They will attend church at Easter and Christmas and occasionally in between. Not wanting to spend their time worshiping God, they have a cheap religion. Naturally, the church doesn't fail, for there are always generous Christians who will give time teaching Sunday school and doing the many other extras that the church needs.

Jesus talked as much about money as he did any other topic. How he disliked cheap, stingy religion! He who was planning to give his whole life and finally die on the cruel cross was angered and saddened by those who gave of themselves and their money as little as possible.

When he died, Jesus left no money. But so great was his gift of his own life that millions of people since have eagerly made great sacrifices to carry on his way.

Is it wrong to give a nickel to church and spend a quarter for a soda?

Is it wrong to spend fifty cents for a movie and give a dime to church?

Is it wrong to watch TV ten hours a week and not have time to attend Sunday school and church two hours on Sunday? You give your own answers to these questions.

Yes, the Christian religion costs much. It costs all we have.

Like anything in life great and fine and grand, it costs.

It costs time, effort, money, sacrifice, inconvenience.

But without great cost we really get nothing in this life truly worthwhile. Even while very young we know that what comes easily or cheaply means little to us. We hold dear those things we want badly enough to give our best. Let us thank God that Jesus Christ promises a life here and after death, too, that is worth all we can give.

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