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-The Cost of Following Jesus-


To help us understand that there are costs (at least in the worldly sense) to choosing to follow Christ.

Scripture Basis:

Matt 16:24-25 / Luke 14:27-34 and many others


Do you know what things cost .. Take the cost test (pass out Appendix B Handouts and have each one fill it out then get group to report answers and see if they can agree.

The BackDoor:

Opening Question: Does it cost anything to become a Christian? .. Discuss for a minute then open Bibles and read - Matt 16:24-25 / Luke 14:27-34

Students Teach Students:

Research Groups: - create 6 groups of 2 or 3 to research the verses found in Appendix A: Scripture handouts.. cut the paper and hand out the lists of verses for each group . Have students write in the space provided the "Cost" found in the particular scripture. (if you have a small group have 3 groups do 2 each.) .. The following is the answer key:

Cost #1 : We are to forfeit the world and its system of pleasures

Reference Cost/Concept
Matt 10:34-37 Following Christ may cost someone his family. This happens a lot especially in other countries, Some may choose to ignore the gospel in order to retain their family relationships
Rom 12:2

James 4:4

We must stop following the pattern of this world. The worlds pattern includes a focus on material things, money, pleasure and winning.
James 4:13-15 When we follow Christ we give up our will and start to seek his will for each aspect or decision we make in our life.
Joshua 24:15 When we follow Christ we choose to serve God not ourselves or not other men

Cost #2 : We will be persecuted by the world for following Christ

Reference Cost/Concept
Acts 14:22 The world contains many hardships. Christians will go through these each in his own way
John 15:18-21 The world (many of those following the world system) will hate you when you follow Christ. They will do this because they hated Christ first.
John 17:14-16 God protects his children, but he does not remove us from the affects of the world, instead exposes us to it so we consider our inability to cope on our own. Then we will learn to seek him in all things.
2 Tim 3:12 Everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted, but some of us pretend to be like the worldly so we fit is and avoid persecution

Cost #3 : We will suffer in order that our faith and reliance on God might grow

Reference Cost/Concept
1 Peter 1:6-9 Trials and suffering will come in order to strengthen our faith which is very valuable to God.
2 Cor 1:8-10 Troubles come to help us rely on God.
James 1:2-4 Trails develop perseverance and we should consider this when facing them
Rom 5:3-5 Trails also produce character, a type of character God calls wise

Cost #4 : We will suffer to bring Glory to Christ

Reference Cost/Concept
Phil 1:29 It has been granted us not only to believe but to also suffer with Christ.. not only has the Holy Spirit enabled us to believe and gain eternal life but to gain future reward from suffering as Christ did.
2 Cor 4:8-12 The life that is in Christ is actually revealed by the difficulties we face
1 Peter 2:21 We are called to follow in Christ footsteps .. including those of suffering for the kingdom
Acts 9:15 Even Paul was told he would suffer for Christ
1 Peter 4:12-15 When we are insulted for Christ, we are actually receiving blessing

Cost #5 : We will be attacked by Satan

Reference Cost/Concept
Rev 2:10

Luke 22:31

Satan will be allowed to test some Christians to see if their faith is true
Eph 6:11-12 Our struggles are really against Spiritual forces - against the schemes of Satan to deceive us
2 Tim 4:17 When we speak out for Christ we will be attacked

Cost #6 : When we sin, it will be revealed and we will be disciplined

Reference Cost/Concept
Rev 3:19 God rebukes sin in those he loves
Num 32:23 The sins of Christians will be exposed. They will not stay hidden as those of non Christians often do.
Prov 29:1

Heb 10:31

When a Christian continues to ignores rebukes from God, he is danger of being destroyed by God. It is a dreadful thing to be judged by God!
2 Tim 2:19 Everyone who truly follows Christ must turn away from wicked behavior

Key Message:

Yes, becoming a Christian and deciding to follow Christ has costs and some of them can prove difficult for us. Some of us may start to fear and perhaps lose heart when the costs show up in our life. But before we lose heart lets look at what scripture tells us about "taking heart" and how God will help us handle each cost and what it buys for us.

Cost #1. We are to forfeit the world and its pleasures .. but take heart in Matt 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Mat 6:33 (NIV)

Cost #2. We will be persecuted by the world for following Christ ... but take heart in John 15:19 & Phil 3:20

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

John 15:19 (NIV)

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, Phil 3:20 (NIV)

Cost #3. We will suffer in order that our faith might grow .. but take heart in 1 Peter 1:6-7

These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)

Cost #4. We will suffer to bring Glory to Christ .. but take heart in 2 Cor 4:15-17

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Cor 4:15-17 (NIV)

Cost #5. We will be attacked by Satan .. but take heart in 2 Tim 4:18

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2 Tim 4:18 (NIV)

Cost #6. When we sin, it will be revealed and we will be disciplined .. but take heart in Heb 12:5-6

And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Heb 12:5-6 (NIV)


So in summary recognize the costs of following Jesus but take heart and do not be afraid of them for the benefits far outweigh the costs. Remember the thing man really needs to fear is being found not following Christ.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." John 3:36 (NIV)

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28 (NIV)


Appendix A: Scripture Research Handouts


Group 1

Reference Cost/Concept
Matt 10:34-37  
Rom 12:2

James 4:4

James 4:13-15  
Joshua 24:15  


Group 2

Reference Cost/Concept
Acts 14:22  
John 15:18-21  
John 17:14-16  
2 Tim 3:12  


Group 3

Reference Cost/Concept
1 Peter 1:6-9  
2 Cor 1:8-10  
James 1:2-4  
Rom 5:3-5  


Group 4

Reference Cost/Concept
Phil 1:29  
2 Cor 4:8-12  
1 Peter 2:21  
Acts 9:15  
1 Peter 4:12-15  


Group 5

Reference Cost/Concept
Rev 2:10

Luke 22:31

Eph 6:11-12  
2 Tim 4:17  


Group 6

Reference Cost/Concept
Rev 3:19  
Num 32:23  
Prov 29:1

Heb 10:31

2 Tim 2:19  



Appendix B: Do You Know What it Costs Test

  Item Cost

New Car

- Compact

- Mid Size

- Sport

- Luxury


a 2 bedroom apartment (monthly rent)


an 1800 Sq foot house - total cost

- monthly payment


Groceries for a family of 4 for 1 week


Electricity for a 1800 sq foot home for 1 month


Water for a family of 4 for 1 month


normal Phone service for 1 month

cellular ..


a TV

a stereo


a Couch

a chair


a kitchen table set

a dining room set