Luke 14 v 28. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?”
One thing Jesus never did was hide the cost of following him. The man or woman who becomes a disciple faces a tremendous project. Jesus likens it to a construction project – the building of a tower. In those days various towers were built on properties, like a watchtower for instance, to keep an eye out for possible thieves or wolves. The owner would have to estimate the cost and see if he had enough money to finish the job. The cost must be thought through in advance.
In other words Jesus is telling us that becoming a disciple is not a mere emotional or sentimental decision. Rather we are called upon to use our minds. We need to think through the implications and make considered decisions. I am guessing that one reason why there are so many back-sliders in the Christian faith is that many respond to the call to become Christians purely on an emotional level. They have never considered the implications. When the consequences of their decisions come upon them they abandon the faith.
In his famous book “Pilgrims Progress”, John Bunyan has his main character Christian, on one occasion meet a man from the town of Fairspeech. You have also met people from this town. They say all kinds of nice things about the Christian faith, but it is all hollow and empty. The man from Fairspeech had relatives who included Lord Turnabout, Mr Smoothman, Mr Facing-both-ways, Mr Anything and the parson of the parish, Mr Two-Tongues.
All these characters in Bunyan’s classic illustrate the truth that not everybody who says he is a Christian is truly a believer. Only those who count the cost and make a true commitment to Christ, those who are willing to trust him, no matter what – those are they who finally arrive in the Celestial City.