It costs very little to maintain the outward appearance of a Christian—just attend church on a regular basis and live by some standard of basic morality. This is cheap and easy, and demands no self-denial or self-sacrifice. But if this describes true Christianity, we’d need to alter the Bible to read “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to heaven!” But the Bible insists there is always a high cost to being a Christian.
Just a couple of blocks from my home is the concrete shell of an unfinished mosque. Several years ago they broke ground and quickly after poured the concrete for the foundation and the four great minarets. And then the project went dormant. For almost three years it has sat ugly and unfinished, a grey concrete husk on the edge of the city. A GoFundMe page shows they have completed phase one of the project, but have collected less than one percent of what they need to move forward with phase two. It seems to me they failed to count the cost. As Jesus said, “Which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
Of course Jesus was not really talking about buildings at all, much less mosques. He was talking about the cost of being one of his followers. And even today, each of us must consider what it costs to be a Christian. This is not the question of what it costs to save a Christian’s soul—Jesus would show us that through his crucifixion. It’s the question of what a person must be willing to give up to be saved.