If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, and want to follow His teachings, then you will suffer persecution. Many people like the teachings of Jesus. Many people want to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. But Jesus told people to count the cost before following Him and making a commitment. To follow Jesus means that other people in this world will be mad at you and cause trouble for you in your life.
If you are a disciple of Jesus then the world will hate you
Jesus told us that people who belong to this world will hate us when we become His Followers. This is because the people of the world are following Satan and they love the material things of this world more than they love God.
People who love God will accept us when we become Christians because those people love God. Becoming a follower or disciple of Jesus means that we must be ready to suffer for the name of Jesus.
Jesus said: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” (John 15:18-19).
Jesus said that Christians will be persecuted
Jesus was very clear with those who wanted to follow Him. He warned them that many of them would suffer at the hands of those who did not love Him.
This is what Jesus said: “But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips… A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And all nations will hate you because you are my followers.” (Matthew 10: 17-22).
Jesus also said: “They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me also hates my Father.” (John 15: 21-23).
Jesus said to count the cost
Before someone starts a business they usually count the cost. They add up how much it will cost them to start the business. Then they ask themselves how much time it will take to do the work that they want to do. Then they make a decision on whether or not they think it is worth it to do what it is in in their hearts to do. It is the same with following Jesus. Before someone follows Jesus they should ask themselves what it is going to cost them to follow the Lord.
Will people be mad at them? Will their family tell them that they do not want to see them anymore? Will they have to move out and pay for all their rent and food on their own? This is called counting the cost.
“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? (Luke 14:25-34).
There is a price to be paid to follow Jesus
The Bible teaches us that salvation is free. Jesus paid the price for us to go to heaven. Jesus paid the ransom price in order to save us from our kidnapper called sin. Jesus carried our sins to the cross and God punished Him for our sins. Jesus paid the price for our sins, He died for our disobedience to God, therefore by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour we are saved from our sins. Salvation is free. He died on our behalf.
The Bible says: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” (Ephesians 2:8).
But there is cost to following Jesus and becoming His disciple. Salvation is free, but there is a cost to following Jesus. It will cost you. It may cost you your life. Some people will be persecuted and some people will be put to death because they believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Jesus warned us that we might be persecuted and He told us not to give up our faith in Him if we want to go to heaven.
This is what Jesus said: “Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10).
Your family might be the worst persecutors
We have to choose if we want to follow Jesus or the world. Some of us have to choose between following and loving our family, or following and loving Jesus.
Jesus said: “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:21-22).