by J. Gerald Harris

The Crisis of Decision
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Luke 14:28-35

There are two parables in this passage of scripture which we have before us. One is the parable of the incompleted tower and the other is the parable of the king's rash warfare.

Now, what do these parables mean? Somebody has said, "A parable is a heavenly story with an earthly meaning." So what on earth do these parables mean?

I have heard preachers stand in the pulpit and expound on these parables and say, "Now before you become a Christian, you had better count the cost and make sure you can live it."

And people sitting in the pew would hear that sermon and say, "Well, maybe I can't live it. I guess I had just better wait. I'll wait until I have counted the cost and paid the price and until I am sure I can live the life -- then I'll be saved."

Friend, the cost involved in salvation has already been paid. It doesn't cost you one thing. It is a free gift.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...." (John 3:16).

"The gift of God is eternal life...." (Romans 6:23).

Now listen: In these parables Jesus is not saying, "Count the cost of salvation before you are saved. " God Almighty counted that cost before the foundation of the world and He paid it in full 2,000 years ago at Calvary.

But in our text, Jesus seems to make a distinction between salvation and discipleship. Salvation is open to all who will come by faith. In the matter of reaching the unredeemed, He wants His house to be filled. Look in verse 23 of Luke 14 (READ). But in the matter of personal discipleship, Jesus wants only those who are willing to pay the price. Salvation means coming to the cross and trusting Jesus Christ, while discipleship means carrying the cross and following Christ. When it comes to personal discipleship, He is more interested in quality than in quantity.

Now as we look at the two parables in our text, the first thing that I want us to notice is:


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