In buying property, in building houses, in furnishing rooms, in forming plans, in changing dwellings, in educating children — it is wise and prudent to look forward and consider the cost. Many would save themselves much sorrow and trouble, if they would only remember the question: “What does it cost?”
But there is one subject on which it is especially important to count the cost. That subject is the salvation of our souls. What does it cost to be a true Christian? What does it cost to be a really holy man? This, after all, is the grand question. For lack of thought about this, thousands, after seeming to begin well — turn away from the road to Heaven, and are lost forever in Hell.
We are living in unusual times. Events are hurrying on with singular rapidity. We never know “what a day may bring forth”; how much less do we know what may happen in a year! We live in a day of great religious profession. Scores of professing Christians in every part of the land are expressing a desire for more holiness and a higher degree of spiritual life. Yet nothing is more common than to see people receiving the Word with joy, and then after two or three years, falling away and going back to their sins. They had not considered what it costs to be a really consistent believer and holy Christian. Surely these are times when we ought often to sit down and count the cost and to consider the state of our souls. We must mind what we are about. If we desire to be truly holy, it is a good sign. We may thank God for putting the desire into our hearts. But still the cost ought to be counted. No doubt Christ’s way to eternal life is a way of pleasantness. But it is folly to shut our eyes to the fact that His way is narrow — and the cross comes before the crown.