In the story of Dr. Faustus, a man exchanges his soul to the devil for all that the world has to offer, but eventually payment comes due! How many believe themselves walking on the narrow path that leads to eternal life but because they have compromised with the world, find their feet on the broad road that leads to destruction?
I. Matthew 7:13-14. The first verse of the hymn, “Have You Counted the Cost?” challenges us to examine our walk with Christ:
There’s a line that is drawn by rejecting our Lord, Where the call of His Spirit is lost,
And you hurry along with the pleasure mad throng, Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
Our whole duty is to fear and obey God (Ecclesiastes 12:12-13). Why? Judgment is coming. We will be judged by every word of the Word (John 12:48). His Word is a living standard by which we must give an account (Hebrews 4:11-13). Even if we’ve obeyed the gospel and on that narrow road, we must make every effort to obey (Mark 8:34) and not be compromised with the world (1 John 2:3-6). Do you cross His line?
II. Matthew 6:19-21. The second verse challenges us to examine where we are storing our treasure:
You may barter your hope of eternity’s morn, For a moment of joy at the most,
For the glitter of sin and the things it will win, Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
We are either storing up treasure for this temporary life or for eternal life (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Some justify disobedience because the trials of life are difficult, but we must persevere instead (1 Peter 1:3-7). Sin does attract us (Mark 8:35), and Satan knows exactly which lure to use for each of us. Obedience or disobedience in this temporary life has eternal consequences (Revelation 21:22-27). Do you barter your hope?
III. Matthew 4:5-7. The third verse asks us if we test God when we’re put to the test:
While the door of His mercy is open to you, E’er the depth of His love you exhaust,
Won’t you come and be healed, won’t you whisper, I yield, Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
Time is the gift that God gives us to repent (2 Peter 3:9). Unlike Jesus who recognized that His time of testing was not an excuse to test God, we often give in when struggles are hard. God’s patience, kindness, and mercy are intended to return us to Him (Romans 2:3-8). Our giving in is denying Him (Mark 8:38). Rather we should submit our lives to Jesus (James 4:7-10) and live through the gospel. Is the door open to you?
The chilling chorus compels us each to answer to questions:
Have you counted the cost, if your soul should be lost, Tho’ you gain the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed, Have you counted, have you counted the cost?