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June 3, 2023 42 mins

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There are costs and consequences to every decision. The decision to follow Christ is not one of blind faith. This sermon explores the cost of following Jesus. 

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Good evening.
I'm very grateful for thisinvitation to come here this
weekend.
Thank you to Vinu and theelders of this church for
inviting me at a great timetoday.
Thank you for all thefriendship and the welcome that
you gave me over the last day,day and a half.

(00:27):
September 3rd 1967 was animportant day in the history of
Sweden.
You see, on that day thecountry would align itself with
the rest of Europe.
They used to drive on the leftside of the road, but most of
Europe used to drive on theright side of the road, and so

(00:47):
they had problems with theirneighboring countries, where one
country would drive on the oneside and then, when they came to
Sweden, they had to drive onthe other side.
So they undertook a projectcalled Dagen H or H-Day, in
which they were about to switchtheir driving habits.
They set September 3rd 1967 asa day when this change would

(01:09):
happen, but a significant amountof planning had to be done,
otherwise there would be a lotof fatalities and accidents.
This is 1967, before socialmedia and cell phones.
So the Swedish governmentundertook this huge project of
letting people know that on thisparticular day we are going to
change our driving sides.

(01:29):
They had huge public meetingsand informational brochures On
the day that this change wasgoing to happen.
There were thousands ofvolunteers that showed up early
in the morning.
Cars were banned from drivingon the roads.
Early in the morning All thesevolunteers showed up and they
were going to change the roadsigns, repaint the roads and

(01:50):
switch the traffic lights Andthen later on in the day the
cars were allowed to come in.
When we go to India and comeback, we always wonder am I on
the right side or the left sideof the road?
And then we just follow thetraffic.
But when the whole trafficitself is going back and forth,
then there can be a lot ofaccidents.
But fortunately, because of theextensive, meticulous planning,

(02:14):
there were very few fatalitiesand accidents.
Any decision requires planningand cost analysis to find the
pros and the cons of eachdecision.
This evening, in a sermonentitled Pros and Cons, i want
to look at the cost ofdiscipleship.
Our text is Luke, chapter 14.

(02:36):
If you will, please sign yourBibles to Luke, chapter 14,
verses 25 to 35.
Luke, chapter 14, 25 to 35.
And let me read these 10 versesfor us Now.
Great crowds accompanied him andhe turned and said to them if
anyone comes to me and does nothate his own father and mother

(02:59):
and wife and children andbrothers and sisters, yes, and
even his own life, he cannot bemy disciple.
Whoever does not bear his owncross and come after me cannot
be my disciple.
For which of you desiring tobuild a tower does not first sit
down and count the cost,whether he has enough to
complete it?
Otherwise, when he has laid afoundation and is not able to

(03:23):
finish, all who see it begin tomock him, saying this man began
to build and is not able tofinish.
Or what king going out toencounter another king in war
will not sit down first anddeliberate whether he is able,
with 10,000, to meet him whocomes against him with 20,000.
And if not, while the other isstill a great way off, he sends

(03:46):
a delegation and asks for termsof peace.
So, therefore, any one of youwho does not renounce all that
he has cannot be my disciple.
Verse 34,.
Salt is good, but if salt haslost its taste, how can its
saltiness be restored?
It is of no use either for thesoil or for the manure pile.

(04:07):
It is thrown away.
He who has years to hear, lethim hear.
I have divided the sermon intotwo broad parts.
In the first half of the sermonwe will look at what it means
to follow Christ, and then thesecond part, we will look at the
cost of discipleship.
And each of these two partshave three subparts in them, and

(04:27):
we will go through them one byone.
First, let's look at the issueof following Christ.
The first thing that I want totell you about following Christ
is that we need to know the cost.
Let me read verses 28 to 30again, for which of you desiring
to build a tower does not firstsit down and count the cost,

(04:47):
whether he has enough tocomplete it?
Otherwise, when he is laid afoundation and is not able to
finish, all who see it begin tomock him, saying this man began
to build and is not able tofinish.
Now, when Jesus said this, hewas on the road to Jerusalem,
and earlier on it says that whenJesus was on the road to

(05:08):
Jerusalem, he set his eyestowards Jerusalem, and that
meant only one thing That meantthat he was going to die in
Jerusalem.
But that is not how the peopleinterpreted it, even his
disciples.
Until the last day, they werefighting about who was the
greatest amongst them.
They thought that Jesus wasgoing to establish a victorious
kingdom in Jerusalem, but forJesus, he knew it was suffering

(05:32):
and death.
Every decision carries a costand a consequence.
Every decision, no matter whatit is.
Some are big costs andconsequences, some are small
costs and consequences.
So let's say that you'replanning to migrate to a country
And, just to be completelyrandom, let's say you're trying
to migrate to Canada.

(05:53):
So you will evaluate the prosand the cons.
If you're migrating to Canada,you look at the economic
possibilities, the educationalpossibilities, the safety of a
country, the quality of life,the standard of living, the cost
of living.
You will look at if there's anylanguage that you need to learn

(06:17):
.
So if you had to learn French,for example, in order to move to
Canada, you may think twiceabout it.
Or if it's a country that hasvery high crime and terrorism,
then you may think twice aboutit.
So when you make the decisionto migrate to Canada, you sat
and looked at the pros and thecons.

(06:38):
Following Jesus has a cost.
Now, when I moved to the USfrom India, there are some
consequences that came out of it.
Back in India it's a much morelaid back lifestyle.
Everything is at a slower pace.
Everybody is rushing around,we're not working our tails off

(07:00):
all day, every day, and thensomehow get to the weekend, like
we do in America, and then,before you know, the weekend is
gone and we are back into thegrind again.
That's not how it is in India.
So when I planned to come to US, i had to weigh the pros and
the cons, and the cons were thatwell, i won't be able to see my

(07:21):
family as often, i won't beable to meet my childhood
friends as often, and I won't bea part of that laid back
lifestyle as much as I wouldlike to.
Jesus wants us to count the costwhen we follow Him.
He wants us to evaluate thecost and the consequence.

(07:41):
People think that when youfollow a religion it is just a
mindless thing.
You just have to have blindfaith.
But that is not what theChristian faith is about.
The Christian faith is aboutconsidering carefully the
consequences, consideringcarefully the cost.
The word count that is usedhere is actually from the word
pebbles, because in those daysthey used to count with pebbles.

(08:04):
And the only other place in theNew Testament where this word
count is used is in Revelation,chapter 13, when it says
calculate the number of thebeast.
It's a human number.
Calculate the number of thebeast.
His number is 666.
So it is a calculation that weneed to do when we decide to

(08:25):
follow Christ.
And Jesus gives his followersthe option to choose him or
leave him.
Turn your Bibles, if you will,to John, chapter 6 and verse 60.
John, chapter 6 and verse 60.
Let me just set the context ofthis verse.
Earlier on in this chapter,jesus fed 5,000 men, with women

(08:50):
and children, with five loavesof bread and a few fish.
And then, later on in thechapter, he talks about how he
is a bread of life.
And when you come to the end ofthe chapter, this is what
happens In verse 60,.
When many of his disciples heardit, they said this is a hard
saying.
Who can listen to it?
But Jesus, knowing in himselfthat his disciples were

(09:13):
grumbling about this, said tothem do you take offense at this
?
Then what of you were to seethe Son of Man ascending to
where he was before Verse 66,.
After this, many of hisdisciples turned back and no
longer walked with him.
So Jesus said to the twelve doyou also want to go?

(09:34):
What could Jesus have done?
He said hey guys, sorry, i amso sorry, i didn't mean to be so
offensive Come back, let merevise my sermon and give you an
updated, cleaner version.
No, he turned to the twelve whowere his disciples and said do
you also want to leave?

(09:56):
You see, the Christian faith isa calculated decision that we
make.
Following Christ is acalculated decision.
It's not about emotional energyand somehow you are coaxed into
making a decision.
No, it is a decision for thelong haul and there is a cost to
it and each person shouldcarefully consider the cost.
Second, there is an option forpeace.

(10:19):
There is an option for peace.
Let's read verse 31 and 32.
Or what king going out toencounter another king in war
will not sit down first anddeliberate whether he is able,
with ten thousand, to meet himwho comes against him with
twenty thousand?
And if not, while the other isyet a long way off, he sends a

(10:42):
delegation and asks for terms ofpeace.
There is a cost to followingJesus, but there is also a cost
to not following Jesus, and ineach instance we have to
evaluate the pros and the consto following Jesus and the pros
and the cons to not followingJesus.

(11:04):
So in this case, a kingconsiders the option of facing
another king, but when he findsthat he is not able to overcome
him, there is an option forpeace.
Every human being can have anencounter with God and every
human being is given the optionof making peace with God.

(11:27):
But it is up to the human beingto decide to make peace with
God.
Every person has the chance tosee if it's reasonable to oppose
God.
Is it worth it to oppose God?
And if it's not worth it, thenthey can make peace with God.
It is in our best interest ashuman beings to make peace with

(11:51):
God.
If only we knew what it meantto oppose an omniscient,
omnipotent being, we would begto make peace with God.
Okay, let's say that when you'redriving out from here tomorrow
morning, just as you get outfrom the side road into the main
highway for a flash of a second, you don't pay attention and

(12:13):
you hit somebody, and thatsomebody dies in hospital.
And now because of this mistake, which is now a crime, you are
looking at 20 years in prison.
That can happen in a flash.
If you had the option to avoidprison, would you take it?

(12:36):
Absolutely, we would take theoption.
We don't need to be told twice.
If we had the option to takepeace with God, we would be
begging.
We should be begging.
The thing is we don't know howmuch it involves in opposing God
, and so many people oppose God.

(12:58):
There are numerous examples inScripture of people opposing God
and it does not work out wellfor them.
From the Old Testament there isthe account of Pharaoh in the
book of Exodus where God tellshim where my people go.
He says no, and so the watersturn to blood.
No, and then the 10 plagueshappen and God brings him down

(13:22):
to his knees until when hisfirstborn son dies.
He wakes up in the middle ofthe night, wakes everybody up
and says please take your peopleand go.
And then we come to the NewTestament where we see the story
of Paul In Acts, chapter 9,.
It talks about how Paul wasconverted, but there are two

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other accounts of his conversion.
So turn your Bibles to Acts,chapter 26.
Acts, chapter 26 and verse 14.
Acts 26, verse 14.
This is Paul talking to KingAgrippa in Caesarea.

(14:03):
Acts 26, verse 14.
And when we had all fallen onthe ground, i heard a voice
saying to me in the Hebrewlanguage Saul, saul, why are you
persecuting me.
It is hard for you to kickagainst the goats.
What are the goats?
The goat is a sharp stick thatis used to spur an animal to go

(14:28):
faster.
It is a sharp stick that therider of the animal uses behind
the animal and pokes it everynow and then to stimulate the
animal to keep going.
The worst thing the animal cando is to kick back against the
goat, because the only thingthat's going to happen with it

(14:48):
is that it's going to get hurt.
There is nothing else.
You can be as angry as you want, but if you kick back against
the sharp stick that's pokingyou, then you will get hurt, and
humans have the option to makepeace with God, and fighting
against God is not in our bestinterest.

(15:13):
Thirdly, a follower needs to bea disciple Verse 34.
Salt is good, but if salt haslost its taste, how shall its
saltiness be restored?
It is of no use either for thesoil or for the manure pile.
It is thrown away.
Now I'm going to make someloose terms here with follower

(15:35):
and disciple.
I'm going to say a follower isa person that is a Christian but
doesn't follow Christ closely,and I'm using the word disciple
to show a person that followsChrist closely.
This separation in language isnot made in the Bible.
The Bible doesn't make thatdistinction.

(15:55):
But I'm using that distinctionjust for us to know where we are
in our following Christ.
Jesus is not making a scientificstatement here because,
honestly, salt cannot lose itssaltiness.
It is impossible for salt to beunsalty.
So what is Jesus saying here?
He is saying that the salt isless effective because of

(16:19):
contamination.
You see, in those days most ofthe salt came from the Dead Sea
and it was contaminated withcarnalite and gypsum And it
needed to be purified.
And if it wasn't purified, itwas contaminated and therefore
it was less effective.
What is Jesus saying in thispassage?
He is saying if you are salt,be salt.

(16:40):
If you are salt, be salt.
If you are a Christian, be aChristian, go all in.
Peter was a follower of Jesusand he followed him closely for
three years.
Let's read a verse Mark,chapter 14 and verse 54.

(17:04):
Mark 14, 54.
And Peter had followed him at adistance right into the
courtyard of the high priest Andhe was sitting with the guards
and warming himself at the fire.
About six months ago I had theprivilege to go to Israel and

(17:28):
see the courtyard at the palaceof Caiaphas.
This is where this happened,where Peter denied him, and you
can actually see the originalstone pathway that Jesus and
Peter and everybody came up.
And the courtyard is there.
It's cemented over right now,but you can see where Peter was,

(17:48):
as Jesus was in the palace ofCaiaphas.
Peter followed Jesus from afar.
He wasn't supposed to followJesus from afar.
He had told Jesus if you die,i'll die with you.
He had made promises to Jesus.
But now Peter was followingJesus from afar And he was

(18:11):
trying to fit in with the crowd.
That was not part of JesusWarming himself outside and, as
it turned out, peter denied him.
Many of us follow Christ from adistance.
We are followers in that senseand not disciples.
It's actually easy andconvenient to follow Christ from

(18:36):
a distance.
If you stay far away fromChrist and Christ is there you
stay far away.
You can come close to Christ onSundays, you can come close to
Christ on days of camp like this, and whenever you want, you can
back off, back into your worldand back into your secular

(18:56):
situation.
So it seems convenient to be afollower and not a disciple.
But how do you know if you area follower and not a disciple.
How do you know if you're afollower and not a disciple?
Let me ask you a question Howmany people in the places where

(19:20):
you work, live and play knowthat you're a disciple of Christ
, not a generic Christian?
How many people know that youare a disciple of Christ, a
Christ follower?
If not many people know, thenit's possible that we are

(19:42):
staying afar, we are playing thefar game.
We are playing the followergame and not yet a disciple,
because it is risky to be adisciple, because you will get
ridiculed at work.
You will get ridiculed in yourschool Because people are
talking trash about Christiansand Christianity and Christ all

(20:06):
the time.
So what is the cost of being adisciple of Jesus?
And that's what we will lookinto the cost of discipleship.
Everything has a cost.
If you're in the healthcarefield, if you're a nurse, for
example, there are some benefitsto it.
You have job security.
You know that, no matter howbad the market is.

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you have job security.
But it comes with a cost.
And what is a cost?
You've got to work nights,you've got to work weekends,
you've got to be on all kinds ofodd shifts.
You've got to work with allkinds of patients.
Those are the costs that comewith it.
Anything that's worthwhile hasa cost, and Jesus gives three

(20:50):
conditions in this passage thatsays these are the three costs
that you will have to pay if youwant to be my disciple.
The first one is relationships.
Love for God should supersedeany other love.
Love for God should supersedelove for anything else.

(21:13):
Read verse 25 and verse 26.
Now great crowds accompaniedhim and he turned and said to
them if anyone comes to me anddoes not hate his own father and
mother and wife and childrenand brothers and sisters, and,
yes, even his own life, hecannot be my disciple.

(21:34):
Now this phrase can get lost intranslation.
Is Jesus telling us to hate ourfamily?
No, because according to theHebrew idiom of comparison, it
is a comparative kind oflanguage that Jesus is using.
Your love for God should be somuch that your love for anything

(21:55):
else feels like hate.
Let me ask you a question.
So, brother, what's yourfavorite color?
One of the worst questions toask an adult is what their
favorite color, but I'm going toask it regardless.
What's your favorite color?
Blue, Blue, okay.
What's your favorite dish thatyou would like to have any day?

(22:17):
Biryani.
I love biryani too.
Thank you.
So okay, now I'm going to ask areally insulting question.
Okay, do you like the colorblue or your daughter more?

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You see, don't answer that.
See, this is an issue.
It is an insulting questionbecause there is no comparison.
The color blue is nothing.
That's what Jesus is sayinghere.
Our love for Jesus must be somuch that any other love seems

(23:07):
ridiculous.
It's like the color blue.
How much do I love the colorblue more than my daughter?
There is no comparison Incomparison.
It should feel like hate, andthat is what Jesus is saying.
If Jesus asked you to choosebetween your family and him, who

(23:30):
would you choose?
One of the things, in the US atleast, is where parents build
memories for their children.
That's like this huge thing.
You're building memories Allthe time.
They're talking about havingmemories with their children

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building memories, but a lot oftime goes into that.
And then the argument usuallyis well, god gave me a family,
so I'm going to spend all mytime and energy and money on my
family.
But does that argument work interms of your profession?
If God gave you a profession,is it OK to spend all your time

(24:14):
on your profession?
Is it OK to be a workaholic, sothat argument doesn't really
work.
Love is measured in time.
What do you spend the most timeon?
The time you spend on an entitywill show you the priority that
you've put on that entity.
It's good to spend ourresources on family, but there

(24:39):
needs to be a balance In yourown mind.
What does it mean to love Godmore than family?
How would we act if our lovefor God was so much that our
love for family felt like hate?

(25:02):
One of my very good friends is amissionary.
I was a missionary in Africafor a couple of decades.
He has three children And hecame to the US for 10 years
while his children went throughhigh school and college And
after those 10 years they wentto high school, college and then

(25:22):
some of them got married Andthis brother went back as a
missionary.
So he spends his time betweenthe Republic of Georgia and
Thailand and Kenya where he's amissionary.
Two of his children stay in theUS.
One child stays in Thailand.
Would he like to see his USchildren more Absolutely?

(25:47):
But you see, he loves Jesusmore.
He loves the Gospel more, sohe's willing to let that go so
that he can spend more timedoing the Gospel.
Each of us need to figure outwhat it means, what decisions we

(26:07):
need to make, how much time andmoney and effort we need to
realign to show that we love Godmore than our family.
The second cost of being adisciple is possessions,
possessions.
Let me read verse 33.
So, therefore, if any one ofyou who does not renounce all

(26:32):
that he has cannot be mydisciple.
I wish this verse was phrased alittle differently.
It's so direct.
Therefore, if any one of youwho does not renounce all that
he has cannot be my disciple.

(26:55):
The desire for things is an olddesire.
It's not a new desire And it'snot related to whether you have
much or you have less.
Those days, those people wereso poor they had nothing.
And yet Jesus says if you can'trenounce everything, you cannot
be my disciple.

(27:15):
And it's not just this randomstatement that Jesus said.
I'm going to ask you to turn totwo more verses that says
essentially the same thing inthe book of Luke.
Turn to Luke, chapter 12 andverse 33.
Luke, chapter 12 and verse 33.
Sell your possessions, give tothe poor, provide yourselves

(27:41):
with money bags that do not growold, with the treasure in the
heavens that does not fail whereno thief approaches and no moth
destroys.
And another verse Luke, chapter18, luke, chapter 18, verse 22.
This is Jesus talking to therich man.
When Jesus heard this, he saidto him one thing you still lack.

(28:06):
Sell all that you have anddistribute to the poor, and you
will have treasure in heaven andcome follow me.
So when Jesus says, anyone whodoes not renounce and that is in
the present tense, which meansthat is a ongoing thing It is

(28:29):
not OK one time renounce andthen we can do whatever, but
it's an ongoing thing.
So we need to strike a balancebetween earning and working and
making money and loving God morethan our possessions.
How do we know if we love Godmore than our possessions?

(28:57):
Well, let me ask you a coupleof questions.
If tonight you got anotification from your bank that
you have a zero income, youhave zero balance in your bank
and you lost everything you lostyour house, your car, your bank

(29:18):
balance how much would thatchange your devotion to God?
If it's going to change, thenthere is a chance we love God
for the benefits.
Let me ask you another questionHow much money do we spend on

(29:44):
ourselves compared to what wespend on God and the things of
God.
My brother and his wife are inCalifornia and 20 years ago they
started a ministry called LifeChallenge International where we
do rehabilitation for drug andalcohol addicts.
The first center was inBangalore and now we have about

(30:08):
seven centers in different partsof India.
We also have a home for HIVkids whose parents were drug
addicts and they got HIV.
They were both engineers whowere in California and they
decided to start this ministry.
So my brother decided not to dohis engineering job, started
this ministry and about I thinkit's about seven years ago, they

(30:32):
came to a decision that hiswife also would leave the job,
and so, to make sure that it wasnot just this random emotional
decision, they fasted and prayedfor 40 days, 40 nights, and
then they came to the decisionfor her to leave her job.
But when they decided to leavethe job, that means that from

(30:58):
now on you're going to live onthe free will offering, isn't it
?
You have essentially given upyour desire for possessions.
I'm not asking you all to quityour jobs.
I'm not asking you all to sellyour possessions.

(31:19):
I'm asking you to find outwhere your heart is Because,
like this verse says, if any oneof you who does not renounce
all that he has cannot be mydisciple.
There is no ambiguity in thatstatement.

(31:39):
The third cost of being adisciple is the self, the denial
of self.
Let's read verse 27.
Whoever does not bear his owncross and come after me cannot
be my disciple.
What does it mean to carry yourown cross?

(32:03):
In this day and age, we referto it as anything that bothers
us.
We are carrying our own cross.
If my taxes went up by 2%, ohthat's my cross I'm going to
bear.
Or if the neighbor is a problem, oh that's my cross I'm going
to bear.
If I've got heartburn, ohthat's my cross I got to bear.
But what did his listenersunderstand it to be?

(32:27):
When Jesus said whoever doesnot bear his own cross and come
after me cannot be my disciple,what did his hearers think about
it?
There is only one thing thathis hearers thought about it,
and the only one thing that thatcould mean is that they died a

(32:48):
painful, excruciating death bycrucifixion.
For Jesus, that is the onlything that means.
It's a person who was going tobe crucified that carried his
cross, just like Jesus did onthe way to the crucifixion.
So Jesus is saying if you wantto be my disciple, you should be

(33:12):
willing to die in the worst waypossible.
Not die by death of old age,but die in the worst way
possible.
How much do we love ourselves?
There's no quantifying numberwe can give.
We love ourselves a lot, infact.

(33:34):
Most of the decisions that wemake are related to our comfort.
Let me ask you a rhetoricalquestion.
You don't need to answer this.
How many of you would beexcited if I said that yesterday

(33:55):
, a village in North India, theycompletely converted and they
all became Christians.
Don't raise your hands.
How many of you would beexcited if I said that yesterday
, a village in North India whowere Hindus before now the
entire village converted andbecame Christians.
Most of us would be happy.
Let me ask you another question.

(34:17):
What have I said?
Every time a village convertsand becomes a Christian, you
lose a finger.
How many villages do you wantto see coming to Jesus?

(34:38):
You see, we are happy with Godand the ministry as long as we
are comfortable.
We want the glory of God aslong as it doesn't touch us.
But the moment it touches us,we ask Lord why Many times our

(35:05):
love for ourselves is way morethan our love for God, and Jesus
is clear.
If our love for Him is not morethan our love for ourselves, we
cannot be His disciple.
Jesus is not asking us to doanything that He didn't do

(35:30):
Himself.
He gave up everything to be ourMaster and He expects nothing
less.
He gave up His relationships,he gave up His possessions and
He gave up Himself, and Heexpects nothing less from us.
Let me end with the story.
On January 13, 1982, air FloridaBoeing 727, flight number 90,

(35:55):
took off from WashingtonNational Airport in Arlington,
virginia, with 74 passengers andfive crew members.
The plane had flown intoWashington DC earlier that
afternoon from Miami and it wastrying to go back as soon as
possible.
But there was snow and icyconditions in Washington DC, and

(36:17):
so the airport was shut downfor a few hours.
But the pilot wanted to get outof there as soon as possible.
So as soon as the airportopened up and the runway is
opened up, they quickly did ade-icing of the plane and he
started to take the plane out.
But they had to stop at thegate because the weather was bad

(36:41):
again, and so for about 45minutes he was waiting for
takeoff with these passengersinside the plane, and then,
about 45 minutes later, when theconditions opened up, what the
pilot, larry Wheaton, shouldhave done was go back and de-ice
the plane.
He didn't go back to de-ice theplane, he didn't even use the

(37:02):
de-icing system of the planeitself, but he wanted to get out
as soon as possible.
By the time the plane reachedthe takeoff area, it was so
bogged down that it couldachieve only a few hundred feet
of elevation, and about one mileaway from the runway and two

(37:24):
miles away from the White House,it plunged into the 14th Street
Bridge and down into the icyPotomac River.
Four motorists were killed onimpact when seven vehicles were
destroyed on that 14th Streetbridge.
Of the 79 passengers, 73 ofthem died on impact.

(37:49):
But there were six survivors ofthe plane.
But they had to now survive theicy, cold waters of the Potomac
River.
And as they were trying tostruggle to stay alive, the
people on the bridge werestanding there.
They could do nothing.
They were literally watchingthese people die in front of

(38:10):
their eyes.
There was a terrible traffic inWashington that day that made it
difficult for the rescuehelicopters to come.
But finally the horrifiedsilence of that moment was
broken by the helicopters thatcame and hovered over the water
And, in a risky move, they triedto rescue these six people that

(38:30):
were dying of hypothermia anddrowning in the icy waters.
They let down a rope and therope fell into the hands of a
bank employee by the name ofArland Williams.
Arland Williams got the ropeand he gave it to the next
person.
That person got up and thehelicopter took that person away

(38:53):
and kept them safely.
The helicopter came back andthrew the rope down.
Arland Williams got the ropeagain and he gave it to the next
person.
This happened four more timesAnd each time Arland Williams
got life in his hands and hecould have escaped and he could
have gone away, but he didn't.

(39:14):
When the helicopter came backthe last time to get him, the
fatigue of what he had done andthe debris that he was hanging
on tipped over and ArlandWilliams drowned.
He was the only passenger onthat plane to die by drowning.

(39:41):
Ladies and gentlemen, jesus gaveeverything 2000 years ago his
relationships, his possessionsand his life to save you and me.
I'm going to give theopportunity for us to respond to
this sermon.
I'll ask you two questions Areyou following from a distance?

(40:07):
Are you following from adistance And secondly, do you
love any of the following morethan Jesus Relationships,
possessions or self?
Now, i'm sure you've heard asermon similar to this before,

(40:39):
so I don't want this to be justanother sermon that you heard.
I'm going to give an altar calland I want you to have an altar,
in your mind that you're goingto put something on the altar.
What is it that you love morethan Jesus?
You're going to put that on thealtar.
If you love yourself more thanJesus, put yourself on the altar

(41:04):
.
If you love possessions morethan Jesus, put possessions on
the altar.
I'm going to pray now, but Iwant you all to think on what
you are going to put up on thataltar, because if we do not put

(41:24):
up everything on the altar, wecannot be his disciple.
That's clearly what the Biblesays.
So I'm going to ask people tostand up.
If you have put something onthe altar, i'm going to ask you
to stand up And then you'regoing to pray.
If you love something more thanJesus that you put on the altar

(41:49):
, you can stand up and thenwe'll pray.
Heavenly Father, we thank youfor what you have given us.
Thank you for giving useverything.
Thank you that you didn't holdback in your love for us.

(42:16):
Lord God, i pray that you wouldhelp us to be disciples that
follow you closely, no matterwhat it means, no matter what it
takes.
Help us to give everything thatwe have so that we can follow

(42:38):
you.
In Jesus' name, i pray, amen,thank you.
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