Consider The Cost
He who comes to me and does not put aside his father, and his mother, and his brothers, and his sisters, and his wife, and his children, and even his own life, he cannot be a disciple to me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow me, cannot be a disciple to me. (Luke 14:26-27) -- Lamsa Translation
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)
It is not enough merely to acknowledge Christ. We must follow where He leads the way. His grace is sufficient. He suffered for us, and He has left us an example, that we should follow .... The present is our time of proving. The experience necessary in order to gain the crown of life will bring us far greater crucifixion of self than we have hitherto thought possible. What is the message that the apostle Paul bears to everyone who names the name of Christ? "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:1-3).
Christ was the Lord of heaven and earth, yet for our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He was made in the likeness of God, yet He humbled Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant, that He might save us. He gave His life for our redemption. Will we accept the sacrifice? The only begotten Son of God was numbered with the transgressors, that human beings might not perish, but have everlasting life. Life eternal will be their inheritance, if they will consent to humble their proud heart and become partakers of His suffering. He patiently endured shame and mockery and derision that He might save every sinful human being who would lay hold of Him by living faith. While He hung on the cross, giving His life for our redemption, His murderers mocked Him, saying, "He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him" (Matthew 27:42).... He could have refused thus to die, but He was suffering that the world through Him might be redeemed from Satan's claim and authority. Through His death all who believe in Him may have eternal life....
The salvation of human beings means much more than many realize. It means that we are to choose God's way rather than our own. The Lord cannot save men while they refuse to humble themselves under the reproofs and warnings that He sends, strenuously asserting their own will, and following their own course of action.—Letter 133, April 30, 1905, to J. E. White.