Dietrich Bonhoeffer said "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." Most people when they became a Christian, they did so because of the promise of forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and eterna life. But Jesus clearly said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves ad take up their cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). He was not using the world 'cross' metophorically. History and tradition tell us that the disciples and thousands of early Christians wer martyred on crosses. We must remember that 'cross' in Jesus' statement is any suffering, persecution, shame, and reproach we bear voluntarily. If you think something you are experiencing is a 'cross', ask yourself this question: will this (whatever you are experiencing) go away if I turn my back on Jesus or give up my faith in him? If the answer is no, then it's not the cross Jesus is talking about. The reward for denying yourself and taking up your cross daily is true and eternal life!
This sermon points out three discipleship requirements and asks three important questions.