Leave Everything



Is leaving everything a condition of salvation? 


Christ’s prerequisite?

Jesus told a large crowd to count this condition as part of the cost of discipleship. 


Luke 14

33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14

The Cost of Being a Disciple
25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
34"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."


Count the cost

Jesus warned his prospective followers to “estimate the cost” before they became His disciples.  Otherwise people will ridicule them (verse 29) for not finishing what they started. This type of “easy believism” happens often.  People make verbal confessions of believing in Christ and boast about how they will follow him.


John 2

23Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.[3] 24But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.


There are only case that I can think of where Jesus assured a follower in their present salvation:


Luke 19
8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."


And one case where he assured them of their future salvation (which was not long away):


Luke 23

39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
40But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[6] "
43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."


Jesus did not lead this man in a prayer, or make following Him sound palatable.  This man was not prompted to use one of his last breaths to stand up for the Messiah whom he believed in.  All the man asked was for Jesus to “remember Him”.  What humility!



Zacchaeus did more than repeat a prayer, he left everything. Half his possessions he kept, but he needed to in order to pay back those who he had stolen from. 



The eye of the needle

Matt 19:21-30

21         Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

22         When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23         Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

24         Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

25         When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"

26         Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

27         Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?"

28         Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29         And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

30         But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.  (NIV)


How can we pass through the eye of the needle?  We can avoid greed by obeying God’s stewardship commands.





Abrahamic covenant


Genesis 12
The Call of Abram
1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."
4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.


In Abraham’s day, wealth was tied to the land, the geography.  When the Lord told him to leave everything, it cost him his fortune.  New Testament “leave everything” commands have more to do with liquidating/redistributing your assets (commands include Luke 12:13-34, Matt 19:21-30, Luke 3:11, Luke 11:41; examples include Acts 2:40-47, Acts 4:31-37, Luke 19:5-27) than with moving geographically. However, the idea of “giving your life to Christ”, or “forsaking your life for God” remains the same across covenants. 


Hebrews 11
8By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.


Wow.  Abraham did not even know where he was going.  That is saving faith. 


The children of Abraham

Romans 4
Abraham Justified by Faith
1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."[1]
4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
    7“Blessed are they
       whose transgressions are forgiven,
       whose sins are covered.
    8Blessed is the man
       whose sin the Lord will never count against him."[2]
9Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations."[3] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. (NAS)


Luke 3:8
"Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and [Luke 5:21; 13:25, 26; 14:9] do not begin to say to yourselves, '[John 8:33] We have Abraham for our father,' for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
(Whole Chapter: Luke 3 In context: Luke 3:7-9)



John 8
The Children of Abraham

31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
33They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants[2] and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"
34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.[3] "
39"Abraham is our father," they answered.
"If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would[4] 40 do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41You are doing the things your own father does."
"We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself."

The Children of the Devil

42Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."



Will you do the things Abraham did?  Will you leave everything to follow Jesus?


Giving up your life

Jesus cannot fit inside of your life.  Your life is led by you, and not Him.  This will not work.  You must first lay your life down and make room for Him and His life to come in.  How do you do this?  By giving up your life:

  1. your time
  2. your material resources

for His sake and for the Gospel.


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