After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, he began his first sermons by echoing the words of John: “Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Matt. 4:17) Jesus then began to call out those men who would commit to advancing the Kingdom of Heaven with Him by issuing the challenge, “Come, be my disciples….” (Matt. 4:18) We men who are part of the Band of Brothers’ Ministry strongly believe that these are important days – and that once again God is calling out His chosen men in this generation to answer this same call to advance the Kingdom of Heaven. Our band has answered “Yes” to this call. In fact, many of us believe we are in the last days, and our desire is to be ready to obey whatever God may ask of us – regardless of what it may cost.
The cost of discipleship is different than the cost of salvation. Salvation is a free gift to those who believe. (see John 3:16) However, true discipleship has an option, "If you want to be my follower...." (Luke 14:26, see also Oswald, My Utmost for His Highest, Feb. 2) Not all who believe in Christ and His gift of salvation are his true disciples. For the decision of discipleship, we are asked to consider the cost before we decide to confront the inevitable battles and overwhelming odds we will face.
Salvation is free, but "you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me. But don't begin until you count the cost... What King would ever dream of going to war without first sitting down with his counselors and discussing whether his army of ten thousand is strong enough to defeat the twenty thousand soldiers who are marching against him? If he is not able, then while the enemy is still far away, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace. So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me." (Luke 14:27-28, 31-33 NLT)
So to join Christ's army, one must be willing give up everything - total surrender - "no matter the cost!" The battle for the Kingdom of Heaven will not end by negotiating with the enemy. There will be no settlement and no compromise. Good and evil will not co-exist under a treaty. This great war will end with God's absolute victory over evil.
By saying "yes" to this call, we are agreeing to carry our own crosses. We are asking God to take us through the painful, yet glorious process of sanctification - the journey of becoming true disciples - true warriors - true brothers of Christ. This decision is about absolute surrender to the will of God the Father - the decision to submit to the process of abandoning our selfish and demanding spirits. As stated by Oswald Chambers, "Sin belongs to hell and the devil. I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and to God. It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence, and my self-will. This is where the battle has to be fought." (Oswald, Dec. 9)
From Selfishness to God's Call (175 KB)