The Three “Cannots”

Vance Havnerby Vance Havner

He cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26, 27, 33

If we hate not family and even our own lives; if we bear not our cross and come after Him; if we forsake not all that we have, we cannot be His disciples. He does not say we will be poor disciples, He says we cannot be His disciples at all.

Tone it down all you will, the cleverest exegesis cannot do much with this threefold test. Why is it that we are so silent on such texts today? We have let down the bars and we take all comers. Our catch-all invitations gather in a motley mixture, a mixed multitude. Screen them with these three “cannots” and see how much wheat is left when the chaff is gone!

These words were spoken to a great multitude. We would be flattered by such a following, but our Lord immediately thinned His crowd. Is it not time we whittled down Gideon’s unwieldy band to a hard core of effectives? But, alas, this is the day of statistics, and we must make a good showing on the books.

by Vance Havner

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