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Five Reasons Christians Fail to Finish the Course

Introduction: The Christian life is pictured in the Bible as a race to run; a course to finish. The Apostle Paul was determined to finish his course with joy and the ministry which he had received of the Lord (Acts 20:24). Shortly before his death, he could give this testimony: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Notice, he had finished his course.

Each of you needs to consider two very important truths. 1) God has a course for you. 2) God wants you to finish your course. How wonderful to realize that God has a specific plan for our life and that He will help us find and complete that plan. Yet, most Christians do not finish their course. They hardly even try.

Our passage in Luke 14:28-30 speaks of one who intends to build a tower. Building this tower is like running your race and finishing your course. Yet, there are many pitfalls. The tower may never get built. By looking at the necessary ingredients for building this tower, we can see why so many people fail. Here are five reasons Christians fail to finish their course.

  1. NO PURPOSE (Luke 14:28); Nothing can begin until someone is at least intending to build a tower. Intent points to a purpose; a desire to accomplish. First, you must have this purpose.
    1. This Purpose Must Be For God Not For Self (Proverbs 23:4-5; Jeremiah 45:5; Luke 22:24-26)
    2. This Purpose Must Be From God (Acts 9:6; Colossians 1:1, 9)
      1. Purpose follows salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10)
      2. Caleb wanted his mountain (Joshua 14:12)
  2. NO PLAN (Luke 14:28); The man who intends to build must now be the one who counteth the cost. He surveys the situation; calculates the requirements; makes his plans.
    1. The Need For a Plan
      1.  To Find Gods Way (Proverbs 3:5-6)
      2. To Find Gods Timing (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Isaiah 40:30-31; Habakkuk 2:3)
    2. The Source of our Plans (Colossians 1:9; Ephesians 5:17)
      1. Prayer
      2. Meditation
      3. Counsel
  3. NO PREPARATION (Luke 14:29); Next, the man who would build a tower must lay the foundation. This is the stage of preparation where the stage is set for the completion of the goal. No foundation; no tower. This stage may include training, experience, maturity or other forms of laying the groundwork for the job to be done.
    1. We Must Prepare for the Work (Proverbs 24:27)
    2. We Must Prepare for the Winter (Proverbs 30:24-25)
  4. NO PUSH (Luke 14:28); Now, the builder must put forth the effort to build the tower. This stage is full of labor and requires faithful and diligent work. Many fail because they just do not want to work. He that desires the office of a bishop desires a good work (1 Timothy 3:1).
    1. Work with Focus of Mind (Nehemiah 4:6)
    2. Work with All your Might (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
    3. Press Toward the Mark (Philippians 3:13-14)
  5. NO PERSISTENCE (Luke 14:29, 30); Yet, to finish the tower, one thing yet is needed. The builder must be able to finish. Some men start many things but finish none. Paul finished his course. Will you finish yours?
    1. We Must Refuse to Faint (Proverbs 24:10; Galatians 6:9)
    2. We Must Finish by Faith (Hebrews 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:58)

Conclusion: We have been looking at the Christian life as one in which we build a tower or finish a course. Another picture used in the Bible is that of sowing and reaping (Psalm 126:5-6). In order to reap, we must work the land, sow the seed, care for the plants and refuse to quit. God promises that those who refuse to faint will eventually, in due season, reap the harvest (Galatians 6:9). What would it take for you to fail? Why not just keep on going on for the sake of the Lord?