Perhaps you may say, "my friends will not oppose me." That is more than you know: in all probability your chief enemies will be those of your own household. If therefore they should oppose you, are you willing naked to follow the naked Christ? And to wander about in sheep-skins and goats-skins, in dens and caves of the earth; being afflicted, destitute, tormented, rather than not be Christ's disciples? You are now all following with zeal, as Ruth and Orpah did Naomi, and may weep under the word; but are not your tears, crocodile tears?
And, when difficulties come, will you not go back from following the Lord, as Orpah departed from following Naomi? Have you really the root of grace in your hearts? Or, are you only stony-ground hearers? You receive the word with joy; but, when persecution arises because of the Word, will you not be immediately offended?
Be not angry with me for putting these questions to you. I am jealous over you, but it is with a godly jealousy: for, alas! how many have put their hands to the plough, and afterwards have shamefully looked back? I only deal with you, as our Lord did with persons that said, "Lord, I will follow you wherever you will. The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of man, (says he) has not where to lay His head." What say you? Are you willing to endure hardness, and thereby approve yourselves good soldiers of Jesus Christ? You now come on foot out of towns and villages to hear the word, and receive me as a messenger of God: but will you not by and by cry out, Away with him, away with him; it is not fit such a fellow should live upon the earth?
Perhaps some of you, like Hazael, may say, "Are we dogs, that we should do this?" But, alas! I have met with many unhappy souls, who have drawn back unto perdition, and have afterwards accounted me their enemy, for dealing faithfully with them, though once, if it were possible, they would have plucked out their own eyes, and have given them unto me.
Sit down, therefore, I beseech you, and seriously count the cost, and ask yourselves again and again, whether you count all things but dung and dross, and are willing to suffer the loss of all things, so that yo may win Christ, and be found in Him."
- Whitefield's Sermons (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library). Sermon: "Persecution, Every Christians's Lot."