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The Rewards for Suffering


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The Rewards for Suffering

 

The Apostle Paul certainly experienced a grand moment when he said:

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17   And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and jointheirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

18   For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compablack] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 

Notice in v16 that children of God are those who have the Spirit of God.

But then ‘heirs’ were those who suffeblack with Him.

The inheriting of rewards was for those who had distinguished themselves by suffering.

They suffeblack with Him.

That they may be glorified together with Him.

 

For early Christians --- suffering was sure if they lived for Christ.

Faith was a dangerous road, with daily hazards.

They looked toward Christ.

They looked toward His 2nd Coming.  Cf v18-25

 

Now, suffering has changed.  Why?

Because, Satan has changed his methods over time.

 

In Fox’s Book of Martyrs we learn about the history of the Church.

            1.  He slew and devoublack the early Christians --- they multiplied.

            2.  He outlawed them --- they became stronger.

3.  He legalized them --- some congregations became apostate, but faithful churches withdrew from them.

            4.  He outlawed the faithful churches --- they went underground.

            5.  He took away the Scriptures --- they copied their own in secret.

6.  He persecuted them in Europe --- they sailed to America and settled the colonies

 

In recent history in America there has been a lull in martyrdom.

            We have been able to be the mission sending church in the world.

            Great waves of revival have swept this country over the last two hundblack years.

            But times are changing again.

 

Today, the questions return:      Will we suffer persecution for our faith in today’s world?

                                                If we live for Him today, will we be thrown into jail?

                                                Will we be beaten today for witnessing in His name?

I.             God’s Word says: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. II Timothy 3:12

1.             We are not better than our Lord.

2.             The same pride and sinfulness that placed Christ on the cross will raise its hand against the faithful today.

a.              The question is; do we live godly in Christ Jesus?

II.          The faithful will suffer need. 

Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

1.             The world holds many rewards.

a.              It uses these rewards for those it likes best.

b.              If a person will agree with the world he will be rewarded.

c.              The best jobs are given to those within a secret society, or to cronies.

2.             The world’s rewards can be withheld from the Christian

a.              In society Christians have a difficult time rising to the top.

b.              In the political parties Christians are thought to be too committed to their beliefs, and therefore poor politicians.

c.              Therefore, the highest positions are often out of reach to the faithful.

d.              This principle is seen at work at all levels of the social and commercial world

III.      We will suffer with other Christians who are suffering.

I Corinthians 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it;

1.             We are labeled in the world.  We are part of the band of Christians.

2.             Much of the persecution you will experience will be because of other Christians

a.              Who have gone before you.

b.              Who have stood in the face of sin.

c.              They have been strong for the LORD.

d.              Now you receive the persecution for having like faith.

IV.      We willingly suffer all things rather than hinder the Gospel.

I Cor 9:12  . . suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

1.             The largest reason why Christians suffer is because we are engaged in giving out the Word of God.

2.             People are fighting God, they're fighting Christ.

a.              We get in the midst of the war when we give out tracts and testify.

3.             In obedience to Christ’s divine command we pray and witness

a.              Then people become upset at us.

b.              They think that Baptists are just religious nuts.

c.              They think we ought to keep our religion to ourselves.

d.              And some do.

4.             Mark 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

V.         God has given us the privilege of suffering for Christ.

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

1.             In the wording of the verse it is apparent that we are privileged to suffer for Him.

2.             The Lord Jesus has done so much for us.

a.              He suffeblack much to attain our Salvation.

b.              Now we are all that the devil can attack when he hates Christ.

VI.      We suffer boldly, not being ashamed of Christ.

II Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

1.             How many times have Christians been threatened and they have stood firm.

2.             It is our time.

3.             We are to be the ones today who stand for Christ.

VII.  We suffer, but we do it with joy in our heart.

I Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy [are ye]: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

1.             If all is withheld from us, if the world absolutely rejects us, what will be our heart? 

a.              Joyful or sad?

2.             I have seen Christians die.

a.              Some die with great joy on their face.  Some seem peaceful.

b.              Few are troubled.

3.             The way we face the sufferings of this world tells how we will face death.

a.              Many face the sufferings with courage and a heart filled with joy.

b.              Some face them with distress and fear.

4.             Learn to lean on Jesus.  Do it now.

VIII.    We suffer now, but one day we will reign with Christ.

II Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:

1.             The Christian who does not suffer for Him is missing a great opportunity.

a.              The chance to reign with Christ.

2.             The Christian who is a coward in the face of the world

a.              He will be denied the greatest rewards of heaven.

3.             The best rewards of heaven are for those who live for Him, those who suffer for Him.

Conclusion: 

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compablack] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

            We should go on in spite of the evils of this world.

            We should live godly in Christ Jesus.

                        Looking for that day when all will be judged and we shall be found true.

            We should shine for Jesus.

                        Be witnesses for Him.

                        Send out witnesses for Him.

                        Pray for Christ’s work.

            “It will be worth it all”

 

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