Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #178
TEXT: Matthew 10:37-42
Today, as we close out this series based on Matthew chapter 10, we can look at the state of the world around us and see that Jesus’ words to His disciples which were passed down to us are more relevant than ever before. It is almost as if they were spoken and written yesterday. We are reminded of verse 23 where Jesus said, “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another.” That happened quite literally this past week when the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq told the Christians in the city of Mosul either you will convert to Islam, pay a tax, or be killed. They were persecuted in that city where they have been for nearly 2,000 years, and in order to not deny Jesus Christ and to save their lives and their families, they fled to other cities in Iraq, and according to reports, there is not one Christian left in the city of Mosul today.
That is the kind of world we live in. And the relevance of the Word of God should re-establish in our hearts and minds that it is divinely inspired and is good for yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, we ought to take heed to it as we read it and hear it preached.
In these final verses of Matthew chapter 10, Jesus addresses three important areas of our Christian life:
1. Let’s look at our supreme love. Jesus says, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” As you might recall, we looked at this same issue from the Gospel of Luke a few months ago, right before we jumped into Matthew 10. This is a very important issue for us as Christians.
2. Let’s look at the threat of loss. Jesus tells His disciples, “He that findeth his life shall lose it.” What does it mean to find your life and then lose it? Jesus is saying, if all you pursue is success and profits in this material and temporal life, you will eventually lose your life and everything you have worked for altogether. Remember His question, “For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
3. Let’s look at the rewards of eternal life. Jesus tells us, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” This verse ought to serve as a comfort and encouragement for those who are facing conflict right now as well as for those who have chosen to give up material and temporal success in order to store up treasures in Heaven.
Jesus wants us to have the best of both worlds, but we have to do things His way in order to receive all of the blessings and benefits that He has in store for us. First Corinthians 2:9 says, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” The question for each of us today is not, Do we desire the rewards of Heaven? But, do we love God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ above all else. If we do, we will gladly suffer loss, we will gladly face conflict, we will gladly endure persecution, because we are no longer living for ourselves, but we are living for Him.
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Enter Your Gates” by Stephen B. Steward and “Take Me to the King” by Tamela Mann