The Rewards of A True Disciple

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1 Message for THE LORD'S DAY MORNING, February 15, 2015 Christian Hope Church of Christ, Plymouth, North Carolina by Reggie A. Braziel, Minister MESSAGE 6 in Counting The Cost Sermon Series The Rewards of A True Disciple Mark 10:28-31 (NKJV) Today we want to continue with our series of messages on: Counting The Cost (What It Means to Be A True Disciple of Jesus Christ) Please turn with me in your Bibles to Mark chapter ten. And let's read verses MARK 10:28-31 (NKJV) 28 Then Peter began to say to Him, See, we have left all and followed You. 29 So Jesus answered and said, Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

2 I N T R O D U C T I O N One of my favorite quotes of all time is by the late Jim Elliot who was martyred by the Auca Indians in Ecuador in January of 1956: He said... He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Proverbs 13:7 (NKJV) says it this way: There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches. The life of a true disciple of Jesus Christ is a great paradox: -A true disciple GAINS by LOSING. -A true disciple LIVES by DYING. -A true disciple WINS by SURRENDERING. -A true disciple becomes GREAT by becoming THE LEAST. -A true disciple is FIRST by being LAST. -A true disciple becomes RICH by becoming POOR. Perhaps none of this makes any sense to you right now, but hopefully after today's message it will all become much clearer.

3 **************************** BACKGROUND TO OUR TEXT ********************* In the section of scripture just prior to our text, the Rich Young Ruler had come to Jesus asking, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? In essence, Jesus said to the Rich Young Ruler, you are not ready to be saved until two things occur. First, you must acknowledge your SIN. Jesus said, You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother. (v.19) The young man then had the audacity to say, Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth. WOW! There was only ONE perfectly sinless Man standing there, and it wasn't the Rich Young Ruler. He was so blinded by his own self-righteousness he couldn't even recognize sin in his life. Secondly, Jesus said, One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come, 'take up the cross, and follow Me. Jesus was demanding first place in his life. He was demanding that he submit to His Lordship, and the Rich Young Ruler wouldn't do that either. So he wouldn't acknowledge any sin in his life, and he wasn't willing to give up his earthly riches for eternal riches, and VERSE 22 says... But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. He wanted eternal life...but he wanted his worldly riches even more!

4 Now having just witnessed this scene, JESUS uses this as a teaching moment with His disciples. Jesus tells them in verses how hard it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven because a rich man values earthly riches more than heavenly riches. Jesus said, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (v.25) I don't know about you, but I can hardly push a thread through the eye of a needle. Can you imagine trying to push a big old, two hump, cud chewing camel through the eye of a needle? NOT ONLY WOULD THAT BE DIFFICULT, IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE! And that is exactly the point JESUS was making. With stunned looks on their faces, the disciples asked Jesus, Who then can be saved? And Jesus said, With men, this is impossible, but with GOD all things are possible. Then in verse 28, Peter, speaking on behalf of all the apostles asked Jesus this question: v.28 See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have? These disciples HAD left everything! They had left their JOBS. They had left the COMFORTS OF HOME. They had left their FAMILIES and FRIENDS. They had truly LEFT ALL to follow Jesus. And so now they want to know, What do we get out of this? What is the pay back? What is our reward for leaving all to follow YOU?

5 Matthew's account includes something Jesus said at this point that Mark does not include. Jesus speaks about a very specific reward that is just for His apostles. Listen closely... MATTHEW 19:28 (NKJV) So Jesus said to them, Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. The regeneration Christ is talking about points us to that time following The Great Tribulation when Christ will establish His Millenial or Thousand Year Kingdom here on earth. We read about this Kingdom in Revelation 20:4-6. Jesus is promising His apostles they will be rewarded thrones of HONOR and AUTHORITY to judge over the twelve tribes of Israel. (Revelation 20:4) But then in both Matthew and Mark's accounts, Jesus speaks about THE REWARDS OF ALL TRUE DISCIPLES. But then in verse 29 Jesus transitions from THE REWARDS of His apostles to THE REWARDS OF ALL WHO TRULY ARE HIS DISCIPLES. Mark 10:29,30 (NKJV) So Jesus answered and said, Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel s, who shall not receive a hundredfold (listen carefully) now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions and in the age to come, eternal life.

6 Did you catch what Jesus is saying? He is telling us are REWARDS now in this time in other words, while we are here on earth. And there will be REWARDS in the age to come, speaking of heavenly rewards. First, let's consider... I. The PRESENT Rewards of True Disciples Mark 10:30a who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time Can you name one solitary investment you can make in this life that promises a 10,000 % return? -There's not a banker or stock broker in the world that can guarantee you a 10,000 % return on your investments. -You can invest in GOLD or SILVER and you may receive a hefty return on your investment, but you will never receive a 10,000 % return. 2. When Jesus says we will receive a hundredfold what He means is anything we sacrifice, anything we give up to follow Him will be rewarded far beyond anything we could ever hope for or imagine.

7 3. To put it simply, you and I can never outgive GOD. He doesn't always pay on Fridays or at the end of the month, but the LORD always PAYS! And when He does, it is far beyond our wildest dreams! 5. We must understand every thing we do matters to the LORD. Mark 9:41 tells us that even when we do something as simple as giving a cup of cold water to someone in the Name of Jesus, the LORD will reward us! 6. In God's economy, the more you and I give the richer we become! The more we give the more we gain. But as great as OUR PRESENT REWARDS are OUR FUTURE REWARDS are even greater.

8 II. The FUTURE Rewards of True Disciples 1. Our future rewards can be broken down into four main categories: (A) The Reward of COMPENSATION Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV) 19 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The New Testament continually challenges you and me to think 1, , ,000 years down the road. Everything we invest in the LORD'S KINGDOM now in the way of our time, our talents, and our treasures is being deposited in the First Bank and Trust of Heaven. And one day we will receive compensation or dividends far greater than we could possibly imagine! And so the LORD admonishes us to INVEST IN THE ETERNAL...INVEST...INVEST...INVEST!

9 (B) The Reward of COMMENDATION Remember the COMMENDATION Jesus gave to those two faithful servants in His Parable of The Talents in Matthew 25? He said, Well done good and faithful servants. Don't you want to hear JESUS say those words to you one day? Don't you want the REWARD OF HIS COMMENDATION for a life well-lived and well-spent in service to His heavenly Kingdom? (B) The Reward of CHORES Now we don't normally think of chores as a reward, do we? We think of chores as something we have to do! But in heaven, chores is something we GET TO DO! Listen again to what Jesus said to those two faithful servants in Matthew He told both servants, Well done, good and faithful servant; (now listen) you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. (Matthew 25:21 and 23) If we are faithful to use the time, the talents, and the treasures the LORD has entrusted to us here on earth, He will reward us by ENLARGING our area of SERVICE and RESPONSIBILITY in heaven. In other words our faithfulness and diligence here will be rewarded with a heavenly PROMOTION!

10 (D) The Reward of The CROWNS The New Testament speaks of FIVE DIFFERENT CROWNS the LORD will reward to those who were FAITHFUL to Him: (1) The Crown of RIGHTEOUSNESS will be awarded to those who were faithfully waiting and longing for the coming of Christ. II Timothy 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, which the LORD, the Righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but to all who have loved His appearing. (2) The INCORRUPTIBLE Crown will be awarded to those who lived godly lives of self-discipline. I Corinthians 9:25-27 Everyone who competed for the prize is temperate (disciplined) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable (INCORRUPTIBLE) crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (3) The Crown of LIFE will be awarded those who patiently endured great trials, and persecutions, and even martyrdom. Revelation 2:10 But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.

11 (4) The Crown of GLORY will be given to faithful Preachers and Elders who were godly examples to the flock entrusted to their care. I PETER 5:2-4 Care for the flock God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly---not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don't Lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the CROWN OF GLORY that does not fade away. (5) The Crown of REJOICING will be given to those who were faithful in winning lost souls. I Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our LORD Jesus Christ at His coming? C O N C L U S I O N Is it really worth it to FOLLOW JESUS? Is it worth turning our backs on the world and forsaking the sinful pleasures of this world to FOLLOW HIM? Absolutely! C.S. Lewis once said, "...If we consider...the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures...like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." ( The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis) REVELATION 22:12 Jesus says, And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.

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