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Willing To Suffer

 

"HEAVEN WILL SURELY BE WORTH IT ALL"
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. There is a song entitled "Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All"...
   a. Words written by W. Olver Cooper
   b. Melody arranged by Minzo C. Jones
   -- In "Hymns For Worship", it is song #253
 
2. As I sing this song, two main thoughts come to mind...
   a. The many sacrifices faithful Christians must often make
   b. The glories of heaven and what is to come for those who remain
      faithful
 
3. The song proclaims that the rewards will surely be worth whatever the
   cost...
   a. As did Paul, in writing to the Romans - Ro 8:18
   b. And again, in writing to the Corinthians - 2 Co 4:17
 
[Will heaven be worth it all?  Yes!  But it never hurts to be reminded
of both the cost and rewards of discipleship...]
 
I. THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
 
   A. JESUS MUST COME FIRST...
      1. Before one's own self - Lk 9:23-24
      2. Before anyone else, including family - Lk 14:26; Mt 10:34-37
      3. Before anything the world has to offer - Lk 9:25; Lk 14:33
 
   B. WE MUST BE WILLING TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST...
      1. We must be willing to bear our own cross - Lk 14:27
      2. Living in an ungodly world, we may find that following Christ
         sometimes involves ridicule and persecution - 2 Ti 3:12
         a. The persecution may be physical - 1 Pe 4:12-13
         b. The persecution may be verbal - Lk 6:27-28
      3. Other things we must endure for Christ's sake:
         a. Personal weaknesses in our struggle against sin - 1 Co 9:27
         b. Disappointments brought on by failing brethren - 2 Co 11:29
            1) E.g., whose apathy and neglect produce slothful service
            2) E.g., whose irregular attendance makes it difficult to
               depend on them
            3) E.g., whose unwillingness to serve creates extra burdens
               on those who do serve
            4) E.g., whose murmuring hinders the efforts of those who
               try to do something
      4. Even if blessed to escape such things, we must still be willing
         to expend time and effort in promoting the cause of Christ in
         positive ways
         a. Sometimes alone, or with few to help
         b. Sometimes in difficult places, where few appreciate your
            efforts
 
[Yes, discipleship can be costly.  As the song suggests, we are often
"hindered", "burdened", with "trials, toils and tears" and "many a
heartache".  But the Lord tells us through His Word that "Heaven Will
Surely Be Worth It All"...]
 
II. THE REWARDS OF DISCIPLESHIP
 
   A. FROM THE PEN OF PAUL...
      1. A man who endured much hardship - cf. 2 Co 11:23-25
      2. Yet looked forward to:
         a. A house not made with hands - 2 Co 5:1
         b. The riches of God's grace - Ep 2:7
         c. A glorious transformation - Ph 3:20-21
         d. A crown of righteousness - 2 Ti 4:8
         e. A heavenly kingdom - 2 Ti 4:18
 
   B. FROM THE PEN OF PETER...
      1. A man who likewise suffered hardship - cf. 1 Co 4:9-13
      2. Yet looked forward to:
         a. An inheritance imperishable, undefiled, reserved in heaven
            - 1 Pe 1:4
         b. A new heavens and new earth, in which righteousness dwells
            - 2 Pe 3:13-14
 
   C. FROM THE PEN OF JOHN...
      1. A man who suffered tribulation and exile - cf. Re 1:9
      2. Yet was blessed to be shown:
         a. The bliss of those who were triumphant over tribulation - Re
            7:9-10,13-17
         b. The destiny of the redeemed, forever with God - Re 21:1-7,
            10-11; 21:22-22:5
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. Can there be any comparison...?
   a. Between a few years of service, even with hardship?
   b. And an eternity of bliss in the presence of God?
   -- "Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All"!
 
2. We have read the words of those like Paul, Peter, and John...
   a. What if they could return and speak to us today?
   b. What if our loved ones who died in Christ could return and speak
      to us today?
   -- Would they not tell us, "Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All"?
 
Whatever the cost of following Jesus in this life, may the words of this
song and the promises of Holy Scripture remind and comfort us to be
faithful and persevere...
 
   "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
   For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will
   of God, you may receive the promise:" (He 10:35-36)

 

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