Summary: Heaven will surely be worth it all? Yes! But it never hurts to be reminded of both the cost and rewards of discipleship.
"HEAVEN WILL SURELY BE WORTH IT ALL"
1. There is a song entitled "Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All"...
-- In "Hymns For Worship", it is song #253
2. As this song is sung, 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...
-- Rom 8:18
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
[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 - Luke 9:23-24
23Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
2. Before anyone else, including family - Luke 14:26
26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.
3. Before anything the world has to offer - Luke 9:25
25What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
B. WE MUST BE WILLING TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST...
1. We must be willing to bear our own cross - Luke 14:27
27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
2. Living in an ungodly world, we may find that following Christ sometimes involves ridicule and
persecution - 2 Tim 3:12
12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
a. The persecution may be physical - 1 Peter 4:12-13
12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
b. The persecution may be verbal - Luke 6:27-28
27“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
3. Other things we must endure for Christ’s sake:
a. Personal weaknesses in our struggle against sin - 1 Cor 9:27
27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
b. Disappointments brought on by failing brethren - 2 Cor 11:29
29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
1) Those who give sloppy service to God
2) Those who irregular attendance makes it difficult to depend on them
3) Those who unwillingness to serve creates extra burdens on those who do serve
4) Those 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. 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 - 2 Cor 11:23-25
-Worked much harder
-In prison more frequently
-Flogged more severely
-Exposed to death again and again.
-Five times received forty lashes minus one
-Three times beaten with rods
-Three times I was shipwrecked
-Spent a night and a day in the open sea,
2. Yet looked forward to:
a. A house not made with hands - 2 Cor 5:1
1Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
b. The riches of God’s grace - Eph 2:7
7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
c. A glorious transformation - Ph 3:20-21
20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.