Summary: Is it worth it to follow Christ? Is it worth it to live faithfully? Is it worth it to give faithfully? Paul’s answer is, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
This message is based on three verses: Romans 8:18, 26, 28.
The Bible states that those who sell out to Jesus Christ have the power of God at work within them. We’re not going to be living perfect lives. All of our lives, we’re going to be saying with Paul, "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" That’s going to be our lifestyle as we become more and more like Him but never making it. We’ll take one step forward, half a step back, two steps forward, one back; that’s going to be the Christian life. But we do have at our disposal the very power of God. That’s what our Scripture is about this morning.
It tells us, if God is going to save our lives, we must give our lives to Him to save. If He is going to mend our broken hearts, we must give Him all of the pieces. Then He can give us life.
We also learn through the example of the one who wrote this and through the words of this Scripture that if you have just a one-world view ... if you think life is only being born, living in this world, then dying, and it’s over ... there may be some advantages to being a follower of Christ, but there are far, far more disadvantages to being a follower of Christ. Here the word is telling us that, sometimes, people lose jobs because of Christ. Sometimes, people lose the love of someone very special to them because of Christ.
Through the years, because of Jesus Christ, many people have been persecuted and shut out, and they’ve suffered. A lot of people have died in this world, because they followed Jesus Christ and for no other reason. In fact, the man who wrote the verses that we will use for our text this morning later would be beheaded for the outrageous, scandalous crime of telling the world about Jesus Christ.
In light of that my question to you is: Is it worth it? Is it worth it to follow Christ? Is it worth it to live faithfully? Is it worth it to give faithfully? I’d like for us to look at three summary statements in Romans 8, vv. 18, 26, and 28. These statements will sum up what’s found in these Scriptures.
In verse 18: "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
Verse 26: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness."
And in verse 28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
A Few Scenarios
Let me paint a few pictures for you. A man in his forties had a good job, and he learned that his company was defrauding people and lying to and cheating his clients. He confronted his superiors with this and was promptly fired. He did this because of his Christian convictions. For more than a year, he was out of work. Was it worth it?
There was a lady who was asked to work on the Lord’s Day, on Sunday. She said to her boss, "I’d rather not do that, because this is the Lord’s Day. I want to teach my children that they need this one day in seven to feed their spirits, just like they need to feed their bodies." He said, "Are you going to work for me or for God?" She smiled and said, "Well, I guess I’m working for God." He said, "Is He going to pay you as much as I pay you?" She said, "He may not pay as much, but the retirement plan is a lot better." Was it worth it?
One family was faithful in the church. They were financially well off. In five years, they gave over ninety thousand dollars to the church. That’s a lot more than a tithe of their income. They would like to have a second home. With that money, they could have bought one. They have an eight-year-old car. It would be nice to drive a new one. And with that money they could have bought several. They could have taken luxury trips and vacations, but they decided that the better investment was in the kingdom of God through their church.
Is it worth it?
One pastor shared Christ with an Air Force general, someone who has the power to influence thousands of men and women. He came very close to receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior. His wife said to him, "If you decide to become a Christian, I’m going to leave you." He decided it wasn’t worth it, and he turned away from Jesus Christ, and will one day spend eternity in hell.