Summary: Some may look at the Christian life with its stresses and struggles and wonder if salvation is really worth it. But this message points out that what we have gained in salvation is well worth any struggles we might endure.
Is Salvation Really Worth The Struggle?
Text: Heb.2: 3; Ps.73: 1-24
Intro: The part of our text found in the book of Hebrews referred to salvation as ?great salvation.? The majority of the time probably most Christians would agree with that summation. However, there are times when we feel more like Asaph did in Psalm 73. Sometimes it seems like the unsaved and the ungodly are faring better than the children of God. We find ourselves beginning to wonder, ?Is salvation really worth the struggle? Why does it seem that my efforts to serve the Lord keep resulting in my getting the short end of the stick, while the devil?s crowd seems to prosper??
I suspect all of us have asked those questions at some point in our lives. But let us be careful to remember two things: (1) Any apparent or actual ease and prosperity of the ungodly is only temporary at best; and (2) The truth is that God says, ??The way of transgressors is hard? (Prov.13: 15b). The fact is, God sees all things as they are, not merely as they appear. Be rest assured, God is a God of justice, and He will give every man his just due.
Today I would like to examine some things that make our salvation so very wonderful, both in the present and in the future. There are a number of benefits enjoyed by the saints that the lost sinner knows nothing about. Sure, Christians have their troubles and problems. But when one accurately weighs what God has done for His children, they can only conclude that salvation is well worth the struggles of this life.
Theme: Salvation is worth the struggle because of:
I. OUR FORGIVEN PAST
A. Sin Once Ruled Our Past.
1. Sin once controlled our conduct.
Eph.2: 1 ?And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2a Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air??
NOTE:  As Paul explained it, one of the characteristics of our former sinful life was that we ?walked according to the course of this world? (v. 2a). The word translated ?walked? means, ?to live, to regulate one?s life, to conduct one?s self, order one?s behavior? (Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest?s Word Studies From The Greek New Testament, Vol. I, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Ephesians And Colossians In The Greek New Testament, pgs. 60-61). In short, when we were lost, we conducted our behavior according the ways of the world, which is under the control of Satan.
 When the sin nature is in control, it dictates a person?s actions, which can ultimately be deadly.
Radio personality Paul Harvey tells the story of how an Eskimo kills a wolf. The account is grisly, yet it offers fresh insight into the consuming, self-destructive nature of sin.
?First, the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood. Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder the wolf licks the blade in the arctic night.
?So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue, nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his own warm blood. His carnivorous appetite just craves more?until the dawn finds him dead in the snow!?
It is a fearful thing that people can be consumed by their own lusts. Only God?s grace keeps us from the wolf?s fate.
Chris T. Zwingelberg.
2. Sin once controlled our mental concepts.
Eph.2: 2 ?Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.?
NOTE: One might think that the word ?spirit? refers back to the phrase ?the prince of the power of the air.? However, it does not refer to Satan in this verse, but to ?one?s way of thinking and acting? (Ibid, pgs. 62-63). In essence, the idea here is a disposition of mind, which reveals itself in corresponding action. This disposition comes from Satan.
3. Sinfulness was our natural characteristic.
Eph.2: 3 ?Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.?