Summary: Fear not. Persecution promised. Murder promised. God will be with them (YOU).
A. We live in a small town where we have a volunteer Ambulance Corp. We are blessed with many dedicated and fully qualified attendants, who staff our ambulances and give freely of themselves. I was chatting with one of the EMS responders one day and she could hardly stifle a chuckle, so I asked her what was so funny and she told me this story...
1. It seems that she had gone to an automobile accident and was checking a patient who was lying on the road for injuries. As she knelt beside him and probed him, she asked, "Does this hurt or does that hurt?" After each probe, he replied, "No." When she had nearly completed her examination, she shifted to a better spot from which to finish the examination when after one of her probing questions, he exclaimed very loudly, "That hurts!"
2. When she asked where, he looked up at her with a look of real pain on his face and said, "Your kneeling on my fingers!"
B. We are continuing to examine the passage here that we started last Sunday
1. Jesus in His instructions to His Apostles brought up these things
a. Christ said three times, "Fear not" in verse 26, 28, 31
b. He was encouraging His disciples not to fear persecution
c. They must expect persecution, for He Himself was persecuted
C. This section of Scripture may be out lined like this
1. First, there is the fact of persecution (v.24-25).
2. Then we are admonished not fear persecutors (v.26-27)
3. Then do not fear men who kill the body (v.28)
4. Then do not fear, for God cares, supremely so (v.29-31)
5. And the conclusion to all this is loyalty is essential (v.32-33)
a. We turn again to Matthew 10:28
A. Do not fear mortal men who can only maim and kill the body
Matthew 10:28 (NKJV)
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
1. This little bit of humor comes from Dr. George Sweeting, at one time, President of Moody Bible Institute: Dr. Sweeting tells of the day he noticed an unusual combination of bumper stickers on the car of a man who was visiting the school. The coincidental message conveyed by the two stickers prompted Dr. Sweeting to suggest to the unsuspecting visitor that he might want to remove one of them. One read: JESUS IS COMING! and the other: ESCAPE TO WISCONSIN. What no wrath in Wisconsin?
a. Turn to 2 Timothy 4:2
2. We are to be too busy to worry about people who can only kill the body
2 Timothy 4:2 (NKJV)
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
3. The second word of encouragement is this: do not fear men who kill the body.
a. We are not to fear humans, but to fear God
(1) Turn to 2 Corinthians 5:8
b. The reason is simple and understandable: men can kill only the body; God can destroy both body and soul "in hell"
c. There are several reasons why men are not to be feared
(1) Men can kill only the body, not the soul
(a) Their power is limited and they can go no further
(b) They cannot touch a person's soul, a person's real being
(2) Men can only send us out of this world, not out of heaven
2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV)
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord
(a) Turn to Philippians 1:23
Philippians 1:23 (NKJV)
For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
d. Men can only separate us from this world, not from life
(1) We have eternal life; death, that is not the second death, is not part of the experience of the believer
(a) Turn to Hebrews 9:27
Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
(2) The believer does not taste death
(a) Turn to Hebrews 2:9
(b) Christ tasted, that is, experienced death for the believer
i) The believer has already passed from death to life and is in the process of living forever
Hebrews 2:9 (NKJV)
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
ii) He is merely transferred from this world, the physical dimension of being, into the next world, the heavenly or spiritual dimension of being