Reap the Reward
September 15, 2002
Illust: Playing house as a kid. Boy recited “In the name of the Father, and the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the republic for which it stands”
This gives us a good idea of the what the term “dual citizenship” means.
As Christians, we are in this world but not of this world.
The Philippian people could relate to the idea of having a dual citizenship.
1. They were citizens of Phillipi in Macedonia, but also a colony of Rome which was 600 miles away.
a. They understood that the city of Phillipi was a part of something much greater.
2. Julie and I get our mail at our physical address in WC, (temporary address) but our citizenship is in heaven (permanent address)
3. We need to understand that as Christians, we have a dual citizenship
a. Our temporary address in here where we live, but our permanent address is out of this world.
I want to go back to vs 14 where Paul says “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high call of God in Jesus Christ”
1. This reminds us that in our Christian lives, we pursue a prize or a goal.
2. We are to live our Christian lives in such a way that it shows the world that our single most passion is to be like Christ.
a. That’s the prize
b. That’s the goal
c. Grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with Him.
d. We have been called to move on to a life of faith and obedience and hope.
3. Go back to vs 8, Paul says “I count all things but loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (rubbish), that I may win (gain) Christ…”
4. Paul lived a life pursing the likeness of Christ.
a. He wanted Christ to be seen in his life.
b. That should also be our passion, our pursuit, our common goal in our lives as believers.
5. But it seems that we live in sort of a non-committal period of time.
a. We are more concerned about our emotions than about our productive efforts.
b. We are much more into comfort than accomplishment
c. We are moving into a culture and society without goals, without responsibility, accountability
d. These type of attitudes are pouring into our churches.
e. I believe that the church is suffering from apathy and a lack of faith.
i. We believe in what WE can do and not what GOD can do.
ii. We have acquired an “I don’t care” attitude that is contrary to the Word of God.
iii. I don’t have to live like Christ, that’s the Pastor’s job.
iv. I don’t have to win people to Jesus, that’s the Pastor’s job.
v. I don’t have to disciple new Christian’s because that’s the Pastor’s job.
Some people are eager to see their pastor "find another church." In Your Pastor and You, author Richard DeHaan has some excellent tips for vacating the pulpit. First, say "Amen!" once in a while, and he’ll preach himself to death. Second, encourage him and brag on his work, and he’ll probably work himself to death. Third, offer to help out with the ministry of the church and request the name of a person with whom you could go share the Gospel--your pastor just might die of heart failure. Or, finally, get the church to unite in prayer for the preacher, and he’ll soon become so effective that a larger church will take him off your hands. If we terminated more apathy and fewer pastors, we would see greater results.
6. As a church, we need to care, just as Christ cared, for people.
I. As Citizens of Heaven, We Need to Weep for the Enemies of the Cross
1. Notice that Paul wrote this passage while weeping. (vs 18)
a. He was concerned about people who are deceived from knowing the truth of the cross.
b. Satan has deceived the world today so that they don’t know what truth really is anymore.
c. We are confused about what is truth and what is not.
d. We have courts telling us that we can’t trust in God.
e. We have schools that have taken God out.
f. We have changed our curriculums to adapt to the ideals of the world views.
g. We have found a new way to communicate by speaking in a “politically correct” way.
2. I am probably going to be politically incorrect this morning by telling you that the truth of the gospel is that no matter how nice we are, no matter how courageous we are, no matter how popular, how rich, how famous, how influential, how high on the status rung we are, no matter how religious or how faithful, or self righteous, we are . . . ALL WHO HAVE NOT BELIEVED IN THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS RESURRECTION AND HAVE RECEIVED HIM AS LORD COMMITTING THEIR LIVES TO HIM ARE ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
3. Some people say, “well, don’t say that about me. . . I go to church, I believe in God, etc”
a. There are people who truly believe that they are doing all the right things.
b. They are not offending anyone, or misusing God’s name.
b. But they are just being politically correct and not Godly.
c. They are enemies of the cross.
4. The only way to be pleasing to God, the only way to be right with Him, the only way to get to heaven, is by being a friend of the cross of Christ and turning the reigns of your life over to Him.
a. The cross is the key that opens the gates of heaven for all who believe.
5. Vs 19 tells us that most people serve their bellies (desires, doing what “feels good”)
a. They serve things of this world, things that they should be ashamed of.
Mark 8:36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
b. Their mind is on earthly things, not on the things of the Lord.
Satan has deceived us into thinking things that are contrary to the Word of God.
c. We give satan too much credit in terms of power.
i. The only power he has is in the lie.
ii. Jesus said John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of all lies.
d. Outside of Christ, we are not free because we are slaves to sin and to Satan.
i. The world says
“You gotta be young and beautiful”
“You gotta be popular”
“The one who dies with the most toys wins”
“Christianity is just a crutch for weak minded people.”
“If it feels good, just do it”
“If it’s on TV or in the newspapaer it must be truth”
e. But as citizens of heaven, we are free from sin and the power of it.
f. We need to commit ourselves to the truth because it is the TRUTH that will set you free.
i. The truth is: We need Jesus. Without Him I could do nothing, without Him I surely die.
II. As Citizens Heaven, We Have a Future
1. We said earlier that as a child of God, our citizenship is in heaven right now.
a. We are just away from home for awhile soon to be united with Christ in heaven.
Vs 20 For our citizenship is in heaven; from which also we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
2. We can never qualify on our own to be citizens of heaven.
a. In God’s eyes, we are sinners and our sin becomes an obstacle to citizenship in the kingdom of God.
b. Sin is the barrier in our relationship with God – and somehow we have to find forgiveness.
c. And that forgiveness is only found through the blood of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
3. Through Jesus Christ we can have a blessed hope.
a. The hope that is placed in Jesus knowing that one day He will return to call His children home
People think of many ways to work their way to heaven.
He is Not a good way, best way, great way, but the ONLY way to heaven.
4. Jesus shouldn’t be priority in our lives --He should be preeminent!
a. It isn’t enough just to turn from sin and the desires of this world, we need to actively and purposely turn to God and live for God on a daily basis as we take up our cross and follow Him.
5. Folks, as Christians we have a fantastic future.
Years ago, a hydroelectric dam was to be built across a valley in Maine. The people in the town were to be relocated, and the town would be submerged. During the interim time between making the final decision and actually evacuating the people, the town, which had once been well-kept, fell into disrepair. The townspeople saw no reason for maintaining their town. One resident said, "Where there is no faith in the future, there is no work in the present." We must have some hope for the future. With Jesus Christ, we can!
III. As Citizens of Heaven, We Should Strive to Reap the Reward that Awaits Us
1. There is an eager expectation of Christ’s return.
2. As each day begins, we should be watching the eastern sky, expecting Christ to fulfill his promise.
3. Our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly wait for Him to come and (vs 21) transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.
4. This is what motivates us.
a. We want to see Jesus
b. We want to hear the words, “well done my good and faithful servant”
c. We are ready to receive the rewards that He will be bringing with Him when He returns.
d. We are anxious for the eternal glory that awaits us as we set around the throne of God and worship.
5. Don’t get caught up in the glitter of the world when glory awaits.
a. Don’t be concerned with the comforts of the world when they are only temporary.
b. Don’t worry about the unpleasant times that you have while your living this life when one day, we will have no more sorrow, pain, suffering, defeat, sadness, disease, death.
6. GLORY AWAITS!!!! Reap the Reward
a. As a child of God, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Reap the reward.
7. CHRIST IN HEAVEN AWAITS!!! Reap the Reward
a. Christ is of heaven, in heaven, heaven is His place, He is ours, we are His, and if that is the case, Heaven is our place too. Reap the Reward!
John 14:2-3 In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
8. Jesus said, “I’m going away to prepare you a mansion and when I’m ready, I’ll come back to get you and take you to be with Me.
a. So we are waiting for Christ….not an event, but a person…Jesus Christ.
b. Believers, we are citizens of heaven because of Jesus.
c. We have been born into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:
Luke 6:23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven:
Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.