Summary: When God calls us to Count the Cost and to Pay the Price, He has a Reward awaiting us. We should be anxious to Reap His Reward!!
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.