Summary: Romans 12:14-21
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
In this consumer world everything is sold from toothpaste to politicians – and the way it is sold is by appealing to the dreams and desires of the people. Nothing bad is ever faced and disappointments are completely ruled out.
Selling is a big business today and unfortunately Christianity is also something that is often sold trying to appeal to the world and its ways. The sales pitch at times that is given goes, do you want to be wealthy, healthy and wise all you have to do is pray this magic prayer and make your “love offering” of $1,000 to us and God will give it all to you.
No wonder why so many people turn away from Christianity when these misleading promises do not come true. And when these promises don’t come true these poor people are told that their faith is weak or that their sin is interfering in a way that these blessings are being with held.
The reality is their dreams were shattered not because God was not fulfilling a promise, but because of lies told to them by some so called pastor or preacher looking to just get their own pot of gold any way they could, no matter what the cost. Some poor people giving up all they have, even sacrificing food on the table for their children, just to give that love offering for that deceptive promise that was told to them.
So what is the truth? The truth is that in biblical Christianity Jesus spoke often of the cost of following Him. He said that His followers would be hated, would be rejected and would be persecuted.
There is a sales pitch for a church, come let us help you come to faith in Christ so that you can be hated, rejected and persecuted. How many people do you think you can draw in with that one?
Listen I have talked many times about where our pot of gold is, and when we will get our perfect healthy body, and there is only one guarantee that I know of that is in the Bible and that is that we will receive our treasure and our perfect body when we get to heaven.
Now that does not mean that God can not bless us with these gifts while we are here on earth. God can do anything He chooses, and at times He will do these things in order to bring glory to Himself, and in bringing glory to Himself we may get a blessing from that.
But the guarantee we have is that we will receive these rewards in heaven with no guarantee that we will see these here on earth.
This Christian life is not about what we get while we are here on this earth, but it is about how well we are serving our Lord while we are here on this earth.
This life on this world is short but eternity in heaven is what it is all about.
We must always keep this in mind, sacrifice ourselves to God and to Christ for this short amount of time here on this earth, and then spend the rest of eternity in joyful, loving bliss with God and Christ in heaven.
Imagine if you will, it would be like being a teenager and your parents giving you an option of having a old Yugo to drive around now without needed to do anything, or if you just waited and had faith in your parents and what they were doing, did some chores around the house, and did what you were told, and served them well for a short period of time, then you would get a brand new Lamborghini, or a Ferrari, or maybe a Bentley depending on what your style is.
This Christian life does have the most unimaginable, incredible, eternal treasures, but it comes with a commitment, the commitment is that if you have faith in Christ, and are a loyal servant, that your treasures will be great in heaven. Your abundance of treasures are a reward for your abundance of servant hood here, they work hand in hand.