Summary: Biblical reasons we don’t go the 2nd Mile and the reasons that we should go the 2nd Mile. Powerpoint at website.
The Second Mile
powerpoint and formatted text at: http://www.gbcdecatur.org/sermons/SecondMile.html
Mt. 5:41 "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."
INTRODUCTION: This scripture is from the very well known passage of the “Sermon On The Mount”. This was very early on in the Christian life of the Disciples…just as we have lots of new believers and new members. Jesus said this is important for His disciples to get a handle on early in their Christian walk. Vs. 41 is the “Second Mile Verse”. Yet not many Christians apply themselves to this principle today.
To introduce the message today let me begin by explaining some of the wording and customs of the day in which the Scripture was written.
The word “compel” carries with it the idea of “a readiness and willingness to submit to inconvenience or unreasonable demands.” Listen to how Luke states it:
Luke 6:30 "Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again."
The Roman mile was 1000 paces or 1520 yards…a little shorter than the English mile.
“Twain” means two. In context this has reference to the Roman Army; if a Roman soldier demanded that a Jewish man carry his burden a mile, which was what the law specified, then Jesus said that he should carry it twain, or two miles.
But notice the wording that Jesus uses. He doesn’t say anything about a Roman Soldier. He says, “And whosoever shall compel thee”. To you and I today this would mean, “If a neighbor” or a “co-worker” or a “church member” would compel us to do a certain thing then we should do twice as much as they expect us to do.
“Go with him twain”. This requires a cheerful compliance with the Roman law.
Scripture tells us of another who was “compelled” as Jesus made His way to Golgotha:
Mat 27:32 "And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross."
Simon Cyrene had no choice but to carry the cross, but Jesus says the Second Mile will be up to our own volunteering.
The Second Mile will not be an enjoyable trip unless we do it for the Lord.
There are some things about the “Second Mile” that keep some Christians from traveling it:
I. THE SECOND MILE IS A LONELY ROAD
(Just the Lord and you.) Are you traveling the Second Mile, or are you the cause of someone else traveling the Second Mile? There are only two types of Christians on this roadway; those who travel the Second Mile willingly, and those who force others to travel it. (The Roman Soldier was the reason for Jewish boys to be traveling the Second Mile.)
It’s not crowded. It gets lonely on the Second Mile. Not many there that you can fellowship with.
Ill.--Like the NYC Marathon…many start, it’s packed at first, but not many continue, and few finish, and those who finish…finish alone!
But Jesus is there on the second mile.
And Satan is there also.
II. THE SECOND MILE NEVER ENDS
It has no ending marker. If you are following this radical philosophy of Jesus and someone asks you where you are at in your Christian life, you should answer them, “I am on the Second Mile.” You can’t say, “I am at the halfway point or three-fourths. There is no end to the Second Mile. The Bible never introduces a “Third Mile.” The good news is that if you are a Second Mile Christian you’re never “over the hill!” And the finish line may not be in sight, but we know it’s out there by faith, and will suddenly appear w/ a shout of an angel and the blast of a trump!
Let me ask you, “How long have you been on the Second Mile?” “Are you on the Second Mile?”
A Coast Guard crew was summoned on a stormy night to rescue survivors from a sinking vessel. One member of the crew was fearful: “Captain,” he moaned, “we’ll never get back.” “Our orders aren’t to come back, only to go.”
III. THE SECOND MILE WILL ALWAYS BE UNDER ATTACK
There will be a lot of land mines on this mile. There will be a few shots fired. There is always someone demanding you go the second mile for them. I find it is usually the same people over and over again.
A. From Satan.
1. He will be trying to lure you off to the side somehow.
2. He may use friends.
3. He may use family.
4. He may use fear.
B. From the “Seated”…We Can Expect Attacks From Those Who Refuse To Go The Second Mile. “Why are you always down there at the church?” “Look at Billy Brown-nose!” Or, the discouraging attack of the seated as they won’t help, won’t attend, won’t help make things a success. And yet will expect it to get done and complain and point fingers if not! It’s discouraging and lonely enough already, can’t you help?