Summary: This sermon is about becoming willing to attempt great things for the Kingdom of God
TITLE: WHEN I GET TO HEAVEN, I DON’T WANT TO BE THE ONLY ONE WITHOUT SCARS
TEXT: GALATIANS 6:17
1. I don’t know if anyone else ever wonders what it will be like in heaven, but I do from time to time. My thoughts about heaven are probably different than what some of yours might be. I think about the marriage supper of the Lamb, I think about seeing loved ones, I think about being in the presence of God, but I also think about scars.
Scar- a mark left (as in the skin) by the healing of injured tissue; a mark or indentation resulting from damage or wear.
3. I believe that when we’re in heaven we will display our scars like medals of honor in the same way that a soldier wears ribbons across his chest.
4. My fear is that we have embraced such a watered-down, easy to live version of Christianity that we will never be in a position to receive our scars. We have embraced the completely heretical teachings of prosperity preachers and now believe that God wants us all to be rich instead of trusting Him for daily bread, that there is no righteousness in suffering, and that everyone should love us.
5. The prosperity gospel that is widely accepted in American churches today stands in complete contradiction to what Jesus taught. Jesus said blessed are the poor in spirit, we say blessed are the rich in their bank accounts. Jesus said blessed are those who mourn, we say blessed are those who have no need to mourn. Jesus said blessed are the meek, we say blessed are the proud. Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, we say blessed are those who support the most ministries. Jesus said blessed are the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, we say blessed are the powerful, the big wigs, the top dogs. Jesus said blessed are those who are persecuted and insulted, we say blessed are those who popular and well liked.
6. The longer I’m involved in Christianity the more I want an authentic, Biblical Christianity no matter what it cost me. When I get to heaven I want scars. I don’t want to sit in the back with my head down knowing that I never risked anything, but I want to be able to sit at the same table as Paul and Timothy and take turns showing off scars. Scars are supposed to be a part of the Kingdom of God.
7. Lk. 21:12-19
12 But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 This will result in your being witnesses to them. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 All men will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By standing firm you will gain life.
21 They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Andrew- He is said to have been a missionary in Asia Minor and Greece, and possibly in areas in modern Russia and Poland. He was crucified at Patras (Greece) in AD 60. He suffered on the cross for 4 days, while preaching and encouraging the people gathered around him.
Bartholomew- He is said to have preached in India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Armenia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, and on the shores of the Black Sea. He was beaten, skinned alive, then crucified, and afterwards beheaded in Albanoplois, Armenia.
James, son of Alphaeus- He was beaten and stoned to death by the Jews at the age of 94; and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.
James, son of Zebedee- He is said to have preached in Samaria, Judea, and Spain. As he was led to the place of his execution, his accuser, seeing James’ extraordinary courage, repented and asked for his forgiveness. This man became a Christian and asked to be martyred with James. They were beheaded at the same time.
John- He is said to have founded churches in Asia Minor and baptized converts in Samaria. He was immersed in boiling oil. John was not killed by this event, so the emperor exiled him to the Island of Patmos.