May 23, 2015

You are Serving the Lord Christ.

Tomorrow I am preaching the final message in a series that dealt with the points of our (Edgewood Baptist Church's) statement of faith. When I began this series, I thought that I would be able to wrap it up in a few weeks. I was planning on combining several of the points from the statement into single messages. I actually thought it might be a tad bit boring if I wasn't careful... and I really just wanted to use these points as a sort of filler until I started to exposit through the next book of the Bible. ... boy was I off ...

With each point of our statement, our confession of faith, I have found it to be a struggle to condense that point to just one week. It has been exciting. It has been enlightening. There are several things that I have learned, that I genuinely didn't know or didn't believe before I began this study. Well, tomorrow is not different.

We will be dealing with the final point, which is the reality of the return of Christ Jesus to this world. It is dealing with end times... last things. Over the past week, as I have studied this point, examining the relevant passages of scripture, I am genuinely being motivated to continue in the work of the ministry. As I have looked at how Jesus (and the Apostles) talk about the End, when we will see Him, it has been an encouragement to keep at it, because quite frankly... He is going to reward us.

Consider John Frame's words:

Some philosophers, such as Immanuel Kant, have thought that to do good for the sake of a reward is wrong, immoral. They have thought that we really ought to do our duty for duty's sake, without any thought of reward. But that's not scriptural. Over and over again, Scripture motivates our good works with promises of reward. There is, of course, the promise of eternal life itself to everyone who believes (John 3:16; Romans 2:7). And that eternal life is a life of happiness, inheritance, possession, as we have seen. If we serve Christ faithfully, we will receive a reward (I Corinthians 3:14). Paul says in Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
John Frame, Systematic Theology, pg 1081

Jesus had no issues promising eternal rewards to those who seek Him. Quite often, that is the very reason why He gives to do the right thing. Consider for a moment the reason to love your enemies... the reason Jesus actually gives.

You probably don't know what it is, do you?  Look it up and see if there is a reward. It is found in Luke 6:35... if you are wondering where Jesus stated this well-known command.

What did He say?

Here is the real kicker... when you read this passage... and others like it... (Matthew 25:13-30; I Corinthians 3:12-15) you will get the distinct impression that there are degrees of rewards and blessings in heaven.

Chew on that for a bit... and work for your King. He is coming back.

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