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Risking all for the sake of the gospel

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Presentation on theme: "Risking all for the sake of the gospel"— Presentation transcript:

1 Risking all for the sake of the gospel
2 Timothy 2:1 – 3:7 Risking all for the sake of the gospel Grateful to God for my Christian upbringing Sometimes I wonder what my parents were thinking This is how I was taught to pray

2 Gentle Jesus meek and mild Look upon a little child Pity my simplicity
Suffer me to come to thee Lord keep me safe this night Secure from all my fears May angels guard me while I sleep Till morning light appears What mentality is this producing in our children? We would do much better to encourage our children to read “The chronicles of Narnia”

3 C.S. Lewis The lion, the witch and the wardrobe
Is he safe? No-one said he is safe, but he is good

4 We live in a safety-mad world
Health and safety at work and church This thinking has crept into the church Avoid stress, “burn out”, danger, offence Christian counseling, psychology, psychiatry Top priority is to “look after yourself” Want to redress the balance In addressing this imbalance, we are not going to explore the valid use of these things but we do not want to go too far We must recognise that God promises blessings, safety and security to Israel if they obey him, but this does not mean that they are not called to take risks God can’t take risks

5 Historical perspective
For most of the history of the church, being a Christian has been unsafe Being a missionary, even today is unsafe The Bible continually talks about how to deal with opposition, persecution and suffering Transition: When I was younger, we used to hear a particular quote but I can’t remember who it was that originally said it. It was very popular and appeared on posters etc…

6 would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Challenge If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

7 Following Jesus wasn’t safe
Calling the disciples Jesus clears the temple (John 2) Sending out the 12 (Mark 6) Sending out the 72 Jesus sent his disciples into a storm Jesus called us to take up our cross Count the cost Rich young ruler Luke 9: Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Matt 10: "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law — a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.‘ "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.“ Luke 14: And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.‘ "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Rich young Ruler – Matthew 19

8 Following God in Old Testament times wasn’t safe
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph Moses Ruth David Joab and Abishai Esther Daniel Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Ruth & Orpah Arameans & Amonites 2 Sam 10: Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him; so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans. He put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai his brother and deployed them against the Ammonites. Joab said, "If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to come to my rescue; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to rescue you. Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.“ Esther 4:16 – if I perish, I perish

9 It was no safer in the early church
Peter and John before the Sanhedrin Stephen Paul Acts 4: Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.“ After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. Acts 9: "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.“ But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.“ 2 Cor 11: Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

10 Risking everything for God
God can’t take risks because he knows and is in control of everything We do not have perfect knowledge or control so we can Eternal perspective Obedience Which is the greater risk: living your own way or living God’s way? Safety is a mirage – a lie Pascal’s wager 3 pictures in todays passage: soldier, athlete, farmer Mark 9: "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where "'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.' Luke 12:4-5 – “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

11 So what? The greatest risk is not trusting Jesus as saviour
The thought of a life without risk is a deception Are we willing to risk everything to gain an eternal reward

12 Comments and questions?

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