Matthew 10:28-33 (All verses in NKJV)
– Matthew 10:28-33, And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
– Jesus is sending out his 12 Disciples to all the cities and villages to heal the sick, cast out demons, and preach the gospel. They are to declare to the Jews that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
– He has told them they will face persecution and people will betray them. They will be kicked out of the synagogues and may even be arrested, but Jesus says to them…
– Matthew 10:22, And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
1. There is a fate worse than death.
– Matthew 10:28, And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
– Hell: The word being used here is the Greek “Gehenna”, which originally referred to a valley outside of Jerusalem where some of the Kings of Judah worshipped idols, and sacrificed their own children by fire to the Canaanite god Molech.
– It was considered cursed, and was renamed “the Valley of Slaughter” before it was eventually destroyed by King Josiah.
– Judah was exiled to Babylon for 70 years, and upon their return, the Valley of Slaughter was re-purposed from a place of infanticide to an ever-burning rubbish heap. It became a place where corpses of criminals, dead animals, and all types of waste were thrown to be destroyed.
– The Gehenna Valley was now a place of burning sewage, burning flesh, and maggot infested garbage. Utterly filthy, disgusting, the smell was sickening and the smoke burned their eyes.
– This is the image Jesus used here as a depiction of hell, and eternal separation from God.
– “Do not fear man” because the worst they can do is kill you. Can we even understand a concern like that within the context of our culture? Death!?
– Example: When I joined the USMC, I had no reason to fear death on the battlefield. It was possible but seemed highly unlikely. That is a totally different story than post 9/11.
– Example: India 2019: Hostile to Christians, describe trip, splitting up the team, preaching in the tea gardens and outskirts, hearing their stories: Pastor kidnapped and hung from rafters of his church, prominent family dragged out of their house and beaten to death…
– There are many places your Christian faith can get you killed. Pray for them! 10:40am
– Romans 8:31-39, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– We are told to “fear God”, the one who could destroy your body and soul in hell.
– Psalms 147:11, The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.
– Godly fear is having the utmost adherence to, awe and reverence for, highest respect possible of his person and power. God should be your only concern, and you should want to please Him only.
– The fear of the Lord should NOT make you paranoid, worried, or anxious, walking on egg shells.
– Talking about hell is not a threat, but only a reminder of the grave consequences of sin.
– It should keep you from becoming lukewarm and complacent in your faith. “Scared straight!”
– When I was a kid, I once asked my youth pastor, “Where is the line between what is sin, and what is not?” He told me, “The goal is not to find the line, but to stay as far away from it as possible.” The truth of hell should help you to do that!
– Bodily harm is bad, but spiritual harm is worse.
– Psalms 27:1-3, The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. 3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.
2. You are valuable to God. He loves you and wants you on His team.
– Matthew 10:29-31, Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
– God cares about the details of your life! Example: The caste system in India, there are many gods, but Jesus is a God for the peasant class only. Upon salvation, you will drop to the bottom of society.
– The peasant class is worthless, throw-away, no value, no future, no opportunity. Nothing.
– If you become a Christian, you can literally be giving up everything for your faith.
– These words from Jesus mean more to them than I think I could ever understand…
– Matthew 6:25-27, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
– Few verses display God’s love for us better than this verse in Romans. (My dad’s favorite verse)
– Romans 5:6-8, For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
– Be confident that God loves you, cares about you, and has a plan for your life!
– Phil 1:6, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
– Psalms 139:13-14, For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
3. Because you don’t fear man, confess Christ with your words, and your life.
– Matthew 10:32-33, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
– To “confess” means to declare, acknowledge, profess, or admit. In these verses it pertains to a behavior pattern or lifestyle, not one single confession or denial. Consider Peter and Judas.
– Peter gave one of the most famous denials of Jesus. In a weak moment he chose self-preservation over identifying with Jesus, but he recovered, served well, and was saved.
– Judas did ministry side by side with Jesus, and presumably identified himself as a follower, confessing Christ from time to time, but also betrayed Jesus, denied him, and is now in hell.
– This is not a “formula” and doesn’t rely on a special liturgy or passages. This is heart condition, personal motivations, and spiritual convictions. You don’t go to heaven or hell on a technicality.
– Don’t look for exceptions to the rule, or focus on far fetched scenarios, using them as excuses.
– Confession requires understanding and believing that Jesus is who the Bible says he is, then telling others that you accept those concepts as true. Then living your life like you actually believe it.
– Be focused on honoring and obeying the Savior, not striving to achieve 100% of the minimum.
– “Confessing Christ boldly” may not look the way you think it would:
– Example: India teaching S.A.I.L. students, preparing for missionary work in their home countries.
– 3 young men from Bhutan, closed country, illegal to evangelize, accusation could get you jail.
– Their confession of Christ comes through building relationships and trust with those they serve, then opening themselves up to the consequences when they talk Jesus with them.
– If they stood preaching on the street corner and were immediately thrown in jail, what would it have benefited the Kingdom, or the lost people Jesus came to save?
– When you “come out of the closet” and are openly Christian, it may make you feel like an outsider, or get you teased and talked about behind your back, and even chastised when you fall short in life.
– But, if you are willing to accept the consequences, people will come to you for prayer in their greatest time of need. When they need Jesus the most, you will be there to share the gospel with them.
– Don’t be too proud to be seen as weak if that means that God will get the glory.
– James 4:10, Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
– You must confess Christ to have salvation. Accept, Believe, Confess, Repent….
– Romans 10:8-11, But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
– 1 John 4:15-16, Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
– Finally, Confess Christ and preach his gospel proudly! It led to your salvation and eternal life.
– Romans 1:16-17, For I am not ashamed of the gospel ]of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
– Please come out to church this Wednesday night to hear more about this from Pastor Jeremy.
– prayer –
Pastor Jay Alexander preaches on Confess Christ. Please share online for others to see.
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