How can you prepare for that if you don’t have courage now?
Know what you believe and why you believe it-
- Mark 13:9 “When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.
- This description of what will happen to Christians is a stark reminder of the end of the world scenarios and how those of us who are IN Christ, will not escape the attacks of those in this world who do not agree with us
- They are dynamiting churches in China this month. Churches in Chile being burned
- Don’t say its not possible. Its possible. Arrested in China for being a Christian. discipleship
- John 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
This happened in the book of Acts. Paul, Peter, Stephen
- Imprisoned, beaten, persecuted for their faith- They were on mission- out to preach the Gospel- and persecuted for their faith.
- This is part of the inheritance of being a Christian- Suffering and persecution.
If you don’t have any persecution and suffering as a Christian- I wonder how its going to be for you when they come for you. You might sell out some of your fellow Christians for your own comfort.
- Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
- You Must BE ABLE to TELL ABOUT JESUS
- Paul and Peter went to Prison for what they believed in- and they never relented- they stayed true to what they believed and preached.
- They had a worship service in Prison, they spoke out about Jesus to their captors!
- Jesus says “this will be your opportunity to tell them about me”
- But if you don’t know ABOUT Jesus- its going to be a VERY short conversation
- You must prepare!
- Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
Paul was prepared LONG before the opposition came- He knew what he believed!
- Shared the Gospel, people got saved. Walls came down
- This didn’t happen because they were half-hearted somewhat knowledgeable Christians.
- They knew what they believed, why they believed it, and were willing to die for it
- What does it mean to you?
- It’s a PRIVELEGE to be counted worthy to suffer.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer;
- Even now- as a Christian in America- you will suffer persecution
- You will suffer- with family, friends, neighbors, co workers, etc etc
- But if you’re not prepared for the impending destruction- God will find you lacking. discipleship
- People say that if their life was on the line, they could deny knowing Christ and still be saved.
- Some Christians believe that actually being willing to die for Christ would be the pinnacle of discipleship, that perhaps after years of being a Christian they might be able to work up to that level of faith. They have it backward.
Being willing to die for Christ isn’t the pinnacle of discipleship—being willing to die for Christ is the beginning of discipleship.
- Have courage and conviction now- be prepared to give an answer for what you believe
- 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
- Why do you believe in the resurrection? Why is the Bible the word of God? Who was Jesus and what did he do? What was the original sin and why does it matter?
- What prophecies can you point to that show that Jesus is messiah? Why does forgiveness of sins even matter?
- Story of young man when I was first saved- trying to share Christ- feeling approach- “you will feel better” he didn’t receive- no mention of Sin or repentance
- You must study your Bible. Know what it says and why it matters. You can’t have conviction without knowledge. discipleship
- Military- knowing the regs- able to speak intelligently about it- fm 22-5, AR 670-1, 600-9
You must maintain a Biblical worldview
- in spite of contrary views, a world that has relative reasoning and ungodly views, you must hold fast to a Biblical world view
- 8 questions. If you don’t hold to these- you do not hold a biblical world view. And if you don’t, you will not have conviction when they come to take you away.
- Do absolute moral truths exist? Is absolute truth defined by the Bible? Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life? Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today? Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned? Is Satan real? Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people? Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?
- Luke 9:23-26 are you going to deny yourself and follow Jesus?
Get used to speaking up NOW
- Mark 13:9-10 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 10 For the Good News must first be preached to all nations.
- This scripture right here is why Missions is Important- Preaching of the Gospel all over the world is what is going to usher in the return of Christ- we can’t all go, but we can all help. Pastor Robin in Pakistan- great example- our missions dollars are leading people to Christ- he is doing the work of an evangelist over there-
- Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
- As the Gospel gets preached- the end will come
- READ Acts 18:9-18
- You can see the example of this scripture, before the government, speaking up, getting beat,
- But PAUL Didn’t RELENT. He didn’t back down. discipleship
- Reading the book of acts is a great research into speaking up about Jesus and repentance and forgiveness of Sins.
- Acts 14:3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
What does it mean to you?
- Preach the Gospel NOW- Lead people to Christ NOW- Share the Gospel NOW
- Yes- this scripture says that Jesus will tell you what to speak, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t practice NOW
- Romans 1:16 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.
- Here’s the situation in America- most people want to “go out and share the love of God”
- There’s nothing wrong with sharing the love of God. There’s nothing wrong with serving people, that’s just not preaching the Gospel. That’s out doing good works.
- We should do good works. We should serve and love. But without a Gospel presentation, or a bridge to the church- its just out there doing good works
- Rotary does wells. Biker gangs hand out toys. Atheists spread bark. discipleship
- 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
- So caught up in Churchianity that you’re walking by the dead walking that you don’t care that they are going to Hell.
- How many people have become a Christian because of your influence? Personally led, brought to church, MINISTERED ONCE THEY GOT HERE
- Maybe you don’t have the courage outside the four walls- but this is your HOUSE- you should be a part of it inside HERE
- Don’t worry about seating, parking lots, access and air conditioning. Worry about SOULS
- God wants to speak the gospel through you NOW- are you being obedient to what he is telling you to say?
- IN this scripture- its not God speaking- its God speaking through YOU. You got to open your mouth. discipleship
- And its not speaking meanly about other people- its speaking up about God’s grace. His mercy. His love. His peace.
- Challenging divergent views that don’t line up with Scripture
- 2 Corinthians 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
- Don’t worry NOW about what is going to happen- THEN it will all be taken care of!
- Who of you can add an hour of your life by worrying?
- Matthew 6:27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
Build some GRIT NOW (He who endures to the end will be saved.)
- I’ve been thinking about this word Grit for a while. You either have grit, or the Lord gives you grit. discipleship
- Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
- Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?
- That scripture basically says, if you can’t handle being a Christian in a country where you are well fed, with a job, with no fear of physical harm, how are you going to make it when it gets hard?
Mark 13:12 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 13 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.[d] But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
- Everyone will hate you because you are A Christian. Your kids will get you killed.
- That’s some rough living!
- “But the one who endures to the end will be saved”
- If you can’t run with the horses- you have to build some courage now. discipleship
- Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
- Jesus is encouraging his disciples that those who ENDURE will make it. Not the quitters.
- to stay under (behind), that is, remain; figuratively to undergo, that is, bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere: – abide, endure, (take) patient(-ly), suffer,tarry behind.
If you stay ready- you don’t have to get ready
- What does it mean to you?
- Quit being a Christian who is totally destroyed by inconvenience
- I see it both. Mostly on facebook and church. People who go through it and are at the throne, and people that go through something simple and you don’t see them for months
- Am I picking on you? Nah. I’m just being honest. discipleship
- IF you don’t have the HS, you will not have any grit- and you will not be able to endure on your own.
- Christian fortitude is a by product of a life of the Holy Spirit filled with the word and conviction
- Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake.
- You have learn to depend on the power of the holy spirit NOW endure something
DON’T LET ANYTHING HOLD YOU BACK FROM JESUS, HIS CHURCH, OR HIS PEOPLE
- At least be intellectually and spiritually honest enough to admit you’re a quitter. Don’t hide behind your excuses. The only one who believes them is you. If you really wanted it you’d find a way
- Quit fighting over petty things. Be more forgiving!
- Quit being so selfishly consumed with your own problems. Put others FIRST
- Quit caving at the first sign of resistance- greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world
- Quit being half-hearted- Be whole hearted!
- Quit harboring unforgiveness
- Quit Fighting the Holy Spirit. discipleship
- Quit speaking against other Christians
- You’re a child of the king- act like it!
- I understand that you may not be courageous- you may not have been raised that way- but God is filling you up to prepare you for NOW and the FUTURE