Continued from last edition: of “YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE”
Kindly click below to read the previous edition👉🏼 “YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE”?
WHAT YOU WILL GAIN WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR LIFE FOR CHRIST!
Let me start by making it clear that no one who comes to Christ actually loses his/her life, but they submit their lives to save it through Christ. There’s no loss in Christ. What we consider as loss is the submission of one’s entire life to pass through the physical and spiritual process that aligns with the divine laws and principles of God that guarantees eternal salvation and rewards.
To the planet earth, this is a loss. But to heaven it is a process and a principle. And it is gain (Philippians 1:21).
LABOUR AND REWARDS
Without a reward of some-kind, no human being will get down to work or get involved in any activity that will require expenditure of energy, time, talent and treasure. It is natural.
This is exactly what Proverbs say, “The appetite of labourers works for them; their hunger drives them on.” Proverbs 16:26
And the Lord said , ‘I search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according his conduct, and to what their deeds deserve’ Jeremiah 17:10.
You can see that God Himself is fully behind the principle of labour and reward.
LOSING ALL FOR CHRIST
Peter and other Jesus’ Apostles, upon encountering Christ lose their lives for Him by placing Him above everything they were and had.
They left their businesses, work, families, wives, children, friends, enemies, social activities, nightclub, adultery, fornication, cheating, lying, injustice, just to name a few, to follow Christ. They left EVERYTHING to follow Christ! Did you take note of that statement by Peter? “We have left everything to follow you.”
However, confusion ensued among the apostles after Jesus answered a certain rich ruler who inquired of Him what he (the ruler) must do to inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:16-30). As a result of Jesus’ response to the man’s question, Peter reacted!
Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us? Matthew 19:27
Like Peter, many followers of Christ when life hit them hard, are forced to question the Lord, what will be my reward for all these sacrifices I’m making for the sake of the kingdom? “I have lost my job, I have lost my friends, I have lost my family, I have lost my …….
What becomes of me?
AND JESUS SAID
And Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his throne, you, who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribe of Israel. And everyone who has left his houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:28-29.
Jesus also answered similar question in the gospel of Mark 8:35. And He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me (valuing Him above all else)and for the gospel will save it.
In the last edition I explained what it actually means to lose one’s life for Christ. Among all, remember it also includes losing one’s physical life when the situation necessarily requires that, like in the case of Brother Stephen in Acts of Apostles chapter eight (8)and the Twelve Apostles of Christ except John the Beloved who later died a natural death after losing his life for Christ.
WHAT HAVE YOU LOST FOR CHRIST AND FOR THE GOSPEL?
Apostle Paul exclaimed, “But whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ….”
Every faithful soldier of Christ must have an injury.
If you are a true follower of Christ, there must be something you so much loved and engrossed to which you must have given up for the sake of following the Lord Jesus Christ, except you are a ‘fair-weather follower’(following Christ when it is convenient).
The assurance from the Lord for you that follows Him in season and out of season is that you will be rewarded far beyond how much you had given up or left for Christ’s sake and for the gospel. It can never go unrewarded.
Let’s list and analyze what Jesus said we will gain when we lose our lives for Him and for the gospel.
Jesus addresses His apostles directly and specifically for them at that moment He said, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things , when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, ( when the new heaven and new earth will come to be. Revelation 21) you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Mt 19:29)
The word “Judging” in this context simply means ruling, presiding, and governing. So the Apostles, for forsaking their lives for Christ and for the gospel, in addition to so many other rewards, will receive, and rule over the twelve tribes of Israel forever. This reward is specifically spelt out for “the twelve apostles”
Jesus addresses everyone including the apostles, his disciples, you, myself and all who will later believe in Him and follow Him. Whatever we left or lost to follow him -whatsoever it is, we will receive a hundred times as much. Mt 19:29
What have you lost for the sake of Christ and for the gospel? Jesus says to you, ‘You will receive it back a hundred times here on earth.’ This reward is going to be received here on earth as we journey from earth to heaven. Note: it will be given to those who have not given up their faith in Christ, who are still in the Lord Jesus Christ and are in active service of the Master.
“And will inherit eternal life” (Mt 19:29)
For losing your life for Christ and for the gospel, you will inherit eternal life.
You will be counted among those that will hear this word from the triumphant King of kings, Master of the universe, Jesus Christ, “Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Mt. 25:34)
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it”(Mk 8:35)
Take this again, “WHOEVER LOSES HIS LIFE FOR ME AND FOR THE GOSPEL WILL SAVE IT”
The word “SAVE” in this context is all encompassing. It covers a wide range of benefits which we are going to be explored line by line.
By valuing Christ above your life and everything else in your life, you would have saved your life.
What is the meaning of the word “SAVE?”
(Greek word ‘sozo’ which has been translated in the New Testament as follows :
In other words Jesus is saying, as you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you have SAVED your life, you have made yourself WHOLE (restored), you have HEALED yourself of every illness and disease, you have PRESERVED your life for eternal reward and you have made everything to go WELL with you in this life and in the life after. You have become God’s number 1 property. God’s eyes are always on you to favour you.
There’s a statement that Jesus dropped in the last verse of Matthew 19, and He said, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
Don’t give up your heavenly race! We are closer to the finishing line than when we set out.
What we just described as our rewards from the Lord is the little that the Lord enables our mind to comprehend.
It is written; “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
Our eternal rewards are indescribable, words can not express them. The only qualification is to remain faithful till the end.
By Romanus O. Obiekosi
•Author •Evang. •Singer/Music Coach.
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