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Dublin Bible Church

Blessed in the One who Endures in Him

Kids: Hold breath, Rm-snakes (kissy), JC put w/, nvr quit; y? Love; remember

Announce/Reader (Psa 111)

Intro

Guars/promises:

Sanct: θ will make us holy, never rest, fthful to complete

Security: all will be w/, lose 0

Perseverence: 0 defeat kids, all true kids will persevere to end

Presence: with us always, never leave/forsake

In the Christian life, we have many guarantees from God – unconditional promises that are true for every single believer. One promise is the promise of sanctification. God promises to make us completely and truly holy. He guarantees us that he will be faithful to complete the good work he started in us, and that he will never rest from being at work in our lives to make us holy. Another promise is the promise of security. God guarantees that everyone that belongs to him will be with him eternally – that he would not lose a single one who belongs to him. Another promise is the promise of perseverance – that nothing will defeat his children, that all of his true children will endure to the end. Another promise is the promise of his presence. He guarantees that he will always be with us, even to the end of the age. He guarantees that he will never leave us no forsake us. God makes many guarantees for all who are his children in Christ.

So y not cocoon?*: insulate! (tired/sinful/old); [?]; mD (Dal), ^reflect, other proms

So, with all these great promises, why not just cocoon ourselves for the rest of our earthly lives and wait until Jesus returns? I mean, really … why not? God’s made all these great promises and he will fulfill them. So why not just wrap myself in a nice warm cocoon of insulation from this tired, sinful, old world and wait for God to come through? [open] [Include; We have a mission to fulfill to this tired, sinful, old world we live in; cocooning would not reflect the character of Christ, and we are called to reflect his character to this tired, sinful, old world; God makes other promises besides these – he promises blessings for those who endure and stand strong for Christ in this tired, sinful, old world.

Series: B1W: blv, char, lk4, walk, disc, endure

Our series is “Blessed R U” - looking at how we can experience God’s blessings in our lives more and more. So far, we have seen God’s word say, “Blessed is the one who believes in him” / has his character / looks for him / walks in his ways / is disciplined by him. Today, we will see that blessed is the one who endures in him.

Prayer

Xit: 3 blessings :: 3 kinds of endurance

We are going look at three brief passages today to look at 3 blessings that God promises for 3 kinds of endurance.

B1W Endures Pers (Lk 6.22-23; cf. Mt 5.10-11)

Endure: Pers: rej/abuse; big or small

The first type of endurance is to endure persecution. Endure the abuse and rejection that some people in this world throw at those who stand for Christ. Whether it is big, like threatening your life, or little, rolling their eyes at you when you even mention Jesus’ name or church, blessed is the one who endures persecution.

Xit: open, BG SoP, beat’s (skipped); Read Lk 6.22-23

Open your Bibles first to Luke 6. Luke 6 records a sermon by Jesus that is the same sermon recorded in Matthew 5-7, which we call the Sermon on the Mount, or it is a very similar sermon he gave at another location. In this sermon, he gives a list of “blessed are you who...” statements, most of which we looked at several weeks ago. But I purposefully skipped a few to cover later – this is one that I skipped. Read.

Share X’s suff’s 4his sake (22): JC*/share-plac; SG:when @u,^re u; strug; rep X

Blessed are you when you share Christ’s sufferings for his sake. A great deal of Jesus’ ministry was filled with people abusing him, cursing at him, and eventually beating and killing him, because of who he is. God knew that persecution would be a big part of what he would have to endure here. Blessed are you when you share that suffering, his suffering. When people cast insults at you … in his place. If he were here, they would direct most of that to him. But he’s not here in the flesh, so they direct it at you, and you are at that moment sharing in the suffering of Christ’s earthly ministry. And you’re doing it for his sake. It is for his benefit that you endure that abuse.

Our small group on discipleship just started a book on sharing Christ with others, and one of the points the book makes is that when someone says something derogatory to you because of your faith, it’s not about you. It’s about their own spiritual struggle. You are just the target of that struggle, which God is going to use to draw them. If that person is going to come to faith, it’s going to be through that spiritual struggle, and you have the privilege of taking the hit as God works on their heart. When that’s the case, you are representing Christ so much to them that they hurl their struggle with him at you.

Share the reward of the prophets (23): woo hoo! What kind of reward 4 Isa? Jer?

Not only do we endure by sharing in Christ’s sufferings, but we also share the reward of the prophets (v. 23). Woo hoo! What kind of reward do you think Isaiah is receiving right now? He was the prophet that God had walk around the city naked for 3 years in order to teach them what was about to happen to them, and you know what kind of abuse he got for his prophesying throughout his life. What kind of reward is Isaiah receiving? Or Jeremiah, who was thrown down into a water cistern because of his prophesying. What kind of reward is Jeremiah receiving right now? If we endure persecution, we share in the reward of the prophets. Woo hoo!

BG: Persecution

Then: none! intro Xn faith, JC knew RE boldly, insep; later / 1st C

At the time that Jesus preached this sermon, he and his followers were not really receiving much persecution at all. It was early in his ministry, and he hasn’t yet stepped on the right toes. And yet this is a key part of one of his earliest sermons that he gave to explain what it would be like to follow him. Jesus knew that persecution would not only be a part of his ministry, but of the lives of everyone who would follow him boldly. Following Christ boldly and being persecuted are inseparable truths. We know, of course, that soon after this sermon, Christians would suffer great persecution.

World today: 20th C / 21st; MoM; [map]; imagine

Today, that persecution has not stopped. In fact, the 20th Century saw more Christian martyrs than any of the 19 Centuries that preceded it combined. There was no time in history as hostile against Christianity as the last century, and this century will most likely set a new record. We’ve chosen the persecuted church as our missionary of the month, and next Sunday is the international day of prayer for the persecuted church. If you go to persecution.com, you’ll see this map of the restricted countries. These are countries that are so hostile to the Gospel that they have restricted the Gospel’s access to those countries. And strangely, some of these countries are predominantly Christian! But imagine living in a country where believing in Christ is illegal, punishable by imprisonment, torture, and death.

Us: [threat?]; char (judge); truth (hyp); intell (create); freedom (spch); “tol”

But how many of you expect to face those kinds of threats in your lifetime? Not many. And yet we still suffer forms of persecution for our faith, and in ways that are worsening year after year. People attack our character, calling us judgmental just because we dare say that some things are in fact universally immoral. They attack our commitment to truth when they call us hypocrites. They attack our intelligence by mocking anyone who would dare believe that all this stuff was created by an intelligent being. They attack our freedom by trying to deny Christian speech in the public arena. They attack us in a unique way, as we are quickly becoming the only group of people that society is allowed to be intolerant of.

Why squeamish/prevent-EV?: b/c make it RE us, AOT his sake

So why are we so squeamish about these mild forms of abuse? Why do we let it prevent us from standing up for Christ? Why do we complain so much when it happens? Sadly, because too often we think it’s about us. We’re worried about not being treated fairly, or worried about being embarrassed. Blessed is the one who endures persecution for his sake. For the sake of Christ. Making it all about him, not about us.

Endure > bear; = Being OK for his sake: so sure ^shrink; knowing makes uncomf

And this enduring that I’m talking about is more than just gritting your teeth and bearing up, just putting up with it. Truly enduring persecution means being OK with it. Being absolutely OK with being mistreated for the sake of Christ. Being so sure of the Gospel that rejection doesn’t make you shrink back. Knowing that the Gospel does in fact make people uncomfortable and makes them feel like lashing out at … something, someone, anyone … that you’re OK being the one they lash at out, because you know that if they ever come to Christ, then need to come through that struggle.

Blessing: KoH yours! (cf. Mt 5)

And what is the blessing for those who endure persecution?

KoH: home* + its benies; ID w/, more attached to; AOT KoW

The Kingdom of heaven is yours! The Kingdom of Heaven is your home, the place where you live. The kingdom and all its benefits are yours! When you endure persecution for the sake Christ, you are becoming more identified with God’s Kingdom than the kingdom of this world.

Great: ???, can’t wait

In fact, Jesus just says your reward is great. He doesn’t even explain what that means – just that it’s great! I can’t wait to find out what that means!

Woe if world OK w/you: (w=rej X) b/c id’d more w/world :: X

Blessed is the one who endures. And woe to you if the world is OK with you, doesn’t feel a need to persecute you. Because then you are, in their eyes, more identified with the world than you are identified with Christ.

BRU b/c sharing X’s affliction for Gospel: his bod (blows) until he returns

But those who endure are blessed because they are sharing Christ’s afflictions for the sake of the Gospel. We are acting as his body, taking all the body blows, until he returns.

CR: When some1 rejects u b/c of X, remembr pers’s soul will last >> ur pride

So, when someone rejects you because of Christ, whether it’s a big rejection or a little rejection, remember this: Your persecutor’s soul will last longer than your pride. What’s really at stake here? Your pride? No – his soul. Remember that it’s about saving his soul, not saving your pride.

Prax: [pers], [thots?]; not RE u (but don’t tell) / RV; BRU!

So, let’s practice. I’ll persecute you, and you respond: “I can’t believe you believe that drivel! You think you’re better than I am, but you’re not! I’ve seen you live your life. My company is not going to do any business with your company until you stop putting Bible verses on your brochures.” OK, now what thoughts should be rattling around in your head when this happens? [open]

Remember that it’s not about you. It’s about their struggle. Although, I don’t recommend telling them to your face, “I know this is really just about your internal spiritual struggle.” If you endure this for his sake, blessed are you!

B1W Endures Trials (Jm 1.2-4, 12)

Xit: 2nd, James BG: more pers

The second kind of endurance is enduring trials. Please turn with me to James 1. James was the half-brother of Jesus, and wrote after a fair amount of persecution had broken out against Christians. And in the very opening of his letter, he talks about this, and trials in general.

Endure: Trials

Trials make you perfect (2-4): complet→; prom!; x perf/how? (art/symp/ath/dess)

The first thing he says is that trials make you perfect. Read. Trials produce endurance, and endurance help make us perfect, or perhaps the better word would be “complete.” We never reach perfection in this life, of course, but trials take us in that direction. God uses trials for us to endure so that he can make us complete. Remember, that’s one of God’s promises – he will never rest from the task of making us complete, and he uses trials as a tool to complete that process. In fact, name anything that is as close to perfect as possible: a work of art, a symphony, an athlete, a dessert – how did those things approach perfection? Through trials! The statue is made by hammer and chisel. The symphony is made by hours and hours of music lessons, and then the difficult struggle of composition, and then rehearsal after rehearsal. The athlete approaches perfection by hours in the gym and brutal practice sessions. The perfect dessert means you had to take some eggs and break them and whip them! The chef has already gone through years of schooling and training and many failed desserts before making this masterpiece. How will Christians be made perfect? Through trials.

Trials make you authentic (12): ^OK, “genuine”; now imposters! More auth

Not only to trials make you perfect, but trials make you authentic. Read. This word “approved” in the NASB means more than just getting the A-OK from the principal, but that you are being shown to be genuine, being shown to be authentic. Right now, you and I are imposters! We stand before God declared to be righteous, but we’re not righteous. We’re imposters, sinners in saints clothing. God uses trials to make you more authentic, to make you truly holy to become more like the way that he has declared you to be holy in Christ.

What better plan for being perfected?: can joke/justify, but seriously

What better plan is there for being perfected? Do you have a better plan for being truly perfected and made more authentic? Oh, sure we can joke about it: My plan for perfection is for God to use the beach to perfect me. My plan is through pizza. We can even try to justify an answer: If God would give me more money, then I would have more time to praise him and serve him. If God would take away my illness, then I could do more for the church’s outreach ministries. But seriously speaking, do you have a better plan than God for reaching perfection other than trials?

Blessing: Crown of Life

And the blessing for those who endure trials? The crown of life (v. 12).

Crown: favor, vict, f’fulness; recog by King

A crown is something that is awarded to someone to show that they have the king’s favor. They are someone whom the king shows his favor to. Crowns were given to celebrate victory. Crowns were given to show some form of recognition by the king. The king will bestow crowns on those who endure trials.

Life: etern reward; must endure 4 this, Rev martyrs

What kind of crowns? The Crown of Life. This is referring to a reward that we would receive when Jesus brings his Kingdom. Many of the blessings we’ve talked about in this series are blessings we can have right here and now, but this one that is for when Jesus returns. It is a blessing for enduring, and so he can’t give that blessing until after we’ve endured. One thing you notice in the book of Revelation is that there are special rewards for those who have endured trials and persecution for the sake of Christ. There are extra rewards for those who endure.

Woe if we choose bypass θ’s trials intended to complete us: b/c miss proc/crown

But woe to us if we choose to bypass God’s trials that he intended to use in order to complete us, because we would be missing out on his process that he’s chosen to make us perfect and complete. And also missing out on that crown of life.

BRU b/c JC making you complete

Blessed are you if you endure various trials because in them, Jesus is making you complete.

CR: When trials, rememb crowns of gold are forged through fire; no other way (lay)

So,when various trials come, remember this: Crowns of gold are forged through fire. That’s how golden crowns are made – through the furnace of fire and hammers. There’s no other way to make a crown of gold.

Prax: [thots: scknss? dth? divorc? $? storm? child ^walk? reds?]; BRU!

Let’s practice. What thoughts should rattling around in heads when sickness strikes? Death? Divorce? Financial troubles? A storm that comes and wipes out everything you have? A child who’s not walking with the Lord? What about getting stuck at every single red light when you’re already late for an important meeting? (If nothing else, it gives you time to pray before that appointment!) When you endure various trials, blessed are you!

B1W Endures in Readiness (Lk 12.35-48)

Xit: 3rd(diff), BG: later, 1000's, Q; → hvn

The third kind of endurance is a different kind of readiness: enduring in readiness. Please open your Bibles to Luke 12. In this chapter, Jesus it’s a little bit later in Jesus’ ministry (but not as late as the time when James wrote his letter). Jesus has now been drawing thousands of people who want to hear him teach and be healed by him. Someone in the crowd asks Jesus to solve a family dispute over money, and he begins to draw their attention to more heavenly matters.

Endure: in readiness

Be ready for action (35): girded, ready even in dead of night; what for?

First, he says, “Be ready for action.” Read. Be dressed in readiness literally means to gird yourself. Take the long part of your robe and wrapped it up into your waistband so that you can run if you need to in order to get something done. Keep your lamps lit, so that you’re ready for action even if it’s in the dead of night. What action do we need to be ready for?

Wait 4 groom no matter hr (36-40): he's coming/???; what grm's servs do? Rdy4

The groom is coming … sometime. We don't know exactly when, but we do know that he's coming. What is it that groom's servants do? This wedding feast goes on for days – no telling when the groom is going to return with his bride, but when he gets home, he wants the house complete in order and ready for his bride.

Be a steward every hour til master returns (41-48): ^guessing when, be ready

Jesus teaches this with yet another parable – be a steward every hour until the master returns. Instead of guessing when the master is going to return, so that you can get ready just before he arrives, be always ready, every hour he’s gone, until the hour he arrives, because you don’t know when.

Pop final: quiz (t/sm) / final (T/XXL); PF (t/XXL) – diligent

You've heard of pop quizzes – a small test a teacher gives without notice. You know they can come at any time – you've been given fair warning, but you don't know exactly when they will come. You've also heard of final exams, the big test scheduled for the end of the semester that most of your grade depends on – the date of the final is known weeks in advance so we can prepare, but we end up cramming for the exam the night before anyway. But imagine if there was such as thing as a “pop final” - a huge test that can come at any moment, and your entire grade depends on it. We are told in advance that it can come at any time, but not when it will come. The teacher at the beginning of the semester tells us this with the fair warning that we should be diligent to always be ready, so that when the exam comes, we're not caught off guard and fail the course.

How? ^affairs in ordr (Q-man, soul); can't get soul rdy, bring to JC to fix; WG

How do we get ready for the arrival of the groom? If you think that being ready means keeping the affairs of your life in order, you are mistaken. That was the mistake of the man who asks Jesus to settle a family dispute. Jesus told a parable of a man who had his life in great shape, but he was a fool, because what was required of him by God was not an orderly life but his very soul. Being ready means that our souls are in good shape, that our treasure is in heaven, not here on earth. But you can't get your soul in good shape by yourself. You can't make your own soul ready for the return of Jesus. Jesus says that the only way that your soul can be ready is for you to give it to him and let him fix it. He can make your soul ready, if you put your faith in him. And if you're ready to do that today, I'm going to have Wil Graham come up in just a minute to help you make that choice today.

Eg: Wedding (35, imag if ^rdy); ppl were dressed up, but ^rdy

Lynne and I attended a wedding a couple of weeks ago – a wedding that had 35 people in the wedding party, bridesmaids, groomsmen, junior bridesmaids, junior groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, bell ringers – 35 people in all. But on the way to the church, apparently one of them got left at the hotel. So they had to go all the way back, pick her up, then she had to get ready. Had I known at time, I would have said, “34 out of 35 isn’t bad – let’s get started.” The wedding started an hour late. But 34 of those 35 were ready the whole time. Whenever the wedding was going to get started, they were dressed and ready for it. And the wedding went off beautifully. But imagine what would have happened to that wedding if they weren’t ready. They figured that it would take 2 hours to get this woman ready, so they started taking off their bow ties, setting their flowers down in places they would eventually forget, taking off their high heels, removing their make up, maybe tossing the ball around on the back lawn, working up a good sweat. In the case of Christ’s return, that wedding is going to go on anyway, and they would have missed out. There were people around Jesus who were all dressed up in the affairs of their life, but their souls weren’t ready for the wedding.

Blessing: The Lord will be your host

And what is the blessing for those who endure in readiness? The Lord himself will be your host. Reread 37.

The groom as our host: backwards, but priv of grac host takes care of evry nd

The groom Himself will be our host! Now this seems backwards, Jesus serving his guests. But think of it as Jesus hosting us. It is the privilege of a gracious host taking care of our every need. In his kingdom, all of our needs will be met, and Jesus will be the one meeting them. At at this Feast, if we’re ready, we’ll get the full benefit of that celebration.

Woe if JC shows up and you're not really expecting him: Host ^welcome

Woe to you if Jesus shows up and you're not really expecting him. The Host will not welcome those who are not ready.

BRU b/c party: animal

Blessed are you if you are ready, because then you will enjoy that great party, that great wedding feast. What greater partying can you do than the party with Christ, the King of all Kings and the ultimate party animal?

CR: When “live now”, remember it’s a wedding feast we’re getting rdy for

So when you think, “I wanna live now, and later, when I've got this out my system, when I'm older, then I'll get serious about Christ and become ready, remember this: It's a wedding feast we're getting ready for.

Not prax

We practiced the other two types of endurance (enduring persecution and enduring trials, but we're not going to practice this one. However, in just a minute, Wil Graham is going to come up and give you a chance for real to become ready today.

Sum: We Endure b/c We Love X

Not: b/c we gotta, more heroic Xn, suffering contest – left; not seek out / careless

Pers: to share with him in all things; he share w/us all things

Trials: crown for those who love; he loves so much – rather make perf > comfy here

Readiness: can’t wait for him to return; he hosts/make-fulfilled

His praise endures 4ever (Psa 111)

Why do we endure? We endure because we love Christ. We endure not because we have to – that it's just what we're supposed to do whether we feel like it or not. Not because we're more “heroic” Christians if we bravely stand tall in the midst of trials and difficulties. Not because when we became Christians, we entered a suffering contest, and the goal is to see who can suffer the most without breaking. We don’t seek out suffering and persecution, and we don’t want to be careless.

We endure persecution because we love Christ and get to share with him in all things, including his suffering, and he loves us and willingly shares with us all things. We endure trials because there is a crown of life for all those who love him, and he loves us so much that he'd rather make us perfect than make us comfortable while we're here in this temporary place. We endure in readiness because we love him and we just can't wait for him to return, and he loves us and wants to host us and make us completely fulfilled.

Concl

RV: HBD by: blv, adopt char, lk4, walk, embrace disc, endure

So, when someone tells you, “Have a blessed day,” we have learned so far in this series that we can be blessed by believing in him, by adopting his character, by looking for him, by walking in his ways, by embracing his discipline, and by enduring.

Insert

EV/prayer: Wil Graham

Order

  1. Praise and Worship

  2. Welcome/Prayer – Mike

  3. Song – Sing to the King

  4. Song – Give Us Clean Hands

  5. Children’s Time – Colby

  6. Announcements - Colby

  7. Scripture Reading – Emily

  8. Sermon -  Colby

  9. Song – Forever

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