Sermon #53 Series: Matthew
Title: A Foolish Question Graciously Answered
Text: Matthew 19:27-30
Subject: Christ’s Recompense to His Followers
Date: Tuesday Evening - August 8,1995
Tape # R-64
After seeing and hearing our Lord’s conversation with the rich young ruler, who refused to give up all and follow Christ, the disciples appear to have had another discussion about rewards and prominence in the kingdom of heaven. Though Peter was the spokesman, he was clearly speaking for the rest of the disciples. We know this because when the Lord answered his question we are told, “Jesus said unto them” (v. 28) When Peter said, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” it was as though he said, “Master, we have done what the rich young ruler refused to do. What shall be our reward for forsaking all and following you?” Foolish as the question was, our Lord graciously answered it; and by it gives us much needed instruction in the way of life and faith.
Proposition: Though the cost of following Christ may appear to be very high, the reward of following him is infinite beyond measure, both in this world and in the world to come.
I. Those who follow Christ must forsake all and follow him.
Faith in Christ is such a trust in him, such a confidence in him that those who are born of God, those who are true believers are in the totality of their lives committed to him. Faith in Christ surrenders all to Christ. He is that Pearl of Great Price for which a person gladly sells all that he has (Matt. 13:44-45).
Faith in Christ is not believing facts about Christ, but believing Christ. It is not trusting that he will save you, but trusting him. It is the surrender of my life to the rule, dominion, and disposal of the Son of God. Until we can truthfully say, “We have forsaken all and followed thee,” we are lost, without life, without faith, without hope, under the wrath of God.
“No man has truly given himself to Christ unless he has said, ‘My Lord, I give thee this day my body, my soul, my powers, my talents, my goods, my house, my children, and all that I have. Henceforth, I hold them at Thy will, as a steward under thee thine they are. As for me, I have nothing. I have surrendered all to thee.” – C.H. Spurgeon
Faith in Christ involves three things:
A. The Knowledge of Christ, His Person and Work – Hence the Necessity of Gospel Preaching (Rom. 10:13-17)
B. Assent to God’s Revelation Concerning His Son (I John 5:1).
C. Surrender or Commitment of Myself to Christ The Lord.
II. That which most effectually keeps people from this commitment of faith to Christ is the love of the world (Matt. 19:23-24; James 4:4; I John 2:15).
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24).
Nothing on the earth is more dangerous to a man’s soul than riches – (Matt. 13:22) Read the Savior’s words again (vv. 23-24).
“Few of our Lord’s sayings sound more startling than this; few run more counter to the opinions and prejudices of mankind; few are so little believed; yet, this saying is true, and worthy of all acceptation. Riches, which all desire to obtain, - riches, for which men labor and toil… riches are the most perilous possession!” – (J.C. Ryle)
Beware of the love of money! It is possible to use it well and do much good with it. But few people do! For every one that uses wealth for the glory of God and the good of men’s souls there are thousands who make a god of their gold and serve it. Make sure you have treasure in heave.” Money does not make a man good. Only grace can do that. God does not measure a man by the money he has in the bank, but by the grace he has put into his heart.
NOTE: Wealthy people are not to be envied, but pitied!
Illus: Whitefield – “Pray for the young man. He has incurred a very great temptation.”
III. Yet, we must never presume that the rich cannot be saved (Matt. 19:25-26).
God’s grace is sufficient for the rich as well as for the poor. God the Holy Spirit can cause even the riches of men to seek treasure in heaven. He can cause kings to cast down their crowns at the feet of Christ. He can compel even rich men to count all things but loss for Christ. Abraham was rich. Yet, he was the father of the faithful. Job was rich. But he loved God. Moses was rich. Still he followed Christ. David, Soloman, Jehashphat, Jesiah, and Hezikiah, all stand as monuments of sovereign grace. They forsook all and followed Christ. When God gave them riches, they did not sit their hearts upon their wealth, but used what God put in their hands for his glory. When God called for sacrifices, they made them willingly.
Illus: Abraham and Lot. When God took their wealth away, they did not murmur against him.
We must carry the gospel to the rich and to the poor. God has his elect everywhere. And “with God all things are possible!”
IV. Those who forsake all and follow Christ shall lose nothing for doing so.
God’s people do not serve him for gain. Those who preach the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel of greed are false prophets. Let that be stated emphatically. And those who attempt to inspire holiness, devotion and sacrifice among God’s saints by the promise of reward in heaven betray a base falseness to their own religion. Yet, I affirm, without hesitation, to you who have forsaken all and do forsake all to follow Christ, that you shall incur no lose by doing so – Neither in this world, not in the world to come.
I do not pretend that God will make you wealthy, or healthy, or even comfortable in a physical, material sense in this world. Such a condition probably would not be best for you or me. But I do make you this promise in the name of God, as you forsake all and follow Christ – “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19).
A. Our Lord promised his Apostles that in the world to come (The Regeneration), they would sit upon twelve thrones judging (ruling over) the twelve tribes of Israel (v. 28).
Frankly, I have no idea what that means. It is nowhere explained in the Bible. But, as there are different positions of service in the kingdom of heaven now, there shall be different positions of service when God makes all things new.
NOTE: We will all possess the full reward of grace. But we will still be individuals with personal services to render to Christ (See Rev. 4:9-11; 5:8-10).
B. All who have forsaken family and property for Christ’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold in this world.
If your family abandons you for your devotion to Christ, do not forget that you have a father and brother in every believing man, a mother and a sister in all the women of Christ’s kingdom.
If your faith costs you property and possessions, do not fret. To be at home everywhere is to be the richest person imaginable! To have family everywhere is to be rich indeed!
C. Moreover, in the world to come, you who forsake all and follow Christ “shall inherit everlasting life” – All the glory, bless, and joy of heaven!
· John 17:5, 22
· Romans 8:17
“They who lose all for Christ will find all in Christ, and receive all with Christ.” – (C.H. Spurgeon).
V. God does not view things as we do (v. 30).
God is no respecter of persons. Many of those who are counted first by men, (the wealthy, the learned, the powerful) are counted last by God. And those whom men look upon as nothings and nobodies shall be first.
· I Corinthians 1:26-30