Lessons Of A Lifetime

End Time Destiny Awaits Us All
Suffering – A Part Of True Christianity
Sunday Nov. 1, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to you.’”

“But Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.’ Matthew 16.21-28

Something To Consider:
In our previous Scripture to consider, “Peter had a spiritual revelation from God. Speaking of Jesus, he declared, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” And based on the truth of that foundational confession Jesus announced that He, Jesus, would build His church. He did not say Peter, or any other man, or any denomination would build His church, but that He, Jesus Himself, would build His church.

And it was to be His church, not Peter’s church, not any of the disciple’s church, not another man’s church or any other group’s church. It is Jesus’ church! And when it is not, it is just another one of man’s social inventions to somehow foolishly attempt to reach God by false fleshly methods, and therefore must be rejected.

Jesus, according to Matthew’s eye witness account, began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the religious establishment. Make no mistake about it, if Jesus had chosen this generation in which to come and to declare repentance and the day of salvation, He would meet with the same, if not worse treatment.

And just the mention of Jesus suffering, Peter, of all things, rebuked Jesus, the Word of God come to earth in the flesh. Peter’s response is similar to the response of many so-called Christians who are deceived in their thinking due to false teaching. “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You.” And as did Peter at this point in his life, the majority of professing believers wrongly look at suffering of any kind as an evil misfortune!

Something Else To Consider:
Peter, figuratively speaking, in the preceding passage was momentarily placed on a pedestal. And just a few verses later he is falling headlong from that place of looked upon prominence. Even as believers receiving revelation from heaven we are as men, women, and young people wrapped in the flesh of humanity and susceptible to the tendency to recoil at the first sign of suffering on our part or others.

And according to Jesus, “He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes [the religious rulers of His day] and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Yes, His destiny of suffering awaited Him! Why? Because suffering is a unique part of true biblical Christianity, whether we choose to accept this truth or not. Our saying or believing otherwise does not make it any less truth!

The Psalmist understood the biblical concept of suffering for God’s sake. He proclaimed in Psalm 44.22, “Yet for your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Even Jesus declared of true Christianity in Matthew 10.22; “And you [true believing Christian] will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he [or she] who endures to the end will be saved.”

In the book of Acts, speaking of Saul’s conversion and his becoming the great evangelistic writer of half of the New Testament, Jesus stated of Paul, “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Oh how we of this 21st century generation choose to run, hide, and avoid at any cost our suffering for Christ’s sake.

And how shameful is the false teaching of the many wolves in sheep’s clothing that are deceiving multitudes by their lack of speaking out concerning the warnings and teachings of Christ as it pertains to true believers and suffering being a part of true biblical Christianity.

Something More To Consider:
Peter, as with much of the human race, was at times more mindful of the things of men, which is offensive to Jesus. As leaders and leaders in training, we are to be more mindful of the things of God. This will require our denying ourselves and taking up our own cross, an emblem of suffering and shame while following Jesus. Otherwise, we are profited nothing beyond this world!

On the other hand, if we do as Jesus has commanded, we will be rewarded according to our works. And according to Jesus in John 6.29, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him [Jesus] whom He [the Father] sent.” Therefore, what is our end time destiny that awaits us all? Will we be found enduring to the end as commanded by Jesus, in order to be saved? Will we understand that suffering is an actual biblical part of true Christianity?

A Few Final Words:
I want to close this Scripture to consider with an important discourse given by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians chapter 1. Paul was writing concerning comfort in the midst of suffering, enduring that suffering in tribulation, and our gracious promise of salvation in the end if found enduring to the end!

Paul began in verse 3 by proclaiming; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

He continued in verse 5, by stating; “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation [comfort] also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.”

Paul concluded by explaining; “And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you [we] are partakers of the sufferings, so also you [we] will partake of the consolation [comfort].” In other words, suffering for Christ’s sake is a part of true Christianity! And being more mindful of the things of God than the things of men, places us in a better position of both pleasing God, and fulfilling His divine end time destiny, all at the same time.

The recent teachings of men have become contrary to the biblical teachings of suffering. Therefore, let us not be deceived by their misleading messages!

Our Father in heaven, create in us a passionate desire to be more mindful of the things of God, rather than the things of men. In Him Always, Amen!

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