The title of my sermon this morning is; Christ who is our life. Christ who is our life. The Bible says beginning verse number one; If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry. Then if you jump down to verse number 17 of the same chapter the Bible reads; And Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
What I want to get across to you this morning is the idea that Christ should be our life, not just a little part of our life, not just something that we do a couple times a week when we go to church on Sunday and give Christ honor. No, the Bible says, whatever we do in word or indeed, every single day, every single hour, every thing we do, the Bible says in verse 17, we should do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Christ is our life. He's our light. What did Paul say in that famous scripture in Philippians one, you don't have to turn there. He said, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Christ is supposed to be our life.
There are a lot of people where Christ is a very small part of their life. Go if you would, to Philippians chapter 3. If we believe that the Bible is the Word of God and if we believe that Jesus Christ is our savior and that he died and was buried and rose again for us and if we believe that all things that were created in this world, the Bible says, for his pleasure, they all and were created. Then that should affect the way that we live our life because Christ would be our life. Can you think of anything more important than serving Christ? Can you think of anything that's more important to know then to know God and to know the Word of God? Is there any other knowledge or education that would be as important as understanding what this book says if it's truly the word of God, which we know it to be?
How could anything else even hold a candle in importance or any job that we do or any activity that we perform even come close to being as important as when we're serving Christ if he is the eternal God and we're only on this earth for a brief season? Everything we do should be in the name of Jesus. Everything we do should be bringing glory and honor to him if we are Christian. he Bible says and Philippians 3 : 7, this is the Apostle Paul speaking, "But what things were gain to me those I counted loss for Christ, ye doubtless and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung that I may win Christ."
What Paul is saying here, is that when we think about serving Christ, knowing Christ, really everything else that the world has to offer and all the other pursuits of worldly fame or worldly wealth and things that we could accomplish are literally as dung in comparison. Think about that. That's what it means to serve Christ. Everything else is just dung compared to Christ. Look at what he said in verse number nine, "And be found in him, not having my own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ. The righteousness which is of God by faith that I may know him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings being made conformable unto his death."
In verse 8 he says, "I've suffered the loss of all things for Christ and I count them as dung. I have given up everything. I'm willing to give up anything to know Christ. Knowing Christ is of such better value than anything this world has to offer, I'd be willing to lose everything if it meant that I would know Christ, and I would count it as dung. I wouldn't even think of it as a great sacrifice. Sure, I've given up a lot to be a preacher. I've given up a lot to be a missionary and go throughout the world preaching the gospel." But he said, "Really, if I stop and think about it, what I gave up was dung."
Is that really something to brag about? "You don't know how much I gave up. Look at this pile of dung that I could have had." That's basically ... Paul is saying that's how silly it is for someone to look at him and say, "You were a respected scholar. You excelled and profited in the Jews religion above all your equals. You could have been one of the authors of the Talmud. You could seriously." Because his guru Gamaliel, is one of the authors of the Talmud. "You could have been respected and you could have had wealth, you could have lived in a fancy house. What are you doing in prison? What are you doing a night and a day in the deep? What are you doing fasting off and suffering the wants of all things and being whipped five times and beaten with rods three times? You could have had made it in the shade." He said, "I would give up all of that in a heartbeat. All the wealth, all the fame, all the popularity, it's dung compared to just knowing Christ and just to be found in Christ, it is greater than any of that."
Let's keep reading. He says in verse 11, "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I follow after if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth under those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." There is no higher calling than serving Christ. There is nothing greater that we could do with our lives than to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and everything else is dung in comparison.
Why be the author of the Talmud, which is a worthless book, when you could be the author of half the New Testament? Really, what did he give up? Dung, gave up nothing. Look at Matthew Chapter 13. The title of the sermon is: Christ who is our life. Christ who is our life. There are a lot of other things that can become our life. Have you ever heard people use this expression about things like, basketball is life. Have you ever heard people say it? What else did they say it about? "Music is my life." What else they did they say? "Surfing is my life. Basketball is my life." I guess it's all out of sports that people say something like, music is my life or whatever, but there are some people where politics is their life or political activism is their life.
You know what I've noticed? A lot of people who were big time political activists and that was a that was their life. When they got saved and then they got in church and started serving God, I watched those people being less active in politics and getting more active in the things of God. Less time reading politics and studying up on that, more time studying the word of God. Less time out there campaigning for this person, campaigning for that person and they spent more time soul winning and knocking doors and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and the simple reason for that is that they realize that the things that are seen are temporal and the things that are not seen are eternal. They realize that it's more important to win a soul to Christ than to get some congressman elected.
It's more important with the eternities values in view, to win souls and preach the Gospel than it is to become an expert athlete, than it is to become a political activist or any of these things. These things tend to go on the back burner of a person who truly knows and loves Christ and the thing that becomes their life is the gospel. The thing that becomes their life is Jesus. Church becomes a major part of their life. Look at what the Bible says in the parable of the sower; It talks about people who hear the Word of God and the Word of God does take root in their life and begin to grow. These people are saved, they do believe our Jesus, but very few people who are Christians actually bring any fruit to perfection. Very few Christians will actually produce fruit. Some 30, some 60 and some 100. Because what the Bible defines as a Christian producing fruit is winning another person unto the Lord. Because the Bible says, the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and he that winneth souls is wise.
A lot of people when you talk about us bearing fruit in our lives, they'll talk about the fruit of the Spirit. Wait a minute, that's the fruit of the Spirit. There's a difference tween the fruit of the Christian and the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, temperance. Why? Here's the thing, God is love. He brings forth love in our lives. He's the prince of peace, he brings forth peace. The Holy Spirit is called the Oil of gladness. Of course the fruit that he bears in our life is a joy, he brings forth these things in our life, but that's his fruit, that's not your fruit, that's the fruit of the spirit. Everybody understands? His fruit, belongs to him.
The fruit of the Christian, the fruit of the righteous has to do with he that winneth souls. It makes perfect sense because what did God mean when he told the animals to be fruitful and multiply? What did he mean when he said to the cattle and the creeping things? What did he mean when he said to the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea and the great whales that he created? When he said to the whales, "Be fruitful and multiply." He wasn't telling the whales to have peace and love and joy in their heart. He was telling those whales to reproduce a little baby whale. That's what he meant when he said be fruitful. What does it mean to be unfruitful? It means that there's no reproduction going on. That's what unfruitful means.
God wants us to produce fruits. In the parable of the sower, we're talking about plants and what do those plants do? They reproduce a new plant. The seed is planted and a new life grows forth. When we go out soul winning, what are we doing? We're planting the seed of God's word and then we reap a harvest of people that get saved and they're the fruit that's brought in. The fruit that's brought to perfection. Winning souls is bringing forth fruit because we're reproducing after our own kind. For example, my wife and I are married and I knew my wife and she conceived and brought forth a son in my image. Solomon and then Isaac and then John and then Miriam and then Rebecca and then Anna and then Stephen and then Boaz. The point is, we're reproducing, that's the fruit of marriage. When we go soul winning, we're also reproducing. We're reproducing another believer. We're a believer, we're a saved, born again child of God, then we go and preach the gospel to someone.
When they receive Christ as Savior, there're our spiritual son or daughter at that point because we've just teamed up with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Savior and we've worked together with him in the yoke with Jesus, to bring forth a new life. A brand new creature has been born, it's like a child birth that takes place. That's why Paul said that Timothy is his son in the faith. Titus is his son in the faith and he also talked about in the book of Philemon how Onesimus was one that he had begotten in his bonds, meaning; I was in bonds, I was in prison and I won this guy to Christ in prison. He says, "I'm beseeching you for my son Onesimus." It wasn't his physical son, but it was one that he had won to Christ, he had brought forth fruit under God.
Most Christians don't bring forth fruit. I'm not going to have a raise of hands or anything, but obviously in our church, more than half the churches is out at soul winning and winning people to the Lord and thank God for that, but if we were to go to all the churches that actually preach the true Gospel, if we were to go to all the Baptist Churches, Evangelical churches, whoever that actually believes in salvation by faith, and we were to do an honest poll of how many of you have ever won another person on to Christ, the vast majority have never won even a single person to Christ, let alone 30, 60 or 100 people on to Christ. The truth of the matter is that 99% of Christians are unfruitful in that sense. They don't win people to the Lord. Otherwise, the whole world would be saved, if every Christian is bringing forth 100 converts, then the whole world would be saved pretty fast.
It's not happening because most Christians are unfruitful or maybe they've won one person to the Lord in their whole life or maybe two people to the Lord or in their whole life. Why is it that so many Christians are unfruitful? Why is it that if we have all these Baptist churches and all these Christians and all these people who believe the gospel, why is it that so many places are unevangelized and so many people are not hearing a clear presentation of the Gospel and so few Christians are ever bringing forth any fruit? Here's the answer; The Bible says in verse ... Did I ever turn to Matthew 13? Look at verse 22, this is the parable of the sower, he said, he also that received seed among the thorns is he that hearth the word and the care of this world and that the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word and he becometh unfruitful.
What causes that person to become unfruitful? The Bible says, it's because the care of this world chokes the word. Meaning that the word does not have preeminence in that person's life. There are too many other things in the way taking their attention away from it. It's sort of like if you had a plant in the soil and it's surrounded by thorns and those thorns have taken all the nutrition out of the soil, when it gets watered, they suck up all the water and then the good plant there, it's not getting the nutrition, it's not getting the watering that it needs and therefore it is unfruitful. It's just a plant that doesn't produce fruit because it's not getting enough nutrition or water.
Human beings if they don't get enough nutrition, if they don't drink enough water, they're not going to be able to reproduce. One of the first things that your body will shut down, is the reproductive system in a in a survival situation or in a situation where you're you're struggling with health issues because that's just the way it works and the same thing with plants, you have to make sure that they get nutrition and watering and everything If they're going to produce fruit. Think about this, the Bible is basically saying that Christians have all this other stuff in their life that takes up all their time, takes up all their energy, takes up all their mentality to the point where they don't bring forth any fruit because it's being choked out by the care of this world, just caring about everything in this world, more than you care about serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
Think about how many people will tell you, "I don't have time to go to church." Even though there are 168 hours in the week, they don't have time to carve out a couple hours to show up to church even once a week, because the care of this world has got them busy with other things that are choking out the word in their life and so many other things that have got them so busy that they don't have time to go to church to get the spiritual nutrition, to get the spiritual feeding and watering that they need. Not only that but then when it comes time to go soul winning, they're just too busy with everything else. There's just too much going on. They're being choked out by the cares of this world.
Then look what else it says; The deceitfulness of riches. What's the deception associated with riches? Basically, that riches should be the chief objective of our life or that riches will bring us happiness and fulfillment in our life. That deception that says, hey life's about making money, the one who dies with the most toys wins and we need to go out and work and make money and become wealthy and that's going to bring happiness, that's going to bring success and some people even delude themselves with this and say, "I'm going to get really rich and then I'll give unto the Lord. Once I get rich I'm going to give in to the Lord." Here's the problem with that plan, the problem with that plan is that the Bible says, they that will be rich, meaning wanting to be rich, they That will be rich fall into Temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lust which drowned man in destruction and perdition, for the love of money is the root of all evil, which Well some coveted after, they've hurt from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
What's the Bible saying? It's saying that a person who sets out to be rich, by the time they arrive at that destination, has become a bad person. Because they that be rich, fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in a destruction and perdition. People who covet after money, they are from the faith, they pierce themselves through with many sorrows. Even if you have this mentality, "Oh, I'm going to go out and just spend my life making money. I'm going to become a millionaire, then I can support all these missionaries." By the time you get there, you'll be a wicked person. You won't want to support the missionaries any more or you'll be supporting the wrong missionaries. You won't even know what to do with your money, you'll be a fool by then. You'll have destroy that because the love of money destroys your life and your heart more than anything else. It's the root of all evil, it'll lead you into all types of sin, all manner of sin when you're a covetous person.
I'm not saying don't work to pay your bills and provide, but there's a difference between working to feed your family,, working to put a roof over their head working to just have a reasonable standard of living and then spending your whole life working in order to get rich. Those are two different things. Where it's just, "Oh man, my business is my life, my work is my life. My job is my life." No, Christ is our life and we need to understand that our job is a very important part of our life and if we don't feed our family, we're worse than an infidel, but what it's not just that the goal is just to make money. The goal is to live for Christ and we just work enough to pay our bills in the process but it's not just about go on get wealthy and make all this money. It's about living for Christ.
You see how there's a danger where Christians can get caught up in the deceitfulness of riches and become unfruitful? Because they're deceived by this? It says after that; These things choke the word and he becometh unfruitful. Go to Mark chapter four. You are in Matthew 13, go to Mark Chapter 4. We live in a society where we get busy. It's easy to get busy, isn't it? Especially when you have kids, it's easy to get busy and you've got to take the kids to this activity and that activity and this lesson and that lesson and they got the piano lesson and then they've got the cooking class and you're kind of running around and taking them to all these different activities, which there is nothing wrong with that. You get busy with your job and then sometimes you're sitting in the car for a long time, you're commuting and then you've got all kinds of social activities and obligations and everything, but here's the thing though, we have to make sure that these things don't choke out the word and we need to make sure that all of these things center around Christ in our life where where the goal is always to serve Christ.
Where we're cutting things out of our life, where we look at these things and say "This doesn't have anything to do with serving Christ or this isn't going to achieve any of my goals for raising a Godly family." The piano lesson may be profitable to have to raise up children that could serve the Lord and play the piano and be musical and be wise cunning servants of the Lord going forth. These things all have value. Spending quality time with your family has value, but let me ask this, What's the value though In just spending hours and days playing a video game or just getting just really into following every NFL game? You're supposed to ask yourself, are these things making me a better person, are they making me a better father or are they make me a better husband are they bringing my family closer together, are they helping me win souls to Christ are they helping me know Christ more deeply, are they helping me learn the word of God more?
I'm not even saying that these things are necessarily sinful and they might even have their proper place. Of course sporting or fun or things of that nature could have their proper place, of course. We need to have some refreshment in our lives but Christ needs to be our life not some hobby. Becomes our life. Christ is our life. Look at Mark Chapter 4 : 18; It says; These are they which are sown among thorns such as hear the word and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, watch this, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word and they becometh unfruitful. Where other things enter in, the lusts of other things, where we desire other things more than we desire Christ, more than we desire to win souls, more than we desire to serve Him and be in his house.
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. We should desire the Word of God, David said, His heart panted after the Lord and he was hungering and thirsting for God's Word and God's word was sweeter than honey on to him and the honeycomb. There are a lot of other things in this world that we could desire but the thing that we should desire most is to please the Lord. Go to Luke Chapter 8 :14. The Bible says in Luke Chapter 8 verse 14; and that which fell among thorns are they which when they have heard, go forth and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life and bring no fruit to perfection. Why, because they're just too busy following after the money, the pleasures, the cares and the worries of this life. They're not focused on the things of God as the main pursuit in their life. Go to 2 Timothy Chapter 2, I strongly believe that we as Christians should make church a major part of our life, a major priority in our life because Christ is our life.
If Christ is our life, then his house would have a prominent place in our life. Where would we go to find our closest friends? If Christ is my life, then my closest friends are going to be people where Christ is their life. Think about it, if I were a high school kid that said, "Oh man, life is basketball. The rest is just details." Or whatever, like you see in the T-shirts and things. I remember at one time I was in Christian school and the coach said that basketball is the reason for the season, around Christmas time and talking about how they need to come to practice on Christmas morning and practice basketball. "Basketball is the reason for the season." No, Jesus is the reason for the season.
The point being, let's say I were a high schooler who said basketball is life, who do you think I would hang around with? Who do you think my friends would be? People who have no interest in basketball or would I hang around with other people who like basketball? Or if I said, "Oh man, Music is life." Who am I going to hang around with? Other musicians, People that have that same interest. If Christ is our life, then who are we going to hang around with? Who are going to be our closest buddies and friends? Who are going to have the most in common with? Other people where Christ is in their life too. That's why God wants us to revolve our social life around the church. Make friends at church, get to know other families and get to know other men and women and our children to get to know other children and to socialize at church and to love the Brotherhood as the Bible says, and to come to church and to be knit close together as brothers and sisters in Christ because Christ is our life and so Church has a prominent place in our life.
It's not something that we just kind of show up at three times a month and just kind of check off that we were there. It's something that we look forward to. It's something that we desire to be a part of. We want to see our friends at church, we want to hear the Word of God preach. We want to sing praises unto the Lord because Christ is our life. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2 : 3; Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that woreth and tangled himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who have chosen him to be a soldier. This is another warning about how we can get too tangled up in the things of this life and then Christ is no longer the main focus of our life anymore.
Go to 2 Peter 3 : 10. 2 Peter 3 : 10; While you're turning there, I'll read for you the famous verse from 2 Timothy 4 where the Bible reads, do thy diligence to come shortly under me, for Demas have forsaken me, having loved this present world and has departed unto Thessalonica, Crescens for Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark and bring him with thee, for he is palatable to me for ministry. One of the things that comes up a lot in Paul's epistles to Timothy and Titus, he talks about people forsaking him and leaving him and people quitting and bailing out on serving the Lord.
I don't know about you but I would hate to be one of those people in heaven right now thinking about how I was with the Apostle Paul, I was getting all these shout outs in his epistles because Demas gets a positive shout out in other epistles, Marcus, Demas Lucas, my fellow laborers. That's cool to be one of Paul's fellow laborers. You're in the first century AD, the first century of Christ, you're seeing Paul doing miracles. You're hearing Paul preach. You might even be the guy who's physically writing down epistles, because he's dictating them to people like Tertius was one of the guys who actually did the the writing. How would you like to be the guy who's writing the first draft of Romans while Paul's dictating it to you verbally and you're writing it down for him?
These guys are making history. These guys are at the most important time with the most important people serving God and what did they do? They embraced the dung heap and said, "I love it too much." Because he loved the present world. Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world. He could have just had ... Now Demas is never a positive sermon, ever. I don't know about you but I've been a Baptist my whole life and I've heard a lot of sermons against Demas. I can't even count the sermons of, "Demas loved this present world." So many sermons, thousands. Just to become a by word and he wasn't even a bad guy. He loved the Lord enough to be serving him in the first place, but because he quit part way through he just gets known as, Demas hath forsaken me. That's what he goes down in history for, that sermon illustration.
Think about it, that's how our lives are. Our lives are no different than Demas' life, if you think about it. Here we are, we're serving God, we're doing great things for God, we're earning rewards in heaven, we're winning souls right. Then, can you imagine just quitting when you're so close to the finish line anyway. Think about running a marathon, you're 25 and a half miles in and you're just like, "I don't think I'm going to run the last .7 miles, I'm just too tired. I'm just too tired." Like what? What are you doing? You know what it reminds of? People who been married for like 30 or 40 years and then they're getting divorced. It's like what in the world?
Even people where that's the only person that they've ever been with their whole life, they were actually ... they got married, they were pure when they got married ,they were a virgin when they got married, they were married for decades, faithful to their spouse and then like, "I'll get a divorce in my 60s." To that person it makes sense, in their mind but everybody else is looking at that saying, "Wow, that's stupid. What in the world is wrong with you? Are you out of your mind? What a fool." Because you're so you've already gone through the worst of it. You've already made it that far. You're almost at the finish line and what does the Bible say about our life? It's a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth way, but eternity is long.
How can you, if you truly believe that you have eternal life and that you're going to be in heaven with the Lord and that you're going to live for ever and serve Christ forever and reign with Christ for ever, how could you spend your life on anything else but serving him? It just doesn't make any sense. Why would you do it? But people do it all the time. Even though they know that Jesus is their savior. They know the Bible is the Word of God. They know that this book has all the answers to the mysteries of the universe. All wisdom, all knowledge, right here in this book and then they they skip it and read something else or watch something else.
What do you talk about? This book is alive. To sit there and to know that God will reward you according to your works, to know that Jesus said, Behold I come quickly. You say, "Well it's been a long time." Yeah, but to the Lord a thousand years is like a day because he lives in eternity but guess what? You're going to live in eternity someday too and you're going to look at your 70 year life, your 80 year life and you're going to look at that and say, "Wow, that was such a vapor. Couldn't I have just stuck it out for another 10? Couldn't I've just gone soul winning and just got my butt in church like for 20 years, 30 years, 50 years? Was it really that hard? Then I'd be sharing the glory for eternity. I'd be enjoying the rewards for eternity. Instead I'm up in heaven here and I've got virtually no reward because I just wanted to just get so involved in politics and riches and pleasure just for a short time."
Does it really make any sense that anything other than Christ would be our life? It just doesn't make sense. I love the saying that says only one life so soon is past and only what's done for Christ will last. The Bible says in 2 Peter 3 : 10; But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, and this is right after him talking about how a thousand years is as a day to the Lord in perspective of eternity. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat the earth also and the works that are there and shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness?
He said; If the boat is going to be dissolved, if the car is going to be dissolved, if the dirt bike is going to be dissolved, if the recreational vehicle is going to be dissolved. If the shoes and the clothing and the purses are all going to be dissolved. If the House is going to be dissolved, if the swimming pool is going to be dissolved then what manner of persons ought we to be. I'll tell you the answer, people where Christ is our life. Because that's the one thing that's never going to be taken away from us. He'll never leave us or forsake us. The Bible says let your conversation be without covetousness what's covetousness? Wanting things that don't belong to you. Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as you have for he have said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.
Christ is our life. He's all we need. The Bible says; Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be and all holy conversation and Godliness. People that are all about collecting boats and cars and Rvs, is that really the type of people we ought to be, seeing that all these things should be dissolved? Seeing that all the gold and silver and bronze medals will be dissolved, Seeing that all the corruptible crowns and trophies of athletic achievement all the Super Bowl rings and all the plaques on the wall and all the banners and accolades, seeing that all that's going to be dissolved? You know what's not going to be dissolved? Heaven, Christ, the rewards, our works. Look at 1 Corinthians 3.
While you're turning there let me remind you of one of the most famous verses in the Bible; But see ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. Let me ask you personally to do a little self check on yourself this morning and ask yourself, "Is Christ my life or is something else my life? Why do I get up in the morning? What makes me get up in the morning and get excited about living? Is it something else or is it to serve Christ. Is Christ my life?" How about this, "Do I seek first the Kingdom of God in my life? What's my number one priority in my life? Is it money? Is it pleasure? Is it fame? Is it fortune. Is it sports or is it Christ? What's the number one? Is it the Kingdom of God?" Because the Bible says we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3 : 9; For we're laborers together with God. Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According the grace of God which is given unto me as a wise master builder. I have laid the foundation another building they're on but let every man take heed how we build it there on, for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation; gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, every man's work shall be made manifest for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire and the fire so try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he had built thereupon, he shall receive reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss but he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire.
At the Judgment Seat of Christ, our works are going to be tried by fire as it were. This is obviously not literal, like, "All right, throw your works in the oven." It's symbolic, it's a metaphor, obviously, but all of our works are going to be tried by fire to see of what sort they are, meaning what kind of works were they and our works that we perform in our lives are put into two categories: Gold, silver and precious stones, would ha and stubble. What is the colossal difference between these two materials? One of them will last forever, the other will be burned up. Fire does not destroy gold. Fire does not destroy silver. Fire is not going to destroy precious stones but it will burn up wood, hay and stubble. It will be consumed.
All the things that we do in our life are in those two categories. We all have wood, hay and stubble in our life and in fact we should have would have wood hay and stubble in our life. It would be impossible to live a life of only gold silver and precious stones where everything you do has eternal value, no. Because there are certain necessary things we do in our life that are just part of life; brushing our teeth, taking a shower. We're not getting rewards in heaven for these things but it's just things that we do or how about this, going to work. God wants us to go to work every day. Let me ask if I go to work, and I install plumbing all day, electrical all day, carpentry all day, if I go to work a program a computer all day or supervise workers all day, am I really doing something of eternal value and really earning rewards in heaven for building a canal or for wiring a house? Those are things that are works but they're not eternal works. They're are things that we do in our lives but they don't have an eternal value. They have temporal significance.
I want you to understand that the wood, hay and stubble are not sinful. This isn't about sinful things. There's nothing sinful about wood. Nothing sinful about hay, stubble, these things all have their place but they don't have eternal value, do they? They're not earning your rewards in heaven. In our lives we have wood, hay and stubble but we also want to strive to do is also have gold, silver and precious stones in our lives where we're actually earning rewards and we're actually receiving wages on to life eternal and we're also doing something that will endure forever like winning someone to Christ, like teaching our children the Bible, like winning some of the Christ and then teaching them the Bible, preaching a sermon.
Whatever we do that's eternal in nature, that's spiritual in nature, we're going to be rewarded based on those things and the Bible tells us here, In verse 15; If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer a loss. What's this saying? This is basically saying that they're going to be people where they bring all their works, everything that they did in their life, all the work that they did and it's all burned up. All of it, 100%. I'm not saying that they live some horrible life of sin, but they went to work, they ate their meals, they raised a family but they didn't win anybody to Christ, they didn't teach the Bible, they didn't preach the Bible. Maybe they didn't they didn't even teach their kids the Word of God. Says that that person's works will be burned, they will suffer a loss. Meaning they'll lose, they don't get rewards, they lose out on the rewards.
What does the Bible say; But he himself shall be saved. That's a key point because a lot of people say if you don't do the works, you're not saved. Have you heard that? They'll say, "Well, you don't have to do works to get saved. But everybody who's saved does works and if you don't do the works that just proves you aren't really saved." No, because this is talking about people who were truly saved but they didn't do the works that were eternal in nature. The Bible says they suffer loss, loss of what? What did the verse previous previous say? Verse 14, If any man's work abide which he has built upon, he shall receive a reward. Whatever I do that is of eternal significance, I receive a reward from the Lord. The guy who doesn't earn any rewards, the guy who all of his works are burned, he shall suffer a loss but praise God he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. Meaning that he makes it in by the skin of his teeth.
He made it though, but there are people out there that teach, if you don't do any works you're damned. Is that what the Bible says? No, the Bible says; ye himself shall be saved. Did he lose his salvation? No. What did he lose? His reward. There are people out there who say, if you don't do the works you are going to lose your salvation. No, you are going to loose your reward. It's impossible to lose your salvation. Even if you have zero works, he himself shall be saved. That's what the Bible says but them that worketh not, but believeth on him to justify the ungodly his faith is counted for righteousness.
Go through it to Romans 12. While you're turning there, I'll read for you this; he that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me and he that taketh not his cross and follow it after me is not worthy of me. The Bible is clear here. We shouldn't love our parents more than we love God, we shouldn't love our children ... You say, "My children are my life." No, Christ is our life. Christ is our life. There are people who put their children before they put Christ and Jesus said, If you do that, you're not worthy of me. There are people who put their parents before they put Christ but the Bible says no, Christ must in all things have the preeminence, he gets all the glory, he has the preeminence in our lives.
You know what? In regard to our children, we should be willing to basically turn over our children unto the Lord that his will be done in their lives and not try to hold them back from serving the Lord because of the fact that it doesn't fit our agenda. There are people who would not want their child to go to a distant city or a distant country to serve the Lord, to evangelize or preach to the gospel or to or to start a church because they want to have the kids close and the grandkids close, but here's the thing. All I care about with my kids is that they serve the Lord, that's all I care about. I would rather have my children grow up and dislike me than to dislike the Lord. I pray for my children. I pray, "Lord, I pray that all my children will grow up and love you and serve you. Even if they don't give me the time of day, Lord I just pray that they would love you with all their heart."
That so much more important. Obviously I want my children to love me and talk to me and spend time with me but I would much rather have them blow me off than to blow off the Lord. I'd rather have them blow off my house than God's house. Why? Because I love the Lord more than I love them. That's what matters the most is that they serve Him and love him. We can't put our children before ... Some people say, "Well, I'm not going to go to this church because my children don't like it." No, you go to church that God wants you to go to and you tell your kids, "Shut up, that's where we're going."
There are people who literally let their teenagers pick the church because they love their son or their daughter more than they love Jesus so they'll take their kids to the apostate church that makes them happy. No, Jesus comes first. We need to put him before our children, we need to put him before our parents, we need to put him first because he is our life. The Bible says in Romans Chapter 12. I beseech you therefore brethren, verse 1, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice holy, acceptable under God which is your reasonable service. According to the Bible, the reasonable thing that God expects from us is everything.
He says, what? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God and you are not your own but you've been bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's. It is your reasonable service to present your body as a living sacrifice to God. Say, "God, I'm going to give you everything. My life belongs to you, my life is hid with Christ in God. Christ is now my life, for me to live is Christ." That's totally reasonable. A lot of people think that's unreasonable. They think it's too much. You're overboard. Church three times a week.? You've gone overboard. What are you? Some kind of a fanatic What are you? Some kind of a radical extremist?
Why are you going to church three times a week? Why are you going around knocking doors? You're going out soul winning too? I was out soul winning... Here's the thing, it's totally reasonable to give God everything and to say, "God, I'll go where you want me to go, I'll do what you want me to do, you want me to be a pastor? I'll be a pastor. You want me to be a sol winner? I'll be a soul winner Lord. You want me to be in church, I'll be in church. You want me to read my bible? I'll read my Bible. You want me to pray? I'll pray. You want me to raise children and bring them up in the church? Whatever you want me to do Lord. What do you want me to do and I'll do it. You want me to have a lot of kids? I have a lot of kids. You want me to be an active member of the church ? I'll do it. You want me soul winning. Where do I sign up? Where do I go? You want me to be there. What do you want me to do? You want me to go to some foreign nation and bring the Gospel to the heathen? I'll do it.
Is that your heart this morning or are you thinking to yourself, "I'll give God a little bit, I'll give him I'll give him Sunday morning but the rest of the week, I'm going to be kind of doing my own thing." There are a lot of people in this ... I'll be honest with you, I've gone through periods in my life where I pretty much went to church on Sunday morning and literally days would go by where God is not even in my thoughts at all. If you'd be honest, you'd probably be able to say, yeah, there were times like that in your life where you go to church and kind of, "Okay, I went to church, I worshiped the Lord." Then you'll go days or a week where you're not opening the Bible, you're not praying, you're just busy. Busy just thinking about everything else, hanging out with everybody else.
That's not what God wants. He said, "No it's very reasonable since I died for you, since I created you, since I own you. It's quite reasonable for me to expect you to present your body as a living sacrifice. Give me everything." That's what God saying to us this morning. Honestly, it really doesn't make any sense to really get your life wrapped up in anything else as your primary focus when you think about the fact that eternity is there and then God's real and then Jesus is our Savior and that the Bible is the Word of God. When you really stop and think about these things and let them sink in, It seems reasonable that that's what we should spend our lives doing, serving him, winning people to Christ. It makes sense. It's very reasonable.
That's why the Bible says that that is our reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world, verse 2 he says, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that he may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. The the goal in verse 2, is to figure out what God's will is. Because you've already decided whatever it is you're going to do. In verse 1, you've decided, "I'm going to do whatever God wants, I'm just going to present myself as a living sacrifice. Then in verse 2, you say, "Okay, let's figure out what God wants so I can give it to him."
I cannot even count how many times I've prayed and said, "God, I'm willing to preach on whatever you want me to preach on this Sunday. I'm willing to preach what ever you want me to preach. I'm going to study my Bible now and write a sermon and if there's something that you want me to preach on Lord, just put it on my heart because I'll preach it. If it's a positive sermon, I'll all preach it, if it's negative, I'll preach it. If it's popular, I'll preach it. If it's unpopular, I don't care." I can't count how many times I said to God, "I don't care what you want me to preach, I don't even care. If I know what it, I'll preach it. If you show it to me, I'll preach it. I don't care what it is." Because I don't have an agenda here. My agenda is his agenda.
If he wants a sermon on X the topic, all I can say is, Yes sir. It's not my place to get up and, here's what I want to preach about. Here's the thing, God doesn't verbally appear to me and tell me what preach about, I end up just picking sermons, but I'm praying though, that God would show it to me in his word. That he'd lay things on my heart if he wants them preached because I'm willing to preach it all. I'll preach anything and a lot of times I believe that God does specifically lay things on my heart that I that I wasn't really even thinking about and then it's just a sermon.
It will just come to me and I'm thinking of myself, maybe is what God wants me to preach. Sometimes I'll be reading my Bible and I'll get a sermon idea and then I'll think like, I don't really want to preach that though, I don't really feel like that this week, but then just I'll just try so hard to write any other sermon and nothing is happening. Finally I'm just like, "I guess this is what I have to preach, because it's all I've got." I remember one time I wrote a sermon that was called suicide. As a whole sermon on suicide. It is just all about everything in the Bible about people committing suicide and just all the doctrine around suicide and I wrote that sermon. That was when you guys have just moved here.
I wrote the servant on suicide and it was going to be a Sunday night sermon. My mind is like, this is a Sunday night service. I wanted to preach something else on Sunday morning and I just kept just trying to come up with some and I just ... Nothing, nothing, just looking at a blank piece of paper, no sermon idea. Then finally I told my wife, "I got to just preach the suicide sermon on Sunday morning because it's all I've got." I get up and preach the suicide sermon, a guy walks up to me after the service, it was his first time at church and he said, "I really needed that sermon, I attempted suicide two months ago and I needed that sermon." It was just like, wow. That's how God sometimes will work where he'll lead us like that. He's not going to sit there and talk, "Pastor Anderson." "Here I am Lord." "Preach on suicide." "Yes Lord, I'm willing to do it."
You thought it was a weird subject. A lot of people are like, "Preaching about suicide this morning." They're kind of ... But it was what needed. Then another guy contacted me right after and said, "Man, I needed that sermon." Someone from online that needed it. I've been depressed, I've been contemplating suicide. Whatever he wants, I'll do it, I'll preach on to it. I'll preach whatever. I wish he would show up and just tell me what to preach, It would make my life a lot easier just if you just like e-mail me a list or something but there are so many psychos out there who hear my sermons so he's going to start e-mailing me. They're going to create an address called like God@gmail and they start sending me sermons like, "Here's my sermon. I want you to preach. I've heard you and I've answered you." I've had many people contact me claiming to be God. Just as Brother Baker because he handles all the e-mails and phone calls now so he gets those kind of messages. Anyway, Christ is our life.
Let's bow and have a word of prayer. Lord, we thank you so much for dying for us and for rising again Lord. Truly the Gospel story is The greatest story ever told, truly the gospel has power to salvation to every one that believeth, and truly the Bible is the greatest book on this earth and no other book can even hold a candle to it Lord. I just pray that everyone who is here would understand how reasonable it is for you to be our life and help us all to put you first our life. Lord, we all have other things in life that we need to take care of the Lord, but help us never to let those things choke us out and and make us so busy where we're not reading our Bible or we're not in church or we're not soul winning Lord. Help us to keep everything in its proper place and to keep you in first place. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.