Friday, April 28, 2017

The Gospel & the Christian’s Reward

God purposely puts an offence in the message of the cross to render it unattractive to self. As a result, those who would seek Him and find Him cannot do so under the power of self, nor from the primary motive of self. Real Christianity is foolish from the world’s point of view,; “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable..” Paul concludes that, from the world’s perspective we lose in this life. But doesn’t Hebrews 11:6 tell us that “he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him?” Yes, but many of the heroes of the faith in that chapter do not look like they were rewarded, unless we have an erroneous view of rewards! Upon a closer examination, it becomes obvious that the rewards experienced by these people were of another nature than those commonly sought after by the world or offered by the church.

When we tell the lost that “God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives,” we must be very clear as to what that plan might entail. If we mean wonderful from the world’s point of view, we not only give false expectations, but also encourage them to seek themselves in religion. Ultimately God’s plan for all these heroes of faith was wonderful;, but before they could arrive at their reward some had to travel the path of “trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonments: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented.” In essence, the way of faith that leads to rewards always directs its travelers down paths of self-denial and self-sacrifice, rather than self-indulgence.”

"The Alluring Brightness of His Glory: Cherishing the Preeminence of Christ above the Counterfeit Offers of a Consumer-driven Christianity" ;R.L. Coursey; (West Bow Press, 2017); page 71

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