Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #177
TEXT: Matthew 10:29-36
Last week, we talked about the issue of fear in the life of the believer. Jesus commanded His disciples not to fear man and only to fear God. Today, as we continue our series on facing conflict as a Christian, we are going to look at three reasons why we should not fear what man can do to us.
1. We should not fear because God cares for us. Jesus says to his disciples, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
What Jesus is telling us is that if God the Father notices even the birds who fall to the ground, surely He takes note of His children who risk their livelihood, their reputation, and sometimes their lives in order to serve Him. When we are being opposed and afflicted by the world and the devil, we will be tempted to feel as though God has forgotten us, as though we are all alone, as though we are risking our lives for nothing. But, Jesus lets us know that even in the midst of the worst circumstances, God knows where we are. He cares for us.
2. We should not fear because God has a test for us. Jesus tells His disciples, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
We hear a lot in Christian circles about how Jesus came to bring peace and harmony. Around Christmastime, we sing about the angels who declared, “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” But Jesus did not come to bring peace among men necassarily; He came to bring peace between men and God.
Jesus’ coming marked the beginning of a new testament, a new dispensation, in which every person born into the world would have to make a choice. God revealed Himself in His Son like He never had before. And, from the point of the resurrection onward, every person has a decision to make — whether they will follow Jesus Christ and enter the Kingdom of God, or follow their own way and live for the world.
3. We should not fear because God has a reward for us. Jesus tells His disciples, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
When it comes to loyalty to Jesus Christ, it is a two-way street. Jesus lets us know that if we are bold and selfless enough to stand up for Him on earth, He will stand up for us in Heaven. Whether or not we stand up for Jesus on earth will show what is truly important to us. If we value this world and the approval of men more than Heaven and the approval of God, we will bow every time we are faced with conflict. If, on the other hand, we value the approval of God over the approval of men, we will be like the Hebrew boys and stand for God when the world is bowing all around us.
If you want to receive rewards from Jesus Christ, we must remember that God cares for us so that we will not falter in moments of conflict. We should also see each moment of conflict in our lives as a test from God. Will we bow and submit to pressure from the world and the devil, or will we stand up for Christ and the Gospel?
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Favor” by Shirley Caesar and “Victory” by Yolanda Adams