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  • Nov 09 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Do You Walk With the Lord Well? (Matthew 16:21-28)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Do You Walk With the Lord Well? (Matthew 16:21-28)

11.09

11.09.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Do You Walk With The Lord Well?

Matthew 16:21-28 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Predicts His Death

16:21-28pp — Mk 8:31-9:1; Lk 9:22-27

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter,”Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his lifewill lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


 

From this time on Jesus started speaking very clearly that he would be crucified in the future.

He spoke of this 3 times during the book of Matthew.

In chp 4, in chp 17 – Jesus’ announcement of the Kingdom of Heaven, and here, his emphasis on his death and resurrection.

His 12 disciples didn’t grasp/understand Jesus’ true purpose because they had preconceived ideas about the Messiah: politics, warrior, king. They thought he would be a kind of “superman” and overthrow the forces over the nation of Israel. They didn’t understand that he would win through the sacrifice of his own body.

But here he is telling them so that they wouldn’t be surprised when it really happened.

He also said that he wouldn’t suffer from ordinary people, but elders, chief priests, and teachers of the Law. The Sanhedrin was composed of these three kinds of people. Actually, they should have been the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but they were the first to make a decision to kill him.

  • Peter rebuked Jesus (his teacher).
  • Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” (rebuked him back)

Peter rebuked him because he loved him – but was wrong. Jesus rebuked because he loved him, but was right. Peter’s response certainly reflected the feelings of all the disciples. “Surely not!” Jesus didn’t say, “Thanks for your pity” rather “Get behind me Satan!” (But Peter isn’t really Satan. If Peter WERE, he would say, “go away from here” – this shows that Peter’s place is behind, not leading Jesus).

Earlier, Jesus praised and honored Peter very highly for his statement “You are the Son of God.” Peter wanted to protect him from the suffering and death he would come to because he loved him so. However, IF Jesus had NOT suffered and died, PETER would have to suffer and die forever in his sins.

Like this, sometimes, good intending friends and family (those who love us and try to protect us from suffering) provide the greatest temptations against doing the things that God would have us do.

Peter was speaking the temptation of Satan without knowing it.

  • At first, Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, not to suffer, not to be hungry, not to die. “If you are the Son of God, make bread! So your greatness! Don’t die!”
  • Also, Satan tempted Jesus ON the cross through the voice of the crowd “IF you are the Son of God, COME DOWN and show us!” (Then he wouldn’t die, we wouldn’t be saved…)

Yes, even today, we can become the mouth of God or the mouth of Satan.

It is so easy for us to limit the impact of God on our lives because we are so focused on the goals of this life. It is so easy to focus on comfort and safety that we forget our divine call to sacrifice and service.

Peter’s perspective was wrong – God’s plan included suffering and death for the Messiah. Jesus needed to fulfill his mission exactly as planned.

THE DEFINITION OF DISCIPLESHIP (v. 24)

This verse is very familiar but not easy to practice.

“IF anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

IF anyone = not only to those disciples at that time, but ALL who would come after as well (like you and me). Recognizing and confessing faith in Jesus Christ as Messiah is only the BEGINNING of discipleship. Jesus invites ALL human beings to “follow” him – but to do so, we need three attitudes:

  1. Willingness to deny ourselves
  2. Willingness to take up our crosses
  3. Willingness to follow CONTINUALLY

Easy to do? Or difficult?

#1: To deny ourselves

This doesn’t mean to deny things. Usually we use “self-denial” in a restrictive sense. We think it means “give up something” – (give up chocolate, cola, bread…) This is a very small part of what Jesus means by self-denial. Jesus means “In EVERY part of life, say ‘NO’ to me and ‘YES’ to God.”

“Not I, but Christ.”

Once and forever dethrone yourself, and put Jesus on the throne. Give our whole beings to Christ and share in his shame and death. Surrender immediate material gratification and safety in order to gain the goals and rewards of God.

Self-centeredness becomes God-centeredness

This is immediate and practical, acknowledge Christ in EVERY area of life. Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live…”

#2: Take up your cross

This doesn’t mean “carry a burden.”

This DOES mean “identify with Christ in his shame, suffering, crucifixion and resurrection” This is humility before Christ. Today, the cross is a symbol of love and sacrifice – but at that time, it was the worst form of capital punishment.

The Christian life is a life of service and sacrifice.

This same verse is found in Luke 9:23: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.”

This is not a MOMENT of great sacrifice, but a DAILY life of humility and service, and concerned with the needs of OTHERS more than the needs of self.

#3: To follow Christ

Not “walking behind” but “take the SAME road of sacrifice and service he took.” We must render to him perfect obedience.

The Christian life is a life of continual obedience to Christ – with our lives, money, time, tongues, bodies, etc.

To follow Christ = Moment-by-moment-by-moment

  • 1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called because Christ died for you, leaving an example you must follow”
  • 1 John “Whoever claims to follow Christ must walk as HE did.”

Can you accept these verses truly?

  • “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me finds it.”

Jesus Christ humbled himself from heaven to earth to exalt us from earth to heaven.

God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names so that he could raise us from death to life.

Now is our turn. To attempt to save our lives = save you life only. If we do this, apart from God, we will lose our (eternal) lives. But if we lose our lives for the Kingdom of God, we save our (eternal) lives.

Jesus wants us to choose to follow him, rather than to live a life of SELF satisfaction. Jesus wants us to give up trying to control our own destiny and let him do it.

As CREATOR – Jesus KNOWS what real life is about.

Real discipleship implies real commitment – a whole life placed in Christ’s service.

“What can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Only when we give our lives to Christ will we discover the true purpose of our living. What good would it be to gain ALL the money in this WHOLE world and lose your soul? Can you imagine all the buildings, cars, gold, money, jewels, electronics, etc? If you were the KING/OWNER of the world but lost your soul… what good is that?

Whatever we have in this world = temporary.

This “stuff” can never be exchanged for our souls. No amount of “stuff” can buy back a lost soul. If we are true Christians, we must make the pursuit of God more important than the pursuit of selfish pleasure in this world.

When we TRULY follow Christ, we will know what it means to have true life in this world (and the next as well).

“For the Son of Man is coming soon…”

He will reward us according to what we have done.

“Some standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming…”

  1. These words are (1) Warning (for Judgment) and (2) Promise
  2. Judgment = (1) condemnation for sins OR (2) evaluation for reward

Your life is going somewhere. Whether we want it or not, your life is going somewhere – the Judgment. In every life, there inevitably comes Judgment.

The man who selfishly hugs his life, money, satisfaction, and stuff is a total FAILURE in heaven’s eyes. The man who spends his whole life serving, living for the Kingdom of God, showing and witnessing for Christ is a SUCCESS in heaven’s eyes.

Jesus has all the authority to judge both heaven and earth. When he returns, there will be a future, final judgment. Everyone’s lives will be scanned, and evaluated, and reviewed, and rewarded according to what he has done.

Even Christians will face the Judgment.

Jesus will judge how we spent our time and money, talents, responsibilities, and so on in order to determine heavenly rewards.

When Jesus returns, there will be some when Jesus returns who see Jesus in body when he comes. Nobody can hinder the expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Everything we have done for the Kingdom of God will remain forever, but the things of this world will fade away. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.”

May God bless us as true children of God, disciples of God, so that we may walk with Jesus our Lord – not someday, but everyday.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 02 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Three Idiots (Luke 9:57-62) Guest Sermon
Guest Speaker, Sermons

Three Idiots (Luke 9:57-62) Guest Sermon

03.02

03.02.2014 Missionary Bright Lee

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Cost of Following Jesus

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”


I was thinking about “what is a disciple?” for many years in India. What is a disciple in today’s time?

Three Idiots (famous Indian movie)

The three characters in the best engineering college in India were portrayed as idiots, but actually geniuses.

Today’s message also shows 3 idiots. How were they idiots?

Today’s discipleship is distorted.

In India, we don’t use the word Christian – because it has many negative images.

  1. Loves alcohol
  2. Immoral person

We use the word “Believer” or “Disciple”

Last year, I went to a prayer mtn in Gyeongi-do. He was preaching “How to be rich” say what? should we do that? Be rich?

That MIGHT be a sign of God’s blessing, but not the life’s goal, nor the character of a disciple.

Think about the meaning of “discipleship” in today’s time. 

IDIOT #1 (v. 57-58)

Jesus and his disciples wandered around everywhere and this guy said, “Hey, I’ll follow you ANYwhere!” He seems to be full of conviction, and a good would-be disciple. He seems to have good courage. But Jesus said, “I’ve got no place to lay my head.”

Jesus saw that he had a romanticized notion of being a disciple “Wow, we can TRAVEL! So many places! With many friends!” He thought that Jesus was really popular and interesting and he could be popular and interesting too!

Many years ago, someone said, “Missionary Lee, I want to fly to many countries like you.” I wanted to say, “I actually hate flying, for MANY reasons…” He was a member of my supporting church, so I could only laugh at him.

Flying = money, (with children = double), no money = suffering for many days.

The life of a missionary has many practical difficulties.

The Son of Man doesn’t have a place to lay his head. After 20 years in India, we are still looking for a place to say.

People say, “Wow! Your son has a cool university overseas! Cool!” Yes, this is a true blessing, but my son went to a boarding school when he was 12 – he’s still in a foreign country in a foreign place. Even though his education is blessed, he is lonely, has pain in his heart. When a middle-schooler, he ran all the time. He said, “If I didn’t run all the time, I would be crazy with loneliness.”

Without considering ALL the real difficulties of a missionary’s life, you can’t be one. 

This world doesn’t welcome disciples because the world is wicked and adulterous. Jesus often said, “This world is a wicked and adulterous generation.” Even though you want to be honest, the world doesn’t encourage it. Even though you want to be generous, the world encourages competition and greed.

Many Indians think that “anybody can be a Christian for his own reasons, by his own choice.” One day, in New Delhi, I encouraged a family to be baptized, but they weren’t willing to do so. But this was strange because they had served the Lord for a long time. One man who baptized someone else got lots of money and became rich.

To become a Christian doesn’t mean being a member of a premium club. It means taking up your own cross and following Jesus through difficulty. 

Disciple = 

  1. Follower – Jesus = life goal
  2. Learner – Learn what to think, how to act from Jesus
  3. Doer – supposed to do Jesus’ work – what he did, what he does, what he wants done.

Jesus commanded us to follow him and gave us an example to follow. “The Son of Man didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” He was even crucified willingly on the cross for our sins. 

If we truly want to follow Jesus, don’t romanticize the notion of it – this is REAL, this is HARD, this is a PROCESS – take up your cross and follow him. But the love of Jesus helps us overcome the pain of the cross. Because of his love, we were able to serve him for 20 years in India. Many times, I thought I would give up, but he helped me endure.

IDIOT #2 (v. 59-60)

He had the privilege to be invited as a disciple – what a blessing! But he said, “Wait a second Jesus.”

The problem was the matter of priorities. 

His priority was his family. He wanted first to do his duty as a son. He wanted to serve his family. It is good to serve your family – but he wanted to serve his family FIRST. He wanted to bury his father and receive his inheritance.

The matter of priority is very important. Don’t neglect your family for the “noble cause” of God’s kingdom. JUST, have a high priority for the kingdom of God. For this reason, let us follow Jesus’ comment that being his disciple includes a price.

One friend of mine went to Mongolia as a missionary. He saw an Austrian couple who’d served there for many years in the country with no fruit. Why? The main reason = the family enjoyed family time 7-9pm everyday. BUT this is a very important time for ministry. Of course, family time is very important, but in Mongolia, 7-9pm is the only time that you can visit Mongolian families. He tried to visit at other times, but they were never available at that time. 

For a few years, my friend made many good visits during this time, and he started a local church. He sacrificed THAT family time, and made a good impact for the church.

BUT, remember that many Koreans actually serve TOO much. Their families are neglected and they have mental weakness and pain. Is it OK to neglect your family like this for the “noble cause” of the kingdom of God? This is not an easy question. But remember, Jesus said, “Proclaim the kingdom of God” not “proclaim your kingdom.”

In fact, many church people are “busy” with “work” for their OWN kingdoms. (They actually aren’t interested in the kingdom of God – just friendships, networking, entertaining, getting respect, etc).

Many missionaries serve in India with a business VISA, so they must do some kind of business. One of my friend’s has a Korean restaurant in New Delhi. He is being successful in his business, but doesn’t have time for ministry. He wonders, “Am I really a missionary?”

Another friend sold carpets for his VISA. He became successful as a businessman and he decided to quit the missionary work and go to the US as a businessman.

A true disciple of Jesus must pay the price for the kingdom of GOD. It can be financial, physical, mental. But, remember, our hope is not in this world, but in the heavenly kingdom, which is eternal.

IDIOT #3 (v. 61-62)

This request seems simple. “Let me say ‘buh-bye!’ to my family.” But actually, Jesus realized he was looking BACK. His inner heart was BACK, not AHEAD. His heart was “worldly man” not “disciple.”

If you look back after putting your hand to the plow, all your work will be disturbed. All your life will be disturbed and destroyed.  

  • The most important thing for a disciple = OBEY! NOW! 
  • Immediate obedience = RADICAL discipleship.

They obeyed God, not the person. Yes, a person can be a delegate from God, so we may also need to obey a person. I also teach this to my disciples in India. Many of them obey my word, but I must remember to obey God. 

One man in India, Sanjay, was not obedient at first, so I was annoyed. One day, we went to a village course to train the villagers. He was so excited just to be in a new place that he didn’t listen to me and I was very annoyed. So I just kept quiet and prayed. At 5am, I woke up and prayed and pastor Sanjay came in and held my feet suddenly. “Forgive me!” Last night, he saw a dream and on his feet was a stone. “Why don’t you obey missionary Bright?” He was trembling all night and asked my forgiveness in the morning.

God was teaching him about obedience. Without obedience, you CANNOT be a good disciple nor a good pastor. Now, he is very responsible, so I give him the greatest responsibility when I travel.

Several years ago, God asked me to do cooperative work with Indian and Korean pastors. R727 was launched. It is a joint ministry for church planting in North India. Initially, many people didn’t understand this ministry. Very few people joined the ministry, but God blessed it for the last 3-4 years, and it has begun to have a good result and lots of fruit in many places. 

At first, many people didn’t notice this ministry. But these days, many people phone in and say, “Hey, can I join with you guys now?” I say, “Hmm, let me think about it.”

To OBEY IMMEDIATELY is a sign of true disipleship. If you OBEY, God works wonders in your life. 

There are three things that God shows in the Bible about disipleship:

  1. Reality of the cross
  2. Priority
  3. True Obedience

I hope and pray that we all can become good disciples of Jesus and change the world with the power of God. 

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen