Views from the Pew – Why Would We Suffer?

What did you learn from last week’s sermon?

Q1: Are we saved to serve?

Q2: What does Hebrews 10:23 tell us to hold fast to?

Q3: If there is no resurrection, Paul says he would do what?

Q4: Why would anyone live the way Moses, Paul, the Saints in the Hall of Faith, etc. live?

Q5: What is our unwavering hope?

Q6: Will you answer the call or wait for someone else to do it?

Sermon Summary & Answers

Sunday, Pastor Steve continued with Paul’s use of dynamic linguistic skills to move from the established reality of the future resurrection of the saints to the present benefits of that truth. Paul offers three ordinary things attached to Christian living that would not make any sense unless there was a future resurrection. The first point, Baptism, we looked at last week, now Pastor Steve asks us to look again.

1 Corinthians 15:29
Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?

Ordinary baptism was the same as being saved, and they wanted to publicly identify as Christians while being obedient to Christ. Many are motivated by other Christians that have lived and died and are baptized because of the testimony of those believers and to be reunited with them when the Lord returns.

“So, BAPTISM is Paul’s first point – – we are motivated to salvation, to be identified with Christ and His church – – by some who have gone before; and the certainty of the resurrection – the hope in which they lived and died. This promise – – the promise of a future resurrection … a strong motivator to be saved.”

Pastor Steve Wilson

What’s the second point attached to a Christian’s life that would be absurd if there was no resurrection? We are motivated to suffer for the cause of Christ by the promise of the future resurrection.

“Christians have always understood the call to service that accompanies our salvation – – WE ARE SAVED TO SERVE … we aren’t saved to sit…we aren’t saved to nap – we are saved to serve.

Pastor Steve Wilson

The future resurrection is a powerful motivation for Christian service. Christian service is always costly. Furthermore, it would be foolish for any Christian to commit their life to any measure of sacrificial service or suffer, if there wasn’t a hope of a resurrection.

Why do we suffer? If there is no resurrection, why in the world would anybody want to live like Paul did? Especially, if there’s only this life and Christ wasn’t raised, why would any Christian live their life doing any sacrificial service? Paul makes it very clear that he wouldn’t and neither would I to be honest. Like Paul, if this is the only life we get YOLO, turn up, why am I typing this?

1 Corinthians 15:30–32
Why are we also in danger every hour? I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE.

Remember the theme of the argument – -If the believer is not going to be raised from the dead – – then Christ was not raised from the dead – – and if Christ was not raised from the dead your faith is in vain – -You are a fool – – and your sins still have not been forgiven. If there is no resurrection of the saints – – then why are so many motivated to be saved with the hope of a reunion with those saints? And now, if there is no resurrection of the saints – – then why are we living this life of service to Christ – – in suffering and danger every hour? I mean, who would live like that?”

Pastor Steve Wilson

“If there was no future resurrection, I would live my Christian life in such a way as to avoid all possibility of suffering – – I would not seek out Christian ministry, or Christian service that would be costly – – I would do what? I would live as if today is all that I have. If the dead are not raised – – why would any Christian engage in sacrificial ministry – – a suffering service?”

Pastor Steve Wilson

Essentially, if there is no resurrection, we are wasting our time suffering for no reason. But, thank God that is not the case, nothing is wasted, our suffering is for a reason. Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us to hold fast to that confession and points to a promise.

Hebrews 10:23–25
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

You have been saved – – you have identified with the local church – – in baptism … in membership – – this is the ordinary Christian experience …”

Pastor Steve Wilson

Who is He? What did He promise? He is Christ, and He promised the future resurrection, which is why we have to hold on tight to our confession and not be wishy-washy.

Hebrews 9:27-28
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

He is coming again – – He promised He would – – not in reference to sin, not to suffer and die for sins – – He did that already – – He is coming to receive to Himself all those who eagerly await Him. All men must die – – and face the judgment … there is something after death – – So also – – there is something that follows Christ’s death – – it is His coming again to receive His own. he coming back again not about sin settled at cross coming to resurrect saints! We wait eagerly for that!”

Pastor Steve Wilson

That’s our unwavering hope; He is coming again. Knowing that He is coming again, motivates us to love and do good deeds with the promise of the future resurrection. That is the reward for all of this! In anticipation of the promise, we should be all the more motivated to do good deeds.

Hebrews 10:26-27
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.

We cannot as a Christian live a life of sin and if we chose to do that we are ignoring the unity of fellowship and the call of Christ on our lives. If you go on sinning, you are pretend believers whose lives aren’t motivated towards Christian service or fellowship with the saints or to do the good deeds to which you were called to do. If you are not interested, it’s because you’re pretending. Pretending is equated to trampling the son of God, Hebrews 10:28-31.

Hebrews 10:28-31
Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

“You can’t live, as a Christian, a life of sin. You can’t. To do so would be to deny your salvation – – to ignore your baptism – – and to willfully reject the call to Christian service. All that would await such a person would be judgment; BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE PROVED THEMSELVES TO BE ADVERSARIES – – ENEMIES OF CHRIST. Now, don’t get in a ditch here – – we aren’t talking about genuine believers losing their salvation … that isn’t possible – -We are talking about pretending believers whose lives don’t manifest the faith they claim to have – – and in this area particularly – – They are not interested in the assembly – – they are not interested in love for the brethren – – they take little or no interest in Christian service – – the good deeds for which they were saved. They are pretenders …”

Pastor Steve Wilson

So, be sure to see where you can serve during Ministry Service Month in July. It is a terrifying thing to fall in the hands of the living God.

In context, the future resurrection is a promise you can trust because Jesus is trustworthy. You can count on Him and the future reward with all the saints to inherit all the promises of God as joint heirs with Christ and spur each other on to good works for Christ. To avoid falling, hold fast to your confession and remember how you felt in the beginning when you were on fire for Christ and were asking where can I work and what good deeds I can do? Even when it brings suffering, remember the zeal we had when we knew we had something better coming! We all needed to be encouraged to love and do good deeds. We cannot treat the kingdom of Christ lightly. We have to encourage and motivate each other to sacrifice and for suffering. We will not throw away our confidence but will endure so we get what was promised! The righteous will live by faith in the future reward. We are not believers that shrink back to destruction; we are those that respond in love and good deeds and sacrificial service because we know there’s a reward. How do we know we are not those believers that shrink back to destruction? We’re here, we’re suffering, we’re sacrificing, and it’s worth it.

Remember, Hebrews 11:1-2 that faith gained approval. Faith is not what we hope for or what we can’t see! Christian faith is not mystical; it is certain and sure! Faith is substance. Faith is evidence of Jesus Christ; He lived, He died, He rose again that’s Christian faith. It is not believing the unbelievable, it is believing the undeniable! We can’t stand in what we don’t know that would be foolish. Faith stands firm and then hopes for what I don’t yet see and for what I don’t yet have. If we think about that all died not getting what was promised because the resurrection hadn’t happened yet but they died believing it would, Paul said if they were wrong then they were fools. Especially, Moses who refused to be called the pharaoh’s son and endured ill treatment with the people of God rather than enjoy pleasure of sin! So, why would Moses do that if there was no future reward because nobody would! And, there is only one reason why anyone lives like that the future reward, the promise of resurrection!

Hebrews 11:32-34
And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

By faith, weakness is made strong in Christian service and doing hard things that’s commitment to God! We don’t do great things, Christ does! Pastor Steve ended with a call to Christian service and whatever sacrifice that might entail. Sacrifice time sacrifice energy clean on Saturdays sounds trivial when read about being sawn in two!! Don’t sacrifice assembly together call you to sacrifice whatever prevent you from assembling together! Christians are willing to make sacrifices for the cause of Christ why because there’s a reward and motivation moves us down paths no one else would move down!! Why else would anyone be stoned if they didn’t believe in the future resurrection? They wouldn’t, so we have a great a cloud of witnesses motivating using Hebrew 12:1-3! Saints, what will you do? Will you respond to call and sacrifice or let someone else do it? What if the demand is great? Still willing? If not, why not?

I am confident you will – – because Christ in you – – the hope of glory – – will so motivate you.g

Pastor Steve Wilson

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  1. Yes
  2. Our Confession
  4. There is only one reason anyone lives like that the future reward, the promise of resurrection.
  5. That He is coming again.
  6. Only you can answer that.