(If you would like to download the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, Click Here – 160 Rewards & Equality in the Kingdom)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
March 25, 2018
This passage begins with Peter asking Jesus a question that has arisen because of what Jesus said in response to the question of the rich young ruler about what good thing he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus’ interaction with the man was not what might be expected, and certainly contrary to the practice of modern evangelists. Instead of immediately getting him to pray the sinners’ prayer, Jesus points him back to the Law. Why? Because repentance must precede saving faith. Jesus’ exposed the man’s self-righteous claim to have kept all of the law. He then exposed the man’s selfish heart in challenging him to sell all he had, give to the poor and follow Him. The man turned away in sorrow because he was unwilling to give up his earthly riches in order to gain heaven’s treasures. He would not follow Jesus.
This shocked the disciples because the common view was that the rich were more likely to gain eternal life based on the ideas that riches were a sign of God’s favor and that wealth better enabled a person to do the good works that would gain God’s favor. It shocked the disciples even more when Jesus described the impossibility of the rich entering eternal life. It would be like a camel going through the eye of a needle. An illustration of something impossible, not just difficult. A large animal cannot fit through a tiny hole. Yet, Jesus also pointed out that what is impossible with man, and salvation by human effort is impossible, is possible with God
Eternal life does not come by heritage, works of the flesh or the will of man (John 1:13). It comes by God’s mercy and grace and only by God’s mercy and grace. Titus 3:5 states, “He saved us, not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 2:8-9 states that “For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a a result of works, so that no one may boast.” If salvation could be earned, the rich young ruler would have had the advantage, but since it comes by God’s mercy and grace, it extends to all, even the poorest and most wretched of humanity. Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 1:26 “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption…”. Since salvation is only possible with God, then it can come to you and me. That is the setting for Peter’s question in verse 27. (See: How To Obtain Eternal Life)
Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?”
Peter picked up on the fact that Jesus offered the rich young ruler treasure in heaven if he would leave everything and follow Him. That man refused to do so, but Peter and the other disciples have done that. Speaking on behalf of all the disciples, Peter’s question pertains to what treasure in heaven there would be for them since they had left everything that would have been important to most people. For a large portion of the three years that they followed Jesus, they were away from home in other parts of Galilee, down in Judea and Perea and even outside of Israel in Tyre and Sidon. That time was spent away from family and their normal means of income.
Peter may or may not have comprehended that the “treasure in heaven” that Jesus was talking about comes by grace and not by works, for the idea of work-righteousness and human claim to merited reward, i.e., living in righteousness and doing things for God earned God’s favor, was very strong within Judaism at that time. I must be clear here that this idea is utterly false. God does not owe us anything and will never owe us anything based on what we do. All that we receive from Him is because of His grace, not our merit. As I have pointed out from Isaiah 64:6 many times, all our righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight, and as I pointed out a few weeks ago from Luke 17:10, even if we do everything God commands, we are only unworthy slaves that have done only that which we ought to have done. (See: Lessons on Stumbling, Forgiveness, Faith and Service) Yet, at the same time, God is pleased to give rewards to His children. That is what Jesus expresses here in answer to Peter’s question.
28 And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life. The first part of Jesus’ answer is specific to the disciples. The second part applies to all who meet the conditions.
Jesus begins, “truly I say to you.” This phrase calls attention to what follows it as being important and true. The next phrase, “that you who have followed Me,” is the qualifier for the application of what is going to be said. Jesus does not give a blanket statement covering all who claim to be His disciples. The promise being made only applies to those who follow Him.
This is an important point because it excludes Judas and all false disciples from the promise. Judas also left everything and was physically following Jesus, but his heart was not. That fact comes out in his stealing from the money bag (John 12:6) and his selling out of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 27:3). But aside from Judas, the other disciples did follow Jesus from their hearts trusting Him as young children trust their dads. That is why they were part of the kingdom. Their leaving everything was simply a consequence of their following Jesus.
God is gracious and He delights to give good things to those who humbly seek Him and obey him (Matthew 7:11). What we find here is a special reward to these men who followed Jesus and later became His apostles. “In the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” The term here translated as “regeneration” (paliggenisiva / palingenesia) literally means the “new birth.” The only other time it is used in the New Testament is Titus 3:5 where it refers to the spiritual new birth of a believer in Jesus Christ. Here it refers the rebirth of the earth when Jesus will reign upon the throne of David. We are told about this time in several different passages of Scripture. We get the name “Millennium” for this period from Revelation 20. Millennium means 1,000 and 1,000 years is cited 6 times in this passage. Verses 1-3 describe the capture of Satan. Verses 4-6 then describe what Jesus mentions here.
“And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
The chapter goes on to talk about what happens at Satan’s final rebellion at the end of the thousand years and the final judgement upon Satan and all who did not follow Christ. Revelation 21 addresses the recreation of a new heaven and new earth and entering eternity. But the period of the “regeneration” is during the millennial reign of Christ when Jesus will sit on His “glorious” throne in fulfillment of the prophecies in Daniel 7:13-14 and Psalm 2:2, 8-9.
During that reign the 12 apostles will have special positions and will sit on thrones and judge the 12 tribes of Israel just as Jesus states here and Revelation 20 also describes. Some are curious about who will replace Judas as the twelfth apostle, specifically whether it will be Matthias or Paul, but that is one of those curiosity questions that will only be fully revealed when it comes to past.
Now if Jesus had ended there, it would still give us much to praise God about since it demonstrates His gracious character. God is gracious to give good gifts to His children and rewards to those who follow Him though we are undeserving. But Jesus continues on and what He says gives us even more reason to rejoice and praise God.
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life.” Mark 10:29 adds in “and for the gospel’s sake.” This promise of blessing and reward extends to “everyone” that will in like manner follow Jesus.
Not everyone must leave their homes, business and family to follow the Lord, but that is the cost for many. That is the cost for many in serving the Lord in locations far distant from their family. I am grateful for modern technology which allows me to communicate with my family in California and quickly travel there to see them, but throughout history leaving home to serve the Lord often meant never seeing your family again.
There is also the aspect mentioned in Matthew 10 and Luke 14 in which Jesus speaks of the division the gospel brings to many families as some members believe and others do not resulting in discord, factions and splits. I have known people who became Christians and were then disowned by their families and kicked out of their homes. Others have lost their jobs or businesses. One girl’s family even held a funeral for her and every time she called they said, “we have no daughter anymore.” In some nations the consequence of following Christ may be physical assault or even marked for martyrdom, and the assassin may be a family member. Are you willing to pay the price of following Christ? Jesus said in Matthew 10:37 that “he who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (See: – Marks of a True Disciples)
The price for following Christ can be high, and Mark 10:30 even points out that persecution is part of that, but Jesus’ promise here is that an even greater reward will be given. Regardless of what you must give up to follow Christ, Jesus says that He will replace it many times more.
Over the years I have known many that have lost their family relationships due to following Jesus, and though that grieves them since they love their family members and desire to see them also become Christians, yet they rejoice in what God has provided in the close relationships developed with other Christians. People within the church become brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and even children to them. Those ties are often closer and more intimate than blood relatives had ever been.
Jesus also points out the greatest reward that could ever be given. Those who follow Christ are given eternal life. That is of much more value than anything ever given up.
Some have reacted to this idea of rewards as being an improper appeal to man’s baser nature, but I prefer to let God decide what is proper or improper. Jesus told us to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven rather than on earth (Matthew 6:19-20). The first and primary treasure is eternal life, but there are others mentioned in Scripture. There is a Crown of life mentioned in James 1:12 that is given to those who persevere under trial because of their love for the Lord. There is an Imperishable Wreath mentioned in 1 Corinthians. 9:25 that is given to those who learn self-control in their pursuit after godliness. Those who are diligent at fulfilling the great commission have a crown of exultation in those who come to Christ through their ministry (1 Thessalonians 2:19). For those that love the Lord’s coming and live their daily lives in light of His promise to return, there is a Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8). And for those that serve the Lord as His under-shepherds in His church there is a crown of glory (1 Peter 5:2).
God is loving and very, very gracious. Though we deserve nothing and can do nothing on our own, and though we can never demand of God, make a claim for merited reward or earn His favor, yet He gives to those that will follow Jesus not only eternal life, but all that we need for life and replaces our losses with that which has greater value.
How tragic that the rich young ruler valued his possessions and pride more than eternal life and the blessings and rewards that God gives. What about you? Have you suffered because you have followed Christ, then rejoice, for great is your reward in heaven. If you have not yet come to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, what could you possible value more than what He offers? And those of you that have made professions of faith, what things of this world are hindering you from following Jesus as you ought too?
1 John 2:15 warns us “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father , but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.” Are you laying up treasure here on earth where it will come to nothing, or in heaven where it will remain for eternity?
Jesus does not end there, but He quickly adds the statement, “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” Jesus used this phrase or a similar one in several other passages (Matt. 20:16; Mark 10:31; Luke 13:30) to express the concept of equality within God’s kingdom. However, this is not the equality demanded by today’s “social justice warriors,” for it arises solely from the goodness of God and not from any rights within man.
Let me quickly address this question lest anyone use what Jesus says in this passage to promote their political demands for forced equality of outcome. That is an idea contrary to the Scriptures and to this passage in particular.
The statement in the Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal,” is often used to support the political demand of equal outcome. This is the idea that it is wrong for some to be rich while others are poor, that some get particular jobs and others do not, that some win and some lose. Their solution is that wealth be forcibly redistributed by government, “affirmative action” be used so that positions are filled according to social quotas instead of actual ability, and that everyone in children’s sports gets a trophy instead of just those who won.
However, the statement in the Declaration of Independence only applies specifically to certain inalienable Rights endowed by our Creator which include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It refers only to an equality of legal opportunity. The cold hard fact is that God has not created everyone equal. Everyone gets a different mix of chromosomes so that everyone is different. Some are male and some female, some tall and some short, some coordinated and some clumsy, some very intelligent and some mentally handicapped. God did not create us equally in our in social contacts either. Some have parents who care and have the resources to train their children to reach their full potential while others are neglected or even trained in sinful behaviors that destroy what potential they did have.
In terms of our standing before God, He has created all humans equal with three exceptions – Adam & Eve and Jesus. Only those three individuals did not enter the world with a sin nature, but everyone else has been born “dead in trespasses and sin.” We were all created equal in being condemned by our sin nature inherited from Adam. That is not an equality that causes you to rejoice, but until you come to grips with it, you will never understand God’s grace and mercy. God’s mercy will forgive your sin though you are undeserving of that forgiveness. God’s grace will make you His child though you are unworthy to be His slave much less adopted into His family.
Non of the rewards Jesus mentioned are earned. They are given by God’s grace to those who follow the Lord. God calls us to repentance and to following Him and that is what should be done regardless of any personal consequences. It is God’s goodness that He extends grace to give good gifts to those who follow Him. An illustration of this would be a parent taking their child to the store. The child is obligated to obey the parent and act decently. If the parent chooses to buy a candy bar as a reward for good behavior, it comes as a gift of grace from the parent and has not been earned. If the child had been bad, he simply would have earned himself condemnation and chastisement. All that God does for us is because He is merciful and gracious, and not because we are deserving of it.
The parable that Jesus now tells His disciples is a strong reminder of that. The rewards received for following Christ come as a result of God’s grace, not from God being obligated to give them. Within the kingdom there is an equality of reward, not because people are equal, but because God’s grace extends to make up the differences.
The parable Jesus tells in Matthew 20 illustrates the point. “1For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.”
First, note that the purpose of this parable is to illustrate something about the kingdom of heaven and not about life here on earth, so this cannot be applied to politics.
The parable begins with a man who owned a vineyard going into the marketplace to hire day laborers to work in his vineyard. We are not told what they are being hired to do. It could have been anything related to keeping a vineyard from terracing the land, preparing new soil for planting, building rock walls, weeding, pruning, or harvesting. Some of these jobs required very hard physical labor.
The laborers themselves were people at the bottom of the economic ladder. They either lacked skills or their particular skills were not needed at the present time, so they hired themselves out as unskilled day laborers. They usually gathered in the market places of the village where they could be found by those looking for help. They might be hired by the job, by the day or by the hour, but whenever one job was over, they had to find another one. This was one reason the Mosaic Law required an employer to pay their employee at the end of the day, for this type of worker often lived hand to mouth, and what they earned one day would be all that they would have in order to feed their family the next day.
You don’t see a lot of this in our area, but it is still common sight in Los Angeles where laborers often gather in certain locations, often by building supply stores, early in the morning hoping someone might hire them for the day.
The landowner goes out early in the morning, probably at the first watch about sunrise, in order to hire some men to work for him. He negotiates to pay them a wage of a denarius to work for the day. A denarius was the daily wage of a Roman soldier and was considered to be a good wage for a laborer to earn. The landowner then sends them off into his vineyard to begin their day’s work.
Verses 3-4 tell us what happens later in the day. “3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; 4 and to those he said, ‘You too go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went.”
The landowner goes back to the village at the third hour, about 9 a.m., and finds more men standing idle. This does not imply they were lazy, only that did not have work. The landowner decides to hire them as well. However, the wage is only “whatever is right.” These men apparently trusted the landowner to be fair, so off they went to work in the vineyard.
In verse 5-7 we find that this same scenario is repeated a couple more times. “5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6 and about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing; and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into the vineyard.’”
For undisclosed reasons this landowner keeps going back, and finding more laborers, he hires them. He does this at the sixth hour, about noon, then at the ninth hour, about 3 p.m., and then again at the eleventh hour, about 5 p.m. The normal work day during the growing season was until evening, so these last men only had an hour or two left in the work day, and yet they were still waiting for someone to hire them. The landowner seemed somewhat surprised that these men were still there. He must have seen them earlier in the day because he was aware that they had been there all day. The landowner may have thought that since he had hired so many of the other men, someone else would have hired these men, yet there they still were waiting for work. Since it is often the men who do not look as physically fit that are hired last, there must have been some compassion in the decision of the landowner to hire them, and the men were glad to go since the wages for an hour or two of work would be better than none at all.
Things would have been going well in the vineyard with the additional laborers hired throughout the day contributing to the progress of the work. Verses 8-9 tells us what happened at quitting time. “8 And when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages beginning with the last group to the first.’ 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius.”
Now for whatever reason the landowner decided to pay the last workers first. Now it was a very pleasant surprise to these workers that they were paid a denarius though they had not worked the whole day to earn such a wage. I am sure they went home very thankful for such a generous employer. That is reflective of the Lord’s graciousness to us. He is very generous to us, and we rejoice when His grace goes out to us far beyond our expectations. But the true nature of the human heart is found in verses 10-12.
“10 And when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; and they also received each one a denarius. 11And when they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’”
When the men who had been hired first saw the generosity of the landowner to the first men they thought they would be paid a lot more. If they were paid at an equal rate, it could have been 6 to 12 denari. What a fantastic wage! And so when they only received one, they thought they had been cheated. Their specific complaint. “you have made them equal to us.” They complained about receiving equal pay though they had worked much longer. It was equal pay, but not at an equal rate of pay. Tell me, how would you have felt if you were one of these last workers? How would you have felt if you had been of the first workers? Do you want equality or not?
Yet the issue here is not equality, but the landowners generosity and the envy of the first workers. Look at verses 13-15. “13 But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious (evil – ponhrovV / ponaros) because I am generous.”
The landowner had done nothing wrong. He did not violate any law and was not unethical. He had not take wages from the first workers to give to the later workers. He only been extremely generous. Yet instead of rejoicing over the good gift of the landowner to the other workers, these men were envious. Instead of being glad that they were hired and had been paid a very good wage, they complained he was not fair because they did not receive an equal rate of generosity.
Break a candy bar in two and put the pieces down for two children to divide. Better make sure it was split evenly, 50/50 and nothing less. Why? Both children should be happy getting the gift of a nice treat, but envy will cause the child with the slightly smaller piece to be angry. It is envy that drives this kind of “fairness,” this kind of “equality.” It is that kind of envy that drives the political quest for “equality” today.
I like what William Barclay said about envy, “Envy does not so much want the things for itself; it merely wants to take them away from the other person. The Stoics defined it as ‘grief at someone else’s good.’. . . It is the quality, not so much of the jealous, but rather of the embittered mind.”
Don’t be surprised that you have to battle this perverted quest for equality in this fallen world where envy demands what you have earned or has been given to you be taken from you because others do not think it fair for you to have what they do not. That can be expected as part of living in a sinful world where envy is normal, but it should not be in the kingdom.
Jesus concludes the parable the same way he started, “Thus the last shall be first, and the first last.” There is an equality in the kingdom, not because of any class envy or redistribution of wealth, but because of God’s wonderful grace to all of us sinners who deserve none of it. And if you get nothing else from this sermon, I hope you understand that. This was Jesus’ warning to the disciples not to get wrapped up in whatever possible rewards they may receive from Him in the future. They are to rejoice that they have eternal life and have the opportunity to serve the Lord. They should rejoice over everyone that follows Jesus regardless of how late in life a person is saved.
There is no room in the kingdom for us to be envious of one another regardless of what God may give or do for you or allow you to do. Whether it is material blessings, relationships, or how and what He allows you to do in serving Him. If God gives more to you, then praise Him. If He gives more to others, then praise Him on their behalf. He promises to meet your needs, so if you have no lack, then you are unjustified to complain that others have more things, more friends, or more people are affected by their ministry. Such grumbling only reveals the sinfulness of your own envious heart.
Just as the landowner initiated and accomplished the hiring of the laborers, so it is God that initiates and accomplishes salvation (John 6:44). Just as it was the landowner that set the terms of the job to do and the wage to be paid, so it is God that determines what He wants you to do and how He will reward you (1 Corinthians 12). Just as the landowner kept going back to find more workers, so we find God continually calling people to Himself (2 Peter 3:9), and He accepts all who are willing to come to Him (John 6:37-39). God is compassionate and gracious and always gives more than deserved. He has the divine authority and ability to keep His promises, and He always keeps His promises.
Sin made all men equal before God – condemned being dead in trespasses and sin. God’s mercy and grace removes sin and makes every believer equally acceptable to Him by faith in Jesus Christ. That is an equality in which I can rejoice. I pray you are also praising Him for it, but if you have not yet repented from your sins and received God’s forgiveness, then talk to any of our church leaders and let us show you from the Scriptures how that can happen.
Peter’s question arises from Jesus’ ____________ to the rich young ruler
The disciples thought it _____for the rich to enter the kingdom, but Jesus said it was only possible with God
Salvation comes ____by God’s mercy and grace extended to the humble who place their faith in Jesus Christ
What ______________ in heaven would they receive for leaving everything to follow Jesus?
Jews were taught that God’s favor was __________ by righteousness and good works
Man cannot earn merit with God (Is. 64:6), and even complete obedience is only what is _______(Lk. 17:10
This is an important and true statement ______________ to only “you who have followed Me”
Judas was ___________for though he left everything & physically followed Jesus, it was not from his heart
God is gracious to give good things to His followers, and He gives a special reward to the ________- vs. 28
The apostles have a special _____________ during the millennium judging the 12 tribes of Israel
Verse 29 – there is also a blessing and reward to _________ that sacrifice to follow Jesus
Serving Christ may require ____________ homes, family and business to go to distant places
Regardless of the sacrifice made, following Jesus is worth it and He promises to __________ what is lost
Church “_________” is more precious to many Christians than blood relatives
The greatest reward in following Jesus is __________ life
Jesus commands us to lay up ____________ in heaven (Matt. 6:19-20) and five “crowns” are offered
We deserve nothing and cannot earn God’s favor, yet He gives ______________ to those that follow Jesus
The rich young ruler foolishly rejected Jesus’ offer to pursue what the _____offers – a bad choice (1 John 2)
This is not the equality demanded by today’s “social justice warriors” for it comes from ________, not man
The Declaration of Independence’s statement “all men are created equal” ________support equal outcome
God ____________ created all men equal in either physical, mental or emotional ability or in social position
All men (except Adam & Eve and Jesus) were created equal in being __________as dead in trespasses & sin
All rewards mentioned by Jesus are given by God’s __________to those who follow Him and are not earned
The parable of Matt. 20:1-16 illustrates the equality in God’s kingdom due solely to God’s graciousness
The parable illustrates a truth about God’s _____________ and cannot be applied to politics
The landowner and labors agree to a wage of one _________(a good wage) for a day’s labor in the vineyard
Verses 3-4, the landowner later hires additional workers for a wage of “whatever is __________ ”
Verses 5-7, the landowner continues to hire more workers _______________ the day
Verses 8-9, at quitting time, the last hired are paid first and ______________ is paid a denarius
Verses 10-12, those hired first _________at being paid a denarius because the last hired were paid the same
Verses 13-15, the landowner points out they received the agreed wage and they were just ____________
Envy is ________ and it drives the political demand for “equality”
Envy is to be expected in this sinful world, but it __________________ be in God’s kingdom
Jesus ends the parable as He began it with a statement about equality in the ______________ of heaven
This is Jesus’ warning not to become _______________ about God’s generosity within His kingdom
Rejoice over everyone that follows Jesus even if they are ___in doing so, there is no room for envy within it
Grumbling only reveals the ____________ of your own envious heart
Salvation is _____ of God and so are the rewards He gives, so praise Him for His graciousness
Sin made all men equal before God – ____________ being dead in trespasses and sin
God’s mercy & grace removes sin to make every believer equally acceptable to Him by _____in Jesus Christ
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times a reference is made to God’s grace. 2) Discuss with your parents God’s grace to your family and the response you should have to it.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why were the disciples shocked at Jesus’ response and conclusion concerning the rich young ruler? How is secure eternal life secured? How did that encounter prod Peter’s question in Matthew 19:27? Can man earn favor with God? Why or why not? How does Jesus’ statement “you who have followed Me” exclude Judas from the promises that follow it? When will “the Son of man sit on His glorious throne”? How does the phrase “in the regeneration” fit that time period? What prophecies will this fulfill? What rewards will be received by those who follow Jesus? What might cause a person who follows Jesus to lose homes, businesses or family? In what ways will those things be replaced in this life? In eternity? What is the greatest reward in following Jesus? Is it wrong to seek treasures in heaven? Why or why not? What Crowns are offered to believers and why would they be given? See: James 1:12, 1 Corinthians. 9:25, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 2 Timothy 4:8 and 1 Peter 5:2. Why do people choose the things of this world instead of the things of heaven? What have you chosen? Why are the political demands for “equality” contrary to both the Scriptures and the Declaration of Independence? Does God create all men equal physically, intellectually or socially? Explain. How are all humans equal with the exceptions of Adam & Eve and Jesus? What was the practice of hiring laborers to work in vineyards? Why did Moses require such workers to be paid at the end of each day? Was a denarius a fair wage for a day’s labor? Why might there still be workers available throughout the day and why might the landowner hire them? How do you think those hired later in the day felt about being paid a denarius? Why were those hired at the beginning of the day upset about being paid a denarius? Did the landowner do anything wrong? How have you seen envy cause people to sin? What effect has envy had on you in your life? Why does Jesus teach this parable to the disciples? Would it bother you that some one that became a Christian late in life received the same reward in heaven as you? Why or why not?
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