Sandhills Community Church Sermons

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The Cost Of Following Christ

February 7th, 2010

Read Matthew 10:17-23

1: The Cost - Persecution
 
v.17 -  This is Jewish persecution of Christians. 
 
What are some countries where the persecution of Christians occurs today?
 
Nigeria, Burma, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, China…the list could go on. 
 
Resource on this subject: www.persecution.com Voice of the Martyrs
 
v.18 - Reference to expanding persecution. Starts with Jews, expands to Gentiles.
 
In Matthew 10:18, we’re told we’ll be witnesses. What is significant about the word witness in the original Greek language?
 
Greek word for witness? marturion = martyr
 
Matthew 5:10-12  “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
 
There’s a difference between receiving persecution and pursuing persecution. 
 
vv.19-20 - God flowing through you. 
 
2: The Cost – Death
 
v.21 -  This gospel is strong enough to disrupt even the most naturally strong relationships.
               
What is it about our message that is so volatile? There is only one God and one way to be saved, in Christ alone.
 
v.22 – Literally means because of my name.
 
Stand firm to the end? End of what? Our life? 
 “…if the opposition one of Jesus’ disciples faces calls for the sacrifice of life itself, commitment to him must be so strong that the sacrifice is willingly made. Otherwise there is no salvation. Thus from earliest times Christians have been crucified, burned, impaled, drowned, starved…for no other reason than that they belonged to him.” –D. A. Carson
 
Historically, the Church thrives during persecution. 
 
Application Point: 
  1. While we are yet free, invite someone to Christ.
  2. People you know - Invite. 
  3. People you don’t - Connect with KO.
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