Suffer with Jesus Christ to Rule with Him



"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

Suffer with Jesus Christ to Rule with Him

We must obey God. 2 Thessalonians 1 says: "8) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9) Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction ..." Galatians 6:7 says: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Believe on Jesus Christ, is not to believe many things about him, but to believe what Jesus Christ has preached, and it is recorded in the Bible for us to obey, so that we may inherit eternal life. Christians think that salvation is just an escape from hell.  However, this salvation will change a man/woman to be like his creator even to look like him in his glory. "1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." And it will lift him/her up from the dust of this earth to be seated on the very throne of God. "Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."  

1. Higher Commandments for Higher Callings

Matthew 19:21 says: "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." Jesus made this statement to a young rich man. Though this commandment does not apply to a common believer, it has an implication that a higher goal has a higher cost. Mark 10 says: "37) They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. 38) But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" Higher calling or higher goals requires higher cost. Matthew 16:24 says: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Apostles are required to deny themselves and pick up their own crosses to follow Jesus Christ. They are required to risk their own lives. Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3: "14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15) Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:" Here we see that his high calling came to him after he became perfect and that is why, in verse 15, he extends such a calling to them that has attained perfection. God gives them special grace to fulfill their calling. The dedication of an apostle is not expected from an ordinary believer. An ordinary Christian should not look at an apostle and wonder how much hardship he had to go through, and it should not discourage him from running his own race.

2. Strive for the Kingdom of God

As we study the word of God, we must not try to read the word into our doctrine, but we must study to find the truth of God. Then, God will give us the understanding of his word. But, if we desire to establish our own denomination, doctrine, belief, etc, then, God shall send us strong delusion for us to believe a lie. "2 Thessalonians 2:10 because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:" So, our love for the truth is most important for the study of the word of God. 

As we realize that we commit sins, and as God give repentance, we should strive not to commit sins, or we may say that we must strive to overcome our sins. As we strive, we will ask God to help us to overcome sins. Then, God gives the holy spirit, who is the spirit of man so that he may help our spiritual lives. This is called born again or born of the spirit. " John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."  If we are born again, our soul can see the kingdom of God through our spirit and the word. This change from the flesh to the spirit and our striving will be seen through our lives.

Only the born again people can see the kingdom of God. As the person sees the kingdom he also sees the gate and the way. But, the way is narrow and the gate is tight.  Unless the person strives hard to enter through the gate, he cannot enter. Only those who are born of water and of the Spirit will be able to enter. "John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, --- 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,"  Those who are born of water are those who correct their lives by obeying the word of God according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Obedience to God is the striving that is required. Only those who strive will enter into the kingdom of God.

A disciple asked Jesus Christ whether only a few people are going to be saved. Then the Lord told him to strive to enter. Remember, only those who strive (a few) will be saved. Most Christians seek easier ways in order to enter the kingdom of God without striving. To them, the devil shows a wide gate and broad way, which is easy.  "Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:" God warns them saying that the easy way is the way of destruction. But many Christians will enter through the wide gate just because it is easier to enter and they will be destroyed. Easy Christianity is of the devil. Religious and worldly Christians will not strive. They enter through the wide gate and the broad way.

3. Suffer with Him to Reign with Him

As we obey God with fear and reverence, he will do his work of pleasure in us and will save us by his grace. "Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

The striving we do and the affliction we go through in this path will be pale in comparison with the reward we will receive. "2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." If we die with him we will live with him.  If we suffer for him, we will rule with him. "2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:"

Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
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God Bless You

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