TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:58
Anyone and everyone that has ever attempted to faithfully serve the Lord and to live a life that honors Christ has met continual opposition, disappointments, and discouragements. These often become so severe and prolonged that we are often tempted to Quit, to just throw in the towel and give up the good fight of faith. Quitting is often the easiest course to take in these times and too many often take the easy way out.
As the Lord’s Coming draws nearer it is going to become even more difficult to live the Christian Life. The wicked will seem to continue to prosper as their evils and injustices against the righteous continue to increase. The Lord would give us the same challenge He gave the Prophet Jeremiah when he was encountering similar circumstances. [Jeremiah 12:5] “If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with the horsemen? And if in the land of the peace, wherin thou trusted, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of the Jordan?” The average Church member needs to ask themselves, if they cannot be faithful to Jesus while the opposition is relatively small, how are they going to make it as the trials increase. Maybe this partly explains the reason behind the great Falling Away [2 Thessalonians 2:3] we are seeing within Christendom.
We must take the Apostle Paul’s challenge to be “…Steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord…” [1 Corinthians 15:58]
“Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and Determination alone are important!!
Let us look at the areas where we must resolve to be Persistent in spite of increasing difficulties that will tend to weary us.
#I. Be Persistent In Following Jesus [John 6:65-69; 2 Timothy 4:6,7]
A. When Others Walk Away [John 6:65-69]
B. When Others Mock the Way [ 2 Timothy 4:1-5]
#II. Be Persistent In Your Stewardship
A. In Times of Poverty [2 Corinthians 8:1,2]
B. In Times of Opportunity [ Galatians 6:10; Philippians 4:10; Hebrews 13:16]
If we see a need and have the means to meet it then we are the one the Lord is calling to meet the need. [James 2:14-18; Proverbs 3:27,28; 21:13]
#III. Be Persistent To Your Marriage Vows [ Matthew 19:1-9]
Each married couple has stood before God and man and Vowed to the Lord and their mate:
“To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance.”
No one knows on the day of their marriage what the future may hold, but each should know that regardless what the future may hold that their marriage vows will hold.
#IV. Be Persistent In Your Witnessing [ Matthew 28:18-20;Acts 4:20; 18:9-11]
*[Matthew 28:18] “All authority is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.”
*[Matthew 28:19] “Go ye, therefore, and teach ALL Nations.”
*[Mark 16:15] “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
*[Genesis 1:1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
*[Psalms 24:1] “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they who dwell therein.”
Many times the world tries to tell the Church that it has no right to bring our Faith and the Gospel into their arena, whether it be the World of Politics, the World of Education, the World of Entertainment, the World of False Religions, etc.; but according to the above verses, the Lord Jesus, who is the Creator and Owner of the Universe and all whom He has allowed to take up space here; has both commanded and commissioned His Church to take the Gospel everywhere. No place can be off limits to the Church, the Lord Jesus has all Authority and that is all the right and authority we need. We must say to a rebellious world who would resists our efforts to do so, the same words as Peter and John spoke to their opposition; “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” [Acts 4:20] “We ought to obey God rather than man.” [Acts 5:28]
B. To Everyone
*[Matthew 28:19] “..teach all nations…”
*[1Timothy 2:4] “Who will have all men to be saved.”
These verses and hundreds of others tell us that all men MUST be Saved and that all men MUST be saved the same way; Jesus and Jesus alone. Thus, Jesus commands we preach the Gospel to every creature.
C. Every Day
*[Acts 2:47] “And the Lord added to the Church DAILY such as should be saved.”
*[Matthew 9:37] “The harvest is plenteous…”
*[John 4:35] “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
For the early Church, soul winning was a DAILY venture. It must once again be for this last day Church as well. Thousands die and slip into H-E-L-L each and everyday, and the sad thing is that many of these were ripe for the picking, they could of been easily won to Jesus if the Church had been obedient to the Great Commission, and had not been full of excuses for why it is was not a good time to take the Gospel to these lost souls. We must reach them before death does. The Gospel means “GOOD NEWS”, but it is only Good News if it get to the lost sinner before death does. It is everlastingly too late when the sinners heart stops beating for the last time
Jesus’ Coming is always imminent, those who have heard the Gospel and failed to respond will be doomed and damned after the Rapture of the Church. [2Thessalonians 2:10-12]
We must Compel every creature, everyday, to Repent and Turn to Jesus while they still have the opportunity to do so.
D. In Every Way
The Lord has given His last day Church so many ways of Communication and Transportation that were never before available to the Church. We must take advantage of each of these numerous ways to spread the Gospel. There are parts of the world that have a McDonald’s, but no Church. Would to God that we were as evangelistic in spreading Christ as McDonald’s are in spreading their franchises.
I have always believed that many of the worlds greatest inventions were in the areas of Communication and Transportation. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord gave these inventors and pioneer’s their vision so that the Church could have more and better means to more quickly spread the Gospel to a lost world.
The devils crowd are always more eager and ingenious in finding ways to use these means to spread their evils than the Church is to spread the Gospel. We must not relinquish these God’s given means to the devils crowd. We must use Every Way available to spread the Gospel. The job is too big and the time too short, not to do so.
#V. Be Persistent In Your Place of Ministry
[ 1 Corinthians 7:17-24;1Timothy 1:3; Titus 1:5]
A. If it be a Secular Calling [ 1 Corinthians 7:17-24]
B. If it be a Spiritual Calling [ 1 Timothy 1:3; Titus 1:5]
“Keep on in spite of your feelings or frustrations.
Keep on though you have been forgotten as was Joseph.
Keep on though you have been forsaken as was Jesus.
Keep on though you have failed as did Peter.
Keep on in spite of fears and foes as did Paul.
Keep on though thrown in the fire as were the three Hebrew children.
Keep on through all the Pain, knowing your labor is not in vain!”