I once thought I was alive, but I was dead. When I found out that I was dead I became alive by dying.
People in the Church
If we think that we can get guns or grow crops or save up food and gold so that we can have a comfortable life during the great tribulation…we have another thing coming.
Whoever Seeks to Save His Life
Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Matthew 16:22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
Matthew 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Matthew 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Matthew 16:26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
Denying the Self
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself
Not asceticism: not doing without
To deny our nature that is contrary to God
Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Who or what will be our God? Satan, materialism etc or the One True God
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
1 John 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
This means that we have to deny who and what we were and any vestige of the carnal that still exists within us. We have to transform from the carnal to the spiritual
It is not about us and how great we think we are but it is how great we think that Christ is in us. To do otherwise is to DENY CHRIST and not deny self
We have an example of a group of people that did not do this in the end-time.
In other words they are not doing it now
Laodiceans did not deny themselves
Revelation 3:17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent
Pursuing a New Life and Way
Ephesians 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,
Ephesians 4:18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
Ephesians 4:19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Ephesians 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ,
Ephesians 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Ephesians 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
Ephesians 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
Ephesians 4:24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, “LET EACH ONE OF YOU SPEAK TRUTH WITH HIS NEIGHBOR,” for we are members of one another.
Ephesians 4:26 “BE ANGRY, AND DO NOT SIN”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
Ephesians 4:27 nor give place to the devil.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Become Pure. Free from carnality and uncleanness. We are not to be contaminated with our old nature but with the holiness of God
To Do Without is Gain
Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Philippians 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Taking up our Cross
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross,
This was a term that Christ used before He actually bore the cross.
The Jews knew what it meant
It was a certain death sentence
It meant that Christ would die even though He was righteous
Christ our example
Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
We to are to take up our cross and be crucified
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
We are to follow the example of Christ
We are Called to Suffer
1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.
1 Peter 2:19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
1 Peter 2:22 “WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH”;
1 Peter 2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree,
When we are called to deny ourselves this is the least that we can do. It is the wrong, carnal and ungodly aspects of ourselves that need to change. BUT when we are asked to “take up our cross” like Christ did, we are being asked to suffer for the sake of righteousness – this is Godly.
Paul did this (2 Timothy 3:10). Some trials come and go. Some stay with us for long periods, even life. Sometimes it is more than one at a time.
2 Timothy 3:10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,
2 Timothy 3:11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2 Timothy 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
As part of our lives we will have to endure trials and tribulations that were not of our own making.
How do we do with this? Are we willing to put up with what others do to us? And what God allows to happen to us?
Three quick points under this heading to give us some perspective (and hopefully help us to Bear our Cross)
1. Our Cross is Light
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Because we have Jesus Christ we do not have to do it on our own. We do not have to go through what Jesus Christ did.
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
1 Corinthians 15:31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Plan to endure
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
3. It is a Necessity to Inherit the Kingdom of God
Suffering is part of the path to the Kingdom of God
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Losing our Life
This is not just some empty platitude
Matthew 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Another end-time example
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. [they were willing to deny themselves even to the point of death. We are not to overvalue this physical life to the point that we are not willing to give it up.]
[And notice the ones that did not have the right perspective and what happened to them]
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Become a Living Sacrifice
Literally give our life to God.
It is His any way
A ransom was paid
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
A new creation
Romans 6:2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Romans 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
In other words you once thought that you were alive but you were dead. Then you were given a new life that you may suffer and die that you may live forever.
God chose you now because He knew that you could accomplish what He has set before you to do.