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What We Might Gain – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
October 23, 2023 1:00 am

What We Might Gain – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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October 23, 2023 1:00 am

Imagine ruling with Christ, forever. At Christ’s judgment seat, believers stand to gain privilege and responsibility beyond our wildest dreams. In this message from Hebrews 2, Pastor Lutzer unpacks three implications about our lasting inheritance in Christ. Are we preparing today to be the people we will be into eternity?

This month’s special offer is available for a donation of any amount. Get yours at rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. 

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. When we as Christians stand before Christ at His judgment seat, what's at stake for us is far greater than a mere report card. We stand to gain privilege and responsibility far beyond our wildest dreams. As part of an eternal kingdom, we will rule with Christ.

From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, most of us live in the here and now, coping with life as best we can. It's not easy to take that longer look into the future you're encouraging us to take. No, Dave, it isn't easy to take the long look, but of course, as we read the Bible, we discover that from beginning to end, the Bible is a book about how to live on earth in light of eternity. We must always keep that long-range point of view.

In fact, Jesus did, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and as a result now is seated at the right hand of God the Father. And I say to everyone who is listening, the long-range point of view gives us the strength and the ability to cope today, living for the glory of God, because as people have frequently heard me say, all that really matters is what matters forever. Well, we here at Running to Win are so glad when we can announce the expansion of this ministry, and recently we are being heard now over radio in India, and most of the country is able to hear us, and the good news is that the ministry of Running to Win is also expanding into other countries, and we can do that because of people just like you.

Would you consider joining the Running to Win family, becoming an endurance partner? Here's what you can do to receive more info. Go to rtwoffer.com.

When you're there, you click on the endurance partner button, or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Even as we listen, may we always be reminded that it is eternity that really counts. Take your Bibles now and turn to the book of Hebrews. You'll notice it says in chapter 2, verse 10, for it was fitting for him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons into glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. Do you notice, by the way, that God had one son, namely Christ, and he said, I want many sons who are just going to be like him, like him to the extent that a creature can be like the creator, like him to the extent that the finite can be like the infinite. And so Christ comes, and God gets as many sons, verse 11, for both he who sanctifies, that is Christ, and those who are sanctified, they are all from, that is us, we're all from one father. That's what makes us brothers. We have the same father for which reason Christ is not ashamed to call us brothers.

Wow. You realize that? We may be ashamed of Christ, and if we are, he says he'll be ashamed of us. That's going to be mentioned in another message that I'm going to be speaking on this topic.

But for now, let's concentrate on this. There are many families that have a renegade brother. They don't even want to know that he exists.

We've written them off. He doesn't exist. When somebody brings his name to our attention, we just deny him. We say we've never met the guy because he's such an embarrassment to the family. Well, aren't we an embarrassment to God's family? Oftentimes, we are.

But Jesus said, I'm not going to deny you, and I'm not ashamed of you because you were purchased at high cost. We have the same father. I am a son.

You are a son. That makes us brothers. Brothers of Christ.

Now let's take this just a little bit further along the way. If we are really brothers of Christ, what does that mean for the future? Well, it says that we are heirs of God's fortune. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

I mean, it only makes sense. When a father dies and the will is read, the brothers share equally. Now in this case, the father doesn't die, but the kids die. We die. And after we go to heaven, the will is read and Jesus is the heir of all things.

And that includes quite a bit, come to think of it. The heir of all things. And we are heirs of God and joint heirs with him. What a thought.

What a thought. Well, you say, what all does that mean? Okay, I'm getting this inheritance if I unpack it. What's in the box? What's in the box? I don't know everything that's in the box. I know a few things that are in the box, but not everything that's in the box because we only know so much in this life.

But let me tell you about a few things. First of all, you get an indestructible body, one that is no longer subject to pain and illness and heartache and grief and, and one that no longer succumbs to cancer and all those other awful things. You get an indestructible body and you are guaranteed access, immediate access and living in the very presence of God beloved. Now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him.

After all, we are brothers. We shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. That's part of what you see when you open the box, when the will is read and when we get our airship and our inheritance.

What else is in this box? Well now we have to tread carefully because now we're soaring all the way to heaven and now we need to be able to try to ask God to help us understand this because words are one thing, but revelation and understanding are another because here all words begin to fade away in light of what God has revealed. There's the possibility, the possibility of ruling with Christ right next to him. Listen to this verse. He who overcomes, says Christ, to him I will grant to sit on my throne even as I overcame and sat on my father's throne. Wow.

Now let's run through that a little more slowly. Lord, you've said it, but we're humans and we can't grasp it. He who overcomes, I will grant him to sit on my throne just as I overcame and I'm sitting on my father's throne. Well, Lord Jesus, if you are sitting on the throne of your father because you're an overcomer, does that then mean that if we are overcomers, we will get up? I want to say it.

All right, I will. That we will sit on the throne of God? Is that what it really means? Have we come finally to the limits of our understanding regarding God's incredible matchless grace? Now don't tell me that I'm drifting into the new age here.

I don't need any more letters than I'm already getting and most of the letters are good by the way, but I don't need any more. Listen, let me say it to you again. We are going to be as much like Christ as it is possible for the finite to be like the infinite and the creature to be like the creator. The gap between us and Christ will always be infinite because we are always undeserving creatures, but still this is what God's word says is granted to overcomers. That's the possibility if we're faithful.

Interestingly, ruling with Christ is usually in the Bible, maybe not always, but usually tied to faithfulness. Listen to this passage taken from 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 2. For if we died with him, we shall also live with him. If we endure, let me read that more slowly. If we endure, we shall also reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. If we are faithless, he remains faithful. He cannot deny himself. If we deny him, he will deny us. As I mentioned, I'm going to be discussing those kinds of passages in another message, but just for a moment, focus on this phrase. If we endure, we shall also reign with him.

Oh, how do we boil all this down in a manageable package? Three conclusions I'd like to draw. First of all, all believers, all believers will have some inheritance. They'll have some inheritance. They will be in heaven with a glorified body. They will have proximity to God the Father.

They will live in joy, and they will inherit God, inherit God. All believers will have that. That's what comes with going to heaven. That's part of the package of heaven. But then a second observation is this. God's present agenda is to train the bride, to train the bride to be a companion for the son.

That's what the whole agenda is. You know, what is God doing in this world with his people? What does it say in Ephesians? He is cleansing. He is washing. He is sanctifying. He is putting the church through trials. He is purifying.

Why? Because he says, I want somebody to sit on the throne with my son who is a companion to him. And in order to do that, you have to be an overcomer.

An overcomer means training. That's God's agenda. And I don't think that all will get to rule with Christ, or at least we can say that not all will get to rule over a large area.

Some will have small areas of rule. This can be shown in other parables that Jesus Christ taught. Why? Because this is the training ground. This is the college entrance exam so that God will know where to slot us in the kingdom and where we will sit when Jesus Christ sits on his throne. Now, I told you that the church has been engaged to Christ. We're engaged. The marriage hasn't really yet happened. But we're going to be at the marriage supper of the lamb where it's going to get nailed down. And whenever you think of weddings, what do you think about? Well, I know what the bride thinks about in addition to that guy that she's going to marry.

She always thinks of what she's going to be wearing. The 19th chapter of the book of Revelation where we get to the marriage supper of the lamb and here we find out what we can be doing today to prepare for eternity. What can we be doing today to prepare for eternity? Chapter 19 verse 7. Let us be glad and rejoice and give glory to him for the marriage of the lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Is this the righteousness of Christ?

No. The righteousness of Christ is given to us freely when we believe in Christ. In order to make it to the marriage supper of the lamb, you need two suits of clothes. The first is the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is given to us as a free gift and even at this moment some people listening to this message have never grasped that and received Christ as their own.

I urge you to do that. That is the first garment that you must have or else you won't even appear here. You will be at the great white throne judgment. But there's a second garment and that is the righteous acts of the saints, plural, the righteous acts of the saints. What is it that we are doing in this life?

Why all the hassle? We're sewing, we're sewing a dress so that we have something to wear at the marriage supper of the lamb. You say, well, are there some Christians who are going to show up and they're going to be embarrassed because they are scantily clad? Yeah, maybe because John said you should live in such a way that you are not ashamed that it's coming.

I can't believe that throughout all of eternity those who have been faithful and loved God and have been sewing so faithfully and making this garment of righteous act, they will be looked at differently than selfish Christians who lived their whole lives just for themselves with a ticket to heaven but have really no real righteous acts to speak of to hand to the Savior with which cloth may be made by which they may be clothed. Last night I called my mother. She told me about a woman who died at the age of 91 and I have only one clear memory of this woman. I didn't know her well but I just have one clear memory and that was when I was in college I knew some of her children and I went over to her place to pick something up and I've long since forgotten what it was but she came to the door and her whole face was just flushed with tears and she apologized and she said I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that I'm crying she says but you just caught me in the middle of my morning prayers for my family.

Oh wow. Her husband died years later. She's been a widow for 25 or 30 years and then about 10 days ago she went on to glory. I know how faithful she was. I knew that she volunteered in the church.

I knew the prayers. She had a wayward son and and she prayed that boy back into the fold. I couldn't help but think yesterday because this message was on my mind I think that that lady is going to have lots to wear with the marriage supper of the lamb. She'll do okay. She'll do okay.

If you begin to probe and to say well now what is it really that Christ is going to be looking for as I mentioned to you hopefully that will be a separate message on what is it that really does merit the great reward except to say this generally speaking now that obviously acts of generosity Jesus said on one occasion that if you if you give to people who can't give back to you that's a that's a big reward and and our attitude with which we serve one another and and the way in which we conduct ourselves when everything seems to be against us that merits great reward. Three weeks ago I called a family whom I knew back in Canada. You know there's some people just seem to be destined for trouble and trials. Here's a man and his wife who I've known for many years. They have two children whom I've known also. The boy died about two or three years ago after terrible terrible suffering from cancer and yet before he died he died so victoriously that he did not want to be in a room alone.

Whenever they wanted to put him in a in a room he always said no give me a roommate because he wanted to witness to the person who was next to him in the room but anyway he died. In fact I'll never forget he asked me to call him and we spoke together and and his last words to me were I'll see you in heaven and that's exactly what's going to happen. They have a daughter who suffered with cancer for oh it must have been easily 15 years.

I visited her this summer. She was just totally totally out of it just hardly connecting and now this poor lady after all those years of suffering finally died about three weeks ago and now the husband the father is down to 125 pounds and he's in his last days and that's why I called him to speak with him and to pray with him and then I talked to the wife who's endured all this. What do you say? I didn't say it this way because it sounds too flippant so I couched it much more nicely but in effect I said Ella don't you realize that this is intended to increase your eternal joy and happiness. That's what it's all about. There is no other purpose but that God says this is the training because I am shaping a bride who is fit to rule with me and you can't be an overcomer unless God dumps all these things on your plate that you have to overcome. Most of us spend all of our lives thinking of ways to make sure that there's nothing in life that we have to overcome because we want to sail on through. God says I'm not going to let you sail on through because my purpose is an eternal one.

I want a help meet suitable for my son and the bride needs training, the bride needs cleansing, the bride needs sanctification and that can't happen without trouble unfortunately and so that's what it's all about is the eternal happiness of the saints and getting to rule with Christ. I conclude today by saying that the person I'm becoming today, the person I am becoming today is preparing me for the person I will be throughout all of eternity. The person I'm becoming today is preparing me for the person that I will be throughout all of eternity.

That's the name of the game. There's no evidence that in heaven you can work your way up. There might be but it's not been revealed to us. Only faithfulness on earth here will determine your reward and once that reward has been granted and your position in the kingdom has been made clear that is where you are going to be and maybe there's a way in which you can somehow change your status but if there is God has not seen fit to tell us that. All that he has said to us this is this. All of us shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give account for the deeds done in the body to be recompensed whether those deeds are good or bad as we mentioned in the last message and that's it and suddenly all the pretense is gone and all the hassle is gone all the people that we honor whom God doesn't honor. Finally everything comes and and there's just nothing but bare reality nothing more and God says the whole purpose is that you might rule with my beloved son. You are writing a gospel a chapter each day by the deeds that you do by the words that you say men read what you write whether faithless or true.

Say what is the gospel according to you? Let us pray. Our father we want to thank you today for the prospect though we do not grasp it we have just said it but the prospect of ruling with Christ forever and to think that those have been faithful your word says will be granted to sit with you on your throne. We pray today father that you might finally help us to see what it's all about and what you're trying to do. Many who are listening to this message have suffered greatly and yet we read in your word that if we suffer with him we shall reign with him and we pray today Lord that you shall grant us the ability to see beyond all the superficial things to that which is eternal. To think that we can gain heaven is wonderful to think that we could gain ruling with Christ is beyond our imagination. Work in our lives to bring us to the point where there is gold and silver and precious stones that will endure the flames. We pray in Jesus name.

Amen. Well my friend this is Pastor Lutzer we certainly need that kind of encouragement don't we? It's very sobering to realize that we shall have the privilege of ruling with Jesus Christ forever and as I mentioned in the message it's really not possible for us to even imagine it. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard all that God has prepared for those who love him. One of the things that rejoices our hearts here at Running to Win is when we receive reports about this ministry not just here in the West in America but also in other countries.

Recently we discovered that in a three month period we've heard from nearly 40,000 listeners to our Spanish programs. Now all that because of people just like you who support this ministry. Would you consider joining the Running to Win family?

And every single opportunity that we have to share the good news of the gospel becomes your opportunity. Here's how you can find more info. Go to rtwoffer.com and when you're there click on the endurance partner button and it will tell you all that you need to know how you can become a member of the family like I like to put it the Running to Win family or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. I'm going to be giving you that contact info again because it is so critical that you have the opportunity of helping us.

We know that there are many ministries sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ but if you are blessed as a result of the ministry of Running to Win always remember it's because people just like you have made an investment in this ministry. Here's what you can do. Go to rtwoffer.com. Of course rtwoffer is all one word.

rtwoffer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or you can pick up the phone right now and call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thanks for helping us. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. You've heard Pastor Erwin Lutzer concluding What We Might Gain, the second of six messages in his series, Your Eternal Reward. Next time, the other side of the coin. Join us to hear What We Might Lose. Thanks for listening. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-23 02:16:19 / 2023-10-23 02:25:21 / 9

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