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Joining The Overcomers – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2023 12:00 am

Joining The Overcomers – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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November 2, 2023 12:00 am

In a vast universe, humanity seems so insignificant. Yet in Christ, we are given a significant inheritance. In this message from Revelation, Pastor Lutzer invites us to join the overcomers, while we’re here on earth. God will rightly judge, and we will ultimately rule with Him, forever.

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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. If what Jesus said is true, we need to invest every moment in this life in preparation for the next, when real life begins.

And it is true. Jesus wants overcomers to rule with Him in eternity, and now is the time to join those overcomers while we're here on earth. 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, it seems the end of the age may well be upon us. Evil is flourishing and many are afraid that darkness will overwhelm us. Is it possible to overcome even now, or must we wait for heaven? Well, Dave, I think that you have answered your own question because you did make the statement that we will reign with Jesus Christ if we are faithful, if we are overcomers, obviously overcomers here on earth. And can we be overcomers now?

Absolutely. The darker the night, the more important it is for us to shine our lights. Well, today is the last day we are making a very special resource available to you. The title of the book, Your Eternal Reward, Triumph and Tears at the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ, a critical book helping us remember that it's all about eternity. Here's what you can do for a gift of any amount.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Remember, as I emphasize, today is the last day we're making this resource available. Rewards are sometimes described as privileges. Fourthly, rewards are described sometimes as honors, as honors that are given. I want to remind you that in the Bible there are various crowns that are designated, given to the faithful.

Shall I quickly list them for you? There is the crown of rejoicing. That's people led to Christ. 1 Thessalonians, Paul says, who is my joy and my crown of rejoicing?

Isn't it you at the appearing of Jesus Christ? The people into whose lives we build, those of the ones who will become our crown, as it were. The crown of glory.

Now everybody listen. If you're a deacon, an elder, or a pastoral staff member, therefore I exhort the elders among you as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ and a partaker of the glory that is to be revealed. Shepherd the flock of God among you, not under compulsion but voluntarily, according to the will of God, not for sordid gain but with eagerness, nor as a lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive an unfading crown of glory. Wow, what a crown given to faithful leadership in the church. Oh, I know you say, well, you know, I'm not an elder, so what am I going to do? I can't get that crown.

Well, that may be the case, but don't feel badly. There are other crowns. Let me, let me challenge you to get this one. How would you like the crown of righteousness?

You say, well, what do I have to do to get that? The apostle Paul said, I fought a good fight. I've kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me at that day.

And not just to me only, but to all them also who love his appearing. So you love the appearing of Christ. You anticipate his coming and you'll get the same crown, the crown of righteousness. There is the crown of life given to those of you who are overcoming excruciating trials and temptations. And sometimes when it comes to temptation, we do not emphasize the fact that temptation is a trial.

You know what it's like if you are falling habitually into the same sin, the, the awesome power of that temptation. Well, James says, blessed is the person who endures under this kind of a trial because when he has tried, he will receive the crown of life, which also is given in the book of Revelation to martyrs, sometimes referred to as the martyr's crown. There are many different ways to serve God, to be rewarded.

There are many different acts of righteousness that one can do commensurate with where you are in your spiritual journey. You can be a part of those who are crowned. Now there are many ways to win a crown. There are also many ways to lose a crown.

And right here you take everything that we gave in that message on what we can lose at the judgment seat of Christ. And you put it right here because the scripture says, make sure that no one steals your crown. The devil is a good thief.

Well, there is no good thief. He's good at being a thief and he wants to steal people's crown to lead you down a path of sin and, and hopelessness and carnality so that in the end you will not receive the crown that you could have had. Now there are people who say, well, you know, we're going to cast our crowns before Christ.

So what difference is it going to make? That's based on the 24 elders in the book of Revelation. It says that they cast their crowns before him. Yes, I want you to know that we might cast our crowns before Christ.

I'm sure we will. But, but Christ will give them back to us because we will rule with him forever and ever. And this leads me to the fifth and final principle and the most dramatic and the most mind boggling.

Look at how far we've come. Rewards are not based on merit. They are based on character. Number three, they are described as privileges. They are also, number four, described as honors.

That's where we emphasize the crowns. And now finally, rewards involve responsibilities, responsibilities. And I hope that your Bible is still open to the book of Revelation where we turn first of all to chapter two and then to chapter three, Revelation 2, 26 and 27. Revelation 2, 26 and 27. And he who overcomes and he who keeps my deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations and he shall rule them with a rod of iron as the vessels of the Potter are broken to pieces as I also have received authority from my father and I shall give him the morning star. Those words are words of Christ who is going to rule the nations and even dash them in pieces like a Potter's vessel and he who overcomes, to him I shall give that kind of authority. Now one more passage, Revelation chapter three, verse 21. And this now is the apex and the final significance of redeemed humanity. Revelation 3, 21, he who overcomes I will grant to him to sit down with me on my throne as I overcame and sat down with my father on his throne.

Think of the responsibility given to those who overcome. Now let's talk about ruling with Christ. First of all, we have in the coming future what is known as the millennial kingdom which lasts a thousand years. There will be ruling in that kingdom.

That is where the 12 apostles will exert their responsibilities ruling over the 12 tribes of Israel. But there will be other positions as we come with Christ to the Mount of Olives and we rule with him on the earth, it says in the book of Revelation, on the earth. But eventually the millennial kingdom comes to the end. And after it comes to the end you have the great white throne judgment where the unconverted dead of all the ages gather together and they are thrown into the lake of fire.

What a contrast, what a contrast, unthinkable contrast. And then what happens is the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven from God. And in that new Jerusalem now it says and they shall reign with him forever and ever. At the end of the millennium two changes occur. Rather than ruling with Jesus Christ just on earth, we now rule with him in heaven and in the heavens.

And instead of ruling for a thousand years we now rule into the ages of the ages as the Greek text says forever and forever. Now you think about that for a moment. In previous generations when the greatness and the vastness of the universe was discovered, when scientists concluded that the earth was not the center of the solar system and when they concluded that the sun was the center of our solar system but that the solar system is only a part of the vast unthinkable distances that we call the universe, 20 billion light years. Now you think about the fact that the sun's light gets here in eight minutes and the sun is 93 million miles away. I mean that light is really hustling to get here in eight minutes.

186,000 miles a second, boom. And now scientists are telling us that the universe is 20 billion with a B billion light years in diameter. And I say I can't grasp it. I can't take it in. I can say it but I can't think it. Do you think that there's so much as one individual star that is created that is not to be brought in subjection and ruled over? Unthinkable.

Let me tell you why. First of all because the scripture says regarding Christ, God has made all things, brought all things under his feet. Now you know we could read that and say all things under Christ's feet, huh?

How do we know really that it's all things? You know the good, cynical, questioning Bible reader says how do we know that it's all? So we go on reading. That's what you'll always do when you're reading the Bible.

You go on reading. It says Christ has all things under his feet and there is nothing that has not been made subject to him. Could that be clearer? Do you actually think that God would create a star out there that would spin around a hundred billion years away somewhere and it would be spinning around and play no part in magnifying his name because nobody even knows that the thing exists? I don't think so.

I don't think so. If the heavens are to declare the glory of God I think eventually every part of the heavens will declare the glory of God. Now scientists when they discovered how big the universe said to themselves well you know man is so insignificant. He is like a speck in a jungle because the universe is so vast and the earth is so indescribably small. We are nothing and all the articles came out in the journals and the newspapers saying we are really nothing because the universe is so vast. Well I want you to know that there is a different way to look at this.

Have you ever thought of the final significance of man ruling on Christ's throne in a universe that boggles our minds? The Bible says that we shall rule over the angels. That's incidentally why you're not supposed to go to court with another Christian.

This is a parenthesis here but a necessary one. You know why shouldn't Christians go to court? Well the scripture says that we shall judge angels. We shall the word really means we shall rule over the angels which is really what got Satan so worked up is the fact that fallen humanity is going to have a position above him in the final destiny of man. And so the scripture says don't you dare go to court with another Christian. Christians say what you know we have to bring justice to the situation. That's because they don't believe that God will do it so they have to. But here's the point now if we are going to judge and rule over the angels and if all things have been made subject to Christ including the trillions of stars that are billions of light years what does that do to us? It means that we have the privilege of ruling over the universe created by God in accordance with the responsibilities that God gives us angels and who knows what else and we're going to do it forever and ever and actually conquer as it were galaxies for God and rule this vast universe that boggles our minds. Now do you understand why there are going to be tears in heaven?

You get it now? We always think well you know there's going to be tears in heaven because everybody's going to feel so bad about the people who didn't make it to heaven. That may be part of it.

I think the tears are going to be tears of regret tears of regret. We didn't look after that which wasn't our own that which was entrusted to us and who then is going to entrust to us the true riches? To him who overcomes shall I grant to sit on the throne? You say well are there some Christians who aren't going to rule? I don't want to go that far.

I do want to say with deep conviction there are some Christians who are going to have a very very small rule if you look at the parables of Jesus if not none at all. Why? Because they blew it.

That's why. God gave them money and they thought it was theirs to keep to spend to invest to enjoy to pass on to their relatives and they never once asked God what do you want to do with that which you have entrusted to me? And they were faithful in that which is least. They were unfaithful in the unrighteous mammon and who will now entrust to them the true riches says Christ? You answer that question.

You answer it. God gives us time. He gives us ability. He gives us churches in which to work in which to use our talents.

He gives us needy people that need our help and our hospitality and he gives us Bible teaching that can help us overcome our sins and and he gives us all that and we grudgingly because of some petty anger perhaps in our hearts hold it all in and say it's all going to be mine and I'm going to live the way I want to live. No wonder some of us maybe I will be included but some of us are going to cry in heaven and say oh God how we blew it how we blew it because now the father looks at us and says you lazy slave should you not have had taken what I gave to you and invested it and did something with it and Jesus will be talking to us and say and who now can entrust to you that which is supposed to be yours when you couldn't look after somebody else's stuff. You say well are we going to be envious in heaven? You know we're going to look up there and we're going to see people above us with more responsibility. No I think that Jonathan Edwards was right when he said we're going to have such a pure conscience that we will rejoice in those that are above us as if we ourselves were in that position. No envy in heaven. We'll rejoice when we see those who who are more faithful than we are but we'll always know we could have served Christ and gotten that crown.

We'll know it. But there's no evidence in the Bible. There's no evidence that you can move in rank once you get to heaven.

Maybe there is but there's no evidence of it. Where you are slotted into the kingdom, the area of responsibility granted to you will be commensurate, everybody in heaven happy, everybody serving God, everybody given something to do but not everybody having overcome. I love to tell that story you know about the wealthy man with the great estate who had a son whom he dearly loved. It was his only child. He loved this little boy and the little boy's mother which is to say this man's wife died. In order to make sure that the boy was cared for he got a housekeeper who could take care of some of the duties of raising this little boy and eventually the little boy died and this man was so heartbroken. He owned so much but he died probably of a broken heart. No will.

What do you do? Well as you know the government makes a will for you. If you don't have one everybody has a will.

You either have made it out or some attorney has made it out for you. So what they decided to do was to auction his personal effects off to the highest bidder at least get rid of those and this housekeeper who had come to love the little boy as if he were her own went to the auction not because she could afford the antiques and the beautiful furniture and the rug and all those other things. That wasn't why she was there. She wanted a picture of the boy that hung in the living room. So when the auctioneer came to the picture she bought it for a few cents.

She took it home and she noticed on the back there was a piece of paper that was stuck onto the picture in the man's own handwriting and the man said I will all of my inheritance to the person who loved my son enough to buy this picture. He that spared not his own son but delivered him up for us all how shall he not also with him freely give us all things give us all things sit on his throne even as he overcame and sat on the throne of God. God says there's nothing that I will withhold from you except deity itself.

If you love my son if you learn to hate what he hates and love what he loves and care about the people that he cares about then and do with what he has given to you with that which is his. God says I will exalt you and if you are faithful in that which is least you'll be shocked you'll be shocked how I'll trust you in the life to come. And so I end this series today with some verses that come to us from one of the most blessed books in all the Bible the book of the revelation. And I saw a pure river of water of life clear as crystal proceeding from the throne and from the lamb and in the midst of the street of it and on either side of the river there was the tree of life which bear 12 manner of fruits and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse for the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it and they shall see his face and his servants shall serve him and his name shall be on their foreheads. And there is no night there there's no need of the light of the sun neither the moon to shine upon them for the Lord God himself shall illumine them and they shall reign with him forever and ever. Christ says behold I come quickly and my reward is with me to render to every man according to his deeds and the spirit and the bride say come and let him that heareth say come and let him that is a thirst come and let him take of the water of life freely.

Even so come Lord Jesus. Well my friend this is the last day we are making a special resource available to you. The title of the book is your eternal reward.

Here are some of the chapter titles. Tears in heaven you will be there what we can gain what we can lose what Christ will be looking for how we can take it with us how we can run to win standing in line to receive our reward reigning with Christ forever and then most critically contrasting the judgment seat of Jesus Christ where believers will appear contrasting that with the great white throne judgment where unbelievers appear. For a gift of any amount this book can be yours here's what you do go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now because this is the last day we're making this resource available to you I'm going to be giving you that contact info again and thank you from my heart to yours as you contribute to this ministry so that we can continue to expand to other countries around the world.

Go to rtwoffer.com of course rtwoffer is all one word rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. The name of the book Your Eternal Reward. You can write to us at Running to Win 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Pastor Erwin Lutzer concluding Joining the Overcomers the last message in his series Your Eternal Reward experiencing gain and loss at the judgment seat of Christ. We hope you'll now want to live today so as to be an overcomer then. Thanks for listening for Pastor Erwin Lutzer this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-02 03:42:40 / 2023-11-02 03:51:00 / 8

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