The Great Fellowship – the Church (Part 3)

28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,

30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. Mk. 10:28-31

Part 3

Thirdly, let us ponder Jesus’ words in verse 31:

“But many that are first shall be last; and the last first”.

I believe this is a warning from the Lord. He is warning us of the challenge that we face in giving our lives into the church. It is like He is saying that this challenge is more pronounced in the area of letting go of our material wealth, for the materially wealthy. In even clearer terms Jesus is saying here that many will be defeated by the flesh in this area. Remember He spoke these words in the context of His conversation with the rich young ruler, where He concluded,

How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”

And again,

Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Mk. 10:23,24,25).

You could not be more spiritual than Jesus was, but here He was, speaking in clear, natural terms of the difficulty of unbinding the heart from worldly riches.

This was what happened to Lot’s wife in the Old Testament, and the same happened to Ananias and Sapphira in the New Testament. They were unable to integrate their lives into the church because their lives were not fully surrendered to the Lord in this area.

If you are in church but you do not have a “church heart”, you are in trouble. The church is a fellowship, not a place for people to flaunt their “blessings” or the fruits of their “hard work” before others. Although work is very much required and encouraged, and although blessings are very much welcome, yet it is in the realization that all that we achieve or receive is by God’s grace. A church person will therefore be very gracious in and with whatever they have.

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