Classic Christianity – Thanksgiving Part 2 (11-23-21)
Understanding the Work of The Ministry – Trusting in Jesus
Where are you in this coming up Thanksgiving season? Are you in a season of your life now where you are free to talk with your mother or your father? Or is that relationship strained? Do you have brothers and sisters in Christ whom you can be with? Well, you are blessed. God tells us to be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. What does that mean? God sees you and rejoices with you when you rejoice but He also grieves with you when you grieve. He is always available for help in time of need. And there is the peace of God that surpasses all understanding because you know Him. You have understood and entered the Sabbath rest with God. That is why we can be thankful. We learn patience and endurance through the things we struggle, the trial and tribulations of life, humbly depending on the Holy Spirit of God, who leads us from within, as a child of God. That is why we can boast in our weaknesses, for when we are weak, He is strong.
2 Corinthians 1:2-4
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise to the God of All Comfort
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Do you know that no matter what your circumstances currently are, and you are in Christ, you are never alone. Do you know that God is Father to the fatherless? He sees where you are and He also takes up the cause of the widow and the orphan. He puts the lonely in families. You may have lived through the most devastating of circumstances, wondering whether you will have food to eat, and silenced under an evil dictator, but God is at work behind the scenes. God was there with you all along, calling you unto Himself, to trust Him. As you grew up in Christ, now you have experience and wisdom to pass on. For the things you went through allows you to comfort others with the same comfort you received from God.
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
1 Peter 4:19
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
As we close the book of 1 Peter, he is talking to the elders among you.
1 Peter 5:1-2
1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock
People who are in that position, of being a pastor-teacher, he says you should shepherd your flock.
1 Peter 5:2
that is under your care, watching over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be;
So what he is saying is if you are going to function in an attitude of servitude as a pastor, as a teacher, whoever that might be, in a position that God put you in, as leadership, do so willingly, do so joyfully. Look at yourself as an overseer, not because you have to be, but because you really want to be, because God has put that on your heart.
When we were talking a couple of weeks ago about spiritual gifts, I want us to delineate just a moment, the difference in those gifts. When you have spiritual gifts that were given, gifts of giving. We talked about that last week. Gift of admonishment. Gifts of encouragement. All of those types of gifts that are listed. Also in the book of Ephesians, it talks about for additional gifts that are not spiritual gifts that you have, but that the person themselves is the gift.
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
It says he gave to the body of Christ, some to be evangelists, some to be prophets, some to be pastor, some to be teachers, for the equipping of the saints for their work of ministry. Now we have talked about before that what the work of ministry is, is to believe in Jesus. And when they came to Jesus and asked Lord, what is the work of the ministry, his answer was this is the work of the ministry, to believe in me.
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
In other words, the work of the ministry is to trust Jesus. If you went to a branch and the branch said “Hey, what is the work of the branch, what would you say?” “To abide in the vine.” Why? Because if you do not abide in the vine, you might as well cut you off and throw in the fire for you will not be able to produce anything anybody is looking for. So the work of ministry is to abide in Jesus.
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
So what is the work of the evangelist? To teach people to trust Jesus. What is the job of the prophet? To teach people to trust Jesus. What is the job of the pastor or teacher? To teach people to trust Jesus, to walk by faith in Jesus. And so those are not spiritual gifts. The people themselves are the gift. God gives an evangelist. The evangelist does not have a gift of evangelism. Evangelism is the gift. He is the gift as an evangelist to the body of Christ. God says I am going to make you an evangelist to the body of Christ for the purpose of teaching people how to trust Jesus. That is what you do in an evangelistic campaign. To the prophet, he is the gift. To the pastor or teacher, if he is truly sent by God, then he is a gift from God to the body of Christ. It is not that you are a person who has the gift of teaching. A pastor or teacher is a literal human gift to the body of Christ. Do we understand the difference on that?
Now, again a person can, who was never sent by God, go and get a degree from a seminary, can they not, and that qualifies them to go and be a pastor, when God has never sent them to do anything? He probably has not called him unto Himself yet. The issue today is that so many people have substituted the call of God on a man’s life into getting a degree from a seminary. And so now you have got to be qualified from the seminary in order to get a degree so that that qualifies you now to go be God’s representative. Well, I got news for you. God does not give degrees. So we have to understand that truth.
That is how the world has now functioned because people could not trust God to raise up his people to feed the body of Christ. So if you have someone in your pulpit or someone who is your teacher, that God has sent, then that person is a gift from God to the body of Christ. But we have to also understand that a person could be into that position by the energy of his own flesh and for no other desire or will, than his own, to act in a certain profession. And so those gifts are people gifts in comparison to spiritual gifts that we as people have. Okay. Any questions on that?
So it says as a shepherd to shepherd the flock, serving as overseers, not because you want to, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be.
1 Peter 5:2
that is under your care, watching over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain,
If God does not want me to be greedy for money, then he wants me to teach you not to be greedy for money. But if I am greedy for money then what am I going to teach you? To be greedy for money. God forbid that there are people doing that. Just turn on your Christian television station and there you will see that. As a matter of fact is that not what is taught. So many false teachers preach, “God wants us all to be prosperous. So all you have to do, and especially you, send money to me, and God will make you prosperous. Well, God will make me prosperous. I do not know what he will do for you. But he will make me prosperous if you buy that lie.” What does scripture say about that?
1 Timothy 6:2-5
2 These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
If scripture teaches the pastor not to be greedy for money, how can you be talking about the fact God wants us to have all the money in the world? “He wants us prosperous and you just give and you just be obedient to God and he will bless your socks right off of you. I got news for you.” That is not what prosperity is. The only true prosperity there is in this world is the prosperity we have as being in Christ Jesus. How we live and what our financial resources are is irrelevant. God blesses people or maybe sometimes you are not blessed by getting money.
It is an amazing thing that they have taken surveys on people who have won the lottery and seen what has happened to them. Most of their lives have been destroyed. You take the rich and famous, and we all look at that with admiration, and you drive through Beverly Hills out in California, that we used to be close by, and you look at those big houses and you say “I wonder what is going on. I bet they are happy as dogs in mud in there.” I just read the divorce column. You just absolutely realize that you can have a house but a house and a home are two different things.
1 Timothy 4:6-7
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
And so we realize that money is not necessarily a blessing. It depends on whether God thinks you are ready to handle such a thing. God does give certain people the ability for financial success because they not only are going to take that money and use it but they are going to use it for the perpetuation of the gospel. So do not ever get conned into the fact that thinking godliness is a means to financial gain because it absolutely is not.
1 Tmothy 6:10
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Anything wrong with money. Nothing wrong with it. It is money. Money is not the root of all evil. It is the love of money that becomes the root of all evil. And so we have to realize that a pastor, if God does not want a pastor teacher to be greedy for money, and he wants us to teach, why then he certainly does not want you greedy for money as well. But eager to serve.
1 Peter 5:2-3
but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you,
But it also talks about pastor teacher not lording it over those entrusted to you. The pastor is not to be lording it over people. What does that mean? Trying to control you. Trying to tell you how to live your life. Trying to control your life. How do you do that if you do not understand that you are not supposed to lord it over people. By putting people on guilt trips or teaching them false doctrine that will play into your control game.
As an example, as far as God is concerned is there any difference between serving and teaching. If you have a spiritual gift of teaching and you have a spiritual gift of serving, is there any difference in those two gifts? Did God bless one over the other? No. Is there any difference? Is there any difference in the people? No. Is there a difference in the gift? Yes. But is there any difference in the quality of the gift? No, it is just it. Is there any difference between a man being a gift to the body of Christ and the body of Christ? No difference.
In other words, are we both saved by faith? Yes, both saved by grace in Christ Jesus? Yes. Well then there is no difference. It is just an assignment that God has given to you. So if you are just an assignment that you have, then why would you want to lord it over somebody as if you were greater than they were or had some kind of closer contact with God than they do. So what he is saying is that we are all where we are today by the grace of God and by the love of God. There is no heroes in the Christian faith. None. So he says do not lord it over those who are under your are.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 3:5-7
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
1 Peter 5:3-4
but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
What do you think being an example to the flock is going to be? As an example, people look do they not, to their pastors or to their teachers, to be an example, don’t they? Then we get in our mind, what a good example would be. And so we say “Well, because that is kind of a nebulous term, being a good example, let us just make up what a good example would be. Well, he would certainly want to wear a tie on Sunday. Certainly, he would not be interested in things like sports.” And guys, and you see, I am just starting. Can you see? If you do not know what that is talking about, do you just keep going on and on and on and on? “Certainly it would be a person who would never get irritated, never get angry, and probably a person never ever thinking about telling a lie.” We can go on and on couldn’t we?
Do you know that the only example, if I would be called of God to be an example to you, do you know the only example I would be interested in being to you? It is the example of trusting Jesus with my life. And that is it. The only example that I could live up to is the example of trusting Jesus with my life because if you have any other criteria for your leader besides that, he is going to disappoint you sooner or later.
When we get down to this area of being examples, you get people that say we need to be role models. Amy and I get to see role models about every Wednesday in a little deli we go to. There are accountability groups sitting there. You just see those guys, I am going to sound critical and you know why? I am. But God isn’t through with me yet. If you look to me for an example of never being critical, forget it. But you see these guys. They come in there with their little heads and their bibles and they sit. This guy the other day started praying at the table before they ate. By the time he got through praying, their eggs were freezing.
I mean I bet he went on for 10 minutes in that restaurant. He is supposed to be with this guy he is discipling. This guy is not used to doing that. Nobody is used to doing that. So here he is, looking around. You feel like going up, why my brother is finishing his prayer, I am going to eat his breakfast. You look on and people have those kinds of stuff, example after example, and we have all this stuff we put up as examples. You can do every one of those and not be trusting the Lord with your life.
6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
The only example that we can pass onto one another. The only true example you can pass onto your children is not the way you act necessarily. Although your behavior will be a reflection of your belief in Christ. It is not that behavior is not important, but it should be a by product of your faith, and not being about your faith. The example that your children can see. There is my mom trusting the Lord with her life. She is going through trials and tribulations but she trusts in Jesus. And my dad trusted Jesus. He trusted Jesus. That to me is the greatest example that you can pass on to the world and to the people around you. I have a God that I love and I have God that I can trust. If you can communicate that, if that is a reality in your life, and you can communicate that to each other, then you have been a phenomenal example to the flock of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 5:4
4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Well, if you are sitting there and your pastor or teacher or whatever he might be, or shepherd of the flock, and you say, “Good, I am going to get one of those crowns.” Should I be sitting around thinking about what kind of crown I am getting? That is like people talking about rewards, saying “What kind of rewards?” If you are thinking about rewards, you have lost it. If this is going to occur, praise God. Do I have any idea what that is going to be? I do not have a clue and do not care less. That is God’s business. I do not want to be doing what I am doing because there might be a crown available to me some day. I do not want to do what I am doing because there may be a reward some day. How did he say? To do ii willingly. Why? It is an attitude of servitude.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
But he does say for these things, there will be rewards. Praise God. That is nice to hear. From that point on, forget it. I know people in ministry today who work for rewards. They are working themselves to death for Jesus so they will get some rewards. Like I say, that is what is called when it talks about on the day, and the scriptures, and some people say the time of the rapture of the saints, that we will be rewarded for those things we have done in the body. So, He says we are going to get rewards. So, wow. We are going to get rewards. He says so. What are we going to be rewarded for? Nothing except what we allowed Jesus to do in us and through us. What we have done in self effort is called wood, hay, and stubble.
1 Corinthians 3:11-13
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.
So we are going to be a bunch of people, standing in line up there for rewards. And you will see a match put to that thing. There will be a huge ash pile. Knowing us, we will be standing there saying my ash pile is bigger than Lou’s. But all it is, is an ash pile. And, wood, hay, and stubble. So we do not work for rewards. There are going to be such a thing as rewards. Again, we have no idea what they are. But they are going to be rewards. But do not work for them. Recognize it will occur and then forget it and move on with trusting the Lord.
7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
1 Peter 5:5
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders.
I teach this to my staff a lot. (Laughter, since Bob at this time in his life is probably much older in years than his staff). Again, what is the reason for that? Well, it seems to me that God has some recognition of this thing called experience. That we live through things. It talks about older women minister to the younger women. Why? You have been through these things. You have seen the good. You have seen the bad.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Is there any one in here who has had some bad experiences in their lives? Anybody in here? Have you learned from them? Are you able to pass it on to your children so they do not have to go through those things? You see that is the benefit of experience. That age gives you an opportunity not to look forward on life as youth does. Youth is sitting there on the 200 year plan. They have a whole life ahead of them. As you get older, you are looking more back on your life. You see the mistakes you have made. You see some things you have done that work, and you see some things that do not work. We are so ridiculous as people not to pay attention to that experience. Because if we do not learn from our experience, then we are going to make the same mistakes from not learning. And so what we do is spend all of our life making the same mistakes over and over again instead of learning from those mistakes. So it says, young people be submissive.
1 Peter 5:5
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”[Proverbs 3:34];
Now here, you are going to see again the identical type of thing over in the book of James, when you go over to that book of James. We will not take the time to do that today. But when you go over to the book of James, you see almost the identical rendering. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Here in Peter it says God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.
5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[a]? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”[Proverbs 3:34]
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Why does God oppose the proud. Because the proud will not receive. The proud does not live in dependency. Neither will the proud go to the older people for experience. The proud person looks on as what do they know. So that proud heart keeps you from a lot of wisdom. A proud heart says “I do not need that advice. I will work it out on my own.” A proud heart says “I do not need God’s grace. I will do it my way.”
So God resists the proud because the proud will not receive. There again, are we as human beings, are we initiators to God or are we responders to God? Did the creator ever mean for himself to be a responder to His creation? But the creation was created to be the responder to the creator. So that puts us in a position, if we are the responders, of either being humble and receiving or proud and rejecting.
If I see myself as the initiator to God, why then I can proudly say I can tell God what to do and He responds to me. We know that is how you get into the “name it and claim it” game or the “blab it and grab it” game. Where I just strut around and I am this little god running around. The proud says, “God has to do what I want him to do.”
We have people come out saying that if you pray and if you fast, especially now that everybody is fasting, then God is obligated to answer. If you fast and if you pray and if you do this and if you do this like, then God’s going to answer your prayer. Oh, really! What are you doing with that? What are you being, the initiator or the responder? The initiator saying, “If I do this and I do that, then God has got to respond to me.” That is all a lie out of the pit of hell.
God is the one who initiates to you. If God puts something in your heart, and if you are a born again Christian, you are totally capable of doing that. If God puts something on your heart, and you are verbalizing that back to God or to someone else, it is because He has initiated it. He is already in the process of answering it and you are responding merely to what he has initiated into your own heart. There is no care about whether we are initiating to God and then God has got to respond.
You get the Christian world today and here we got this idea that someone comes up with a million man march. So everybody says that is a good idea. “Let us all, us Christians, get together and march. If we can get a 100,000 or a million Christians in Washington.” Now a million Christians down in Beulah, TX is not going to amount to much. “A million Christians in Waxahachie, but in Washington! Wow! God has got to listen to that!” So we got that mentality if I can gather all these Christians, think of the power that would be going up to God.
Folks, have you seen much difference in society since we had all those marches? You see. What we have to understand, and all of those things sound good, and they have an appearance many times of wisdom, but in the final analysis, what we are doing is putting ourselves in a position, not humbly. That is not humble. That is arrogant. We are going to get together to move the hand of God. WE act as if we are the initiators, demanding God what to do. The proud says, “We are going to change America for God”, as if God could not change America if He wanted to. Did God ever come to save America? Did He come to change anything except people? No. God does not save countries. Some people are going to be shocked with this. He does not save cowboy teams. You can build a hole in that stadium if you want to but you are still going to lose your games. He just came to save people.
Those of us who are in Christ are the most blessed people on the face of the earth. We were sharing the other day. We pre-recorded a radio program for Thanksgiving. I hope you get a chance to listen to it. We had a number of our staff in there. At the very end of that, I got a chance after listening to the rest of the staff, of God forming some things in my own mind what I have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season.
As I think of Thanksgiving, I think of relationships. What I have to be thankful for are relationships, not things, but relationships. And the first things that I certainly have to be thankful for is my relationship with the Lord. The fact that I am in Christ Jesus and He is in me. I am thankful to the fact that through these years in some way, and in some strange way, and in many instances and circumstances, that I would just assume have not have gone through it, but in going through them was able to draw closer and closer to the realization that nothing can separate me from the love of God. And if God is for you who can be against you.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am thankful to be able to walk in that relaxed dependency upon Christ, not to have to perform for God. I am thankful not to have to go things for God with the full realization that Jesus is mine and I am His, and to be able to enter into that thing called the Sabbath rest. I believe that I can honestly say that I have entered into that. I know what that is. I am not out in the desert working for it any more. I have come to the point in my life where I know Him and I can rest in Him and to love Him and be loved by Him. For that I am grateful.
6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.“[Psalm 95:7,8]
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
Second to that is my relationship with Amy. I thank God for that relationship. How God uniquely took this little girl over in starvation in Russia. When Amy and I were back in her home community last year, or this year, I said to myself, “Lord Jesus, thank God for German concentration camps because had it not been for them, she would still be living over there in that listless life where we do not live, but rather just exist.” It was through that turmoil, to have to serve in a concentration camp, where the circumstances that God used that she was in Germany and I was a GI sent to Germany, where we met and God had the perfect wife set up for me, and not to be in the floor covering business, but to be where I am today. She is a perfect wife for where I am today, for what the work God sent me to do. God could not have picked a better wife for that. I could not have picked a better mother for that.
That ties into the other relationships. Those relationships with our two children. The more that they grow and the more that we interact with them, on the phone with Debbie every day of our lives. Amy’s best friend is Debbie and Debbie’s best friend is her mom. I am thankful to be able to interact with my son, and to know that I have a son who loves me and who loves Amy and we love him. It is the greatest thing in the world to know that.
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – along with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.