14 Apr 2019
The Christian man appreciates the surpassing worth of possessing the Kingdom of God. This treasure of knowing God in the face of Jesus fills him with a delight, like how a man who found a treasure or a merchant who found the pearl of great value. This delight in the Kingdom of God then enables him to give up all for the sake of Jesus and His gospel. As Isaac Watts wrote, "Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a tribute far too small. . . Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. . . " Find out from this sermon what this means for the Christian and how you can also find this "treasure" if you have not already done so.
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So we are now in our journey in Matthew chapter 13, it is a chapter that describes the stories, the parables Jesus used, to teach about the kingdom of God and so we call these the secrets of the kingdom because the interpretation of the stories are given only to His followers, His disciples.
Well last week I shared with you about the story of Instagram and how Facebook paid $1 billion to buy over Instagram. Kevin and Mike, the founders of Instagram became instant billionaires. But what was shocking to me was the amount of money, one billion dollars. That's a lot of money in my opinion, but they felt obviously that Instagram was worth it.
Today, we are going to look at parables of kingdom worth, Jesus is going to teach us about the value, about the worth of spiritual things He's going to teach us about the value and worth of knowing God, knowing Jesus, knowing the Gospel, being part of the kingdom of God and the stories of kingdom worth are to in Matthew 13 there's a story first about the treasure and then there's a story about the pearl of great price or the pearl of great value. They all speak about the all surpassing worth of the kingdom of God and what a man will give in order to possess the kingdom of God.
So, without much ado, let's go and let's dive straight in to these stories. Jesus said in Matthew 13, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which a man found and then covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
It's an interesting little story, treasure is hidden in a field. In those days, they do not have banks, they do not have safe-deposit boxes. So if you have treasure, you must find a place to safeguard your treasure, it's not a good idea to keep it at home, your kids will eventually find it, your friends or neighbors may stumble upon it, your homes your houses are generally not so big. So it is not a very good idea to keep important valuable things at home.
So what they do, the best solution they have a lot of times is to find some obscure corner somewhere in the wild, in the jungle, in the desert wherever you can find, dig a hole and hide your treasure. We know that's what is commonly done because when Jesus gave another parable, the parable of the talents, remember that story, Jesus said that talents of a lot of money is given to three different servants. Two of them took the money and invested it and got better returns. One man, however, did not invest it and he hid it and buried it.
So it's quite common in those days for people to safeguard their treasures by hiding them in some unknown place dig it deep into the ground, hoping that nobody finds it. Well the story that tells us, someone found it, it is possible that someone finds it.
In fact, when I was in primary school, one of the things I like to do besides being catching and fighting and so on, is to go to some corner in my school field and begin to dig the ground, look like a dog but my hope is that when I dig the ground or dig the field, I may find some treasure left behind by Japanese soldiers in World War II, whatever. I was hoping that I may find something because someone must've hidden something somewhere and I hope to strike gold. So that's what happened, this man somehow stumbled upon this treasure.
Now we're not sure we are not told whether he was actively searching or he was just in a sense fortunate to stumble upon the treasure. But what's interesting is that when he found this treasure, I would have thought he would have grabbed that treasure chest, maybe and run as fast as he can home. But he doesn't do that, he finds the treasure and he puts it back in and then he covers it up.
Why, well I suppose it's because he doesn't want to have any controversy, any dispute that this is his, because he might have thought that if I was seen carrying this treasure box from this piece of property the owner who finds out will subsequently say, hey, you took from my property, this thing you found belongs to me.
So in order to quell all disputes and controversies, he decides to put it back in covers it up, make sure no one else finds it and then he would go and buy over this property, this title deed from the existing owner. So if he owns the land, he owns all that is in that piece of land, but in order to do that he needs to finance this purchase and it is not good to be a cheap purchase he has to buy the whole land and in order to do that, therefore he liquidated all his assets, got all the money he could have and gave it all to buy that piece of field. Now I don't think he wanted that field he just wanted the treasure, but he had to give up everything to get the treasure, he sees the all surpassing value and worth of the treasure that he is willing to give up everything for this.
So this is parable number one, tells of kingdom worth, kingdom value. The kingdom of heaven is like someone who understands and appreciates the great worth of the Gospel of knowing God, he's willing to give up all to possess it. If that is not clear, Jesus then gives another parable that says again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
We know that Jesus is teaching the same point probably because he uses the word again. So it connects these two parables together and these two parables are about precious, expensive valuable stuff. In the first case it was just plain treasure, in this case, it is a merchant looking for fine pearls.
Now, I'm sure you know pearls are something very expensive, something very valuable because is not easy to find pearls isn't it. Pearls are to be found in oysters and you have to dive deep into the sea to find oysters and it's not easy to dive deep to find oysters because you may even risk, to risk your life you may die diving for oysters and in those days, they do not have sophisticated equipment to do so and so you could imagine it's hard and on an average, do you know how many oysters, how many, how, how many oysters do you have to shuck out in order to perhaps find one oyster with a pearl what's the average? Anybody knows, you might have eaten the a lot of oysters in your life, have you found even if you have the guy would probably take it already, but on the average, you know how many oysters you have to have in order to find one pearl? I'm told that you've to shuck or you've to find in about one thousand oysters before you find one pearl, so it's not something very easy to get.
The Bible talks about the pearl as something very precious. Jesus said do not cast what before swine, pearls before swine He says, don't cast something valuable to people who don't appreciate it, and then the Bible tells us when you go to heaven, heaven will be a place where there will be streets of gold and gates of pearl. Now, I'm not, not sure if they're oysters in heaven that you can open up and find pearls to build those gates.
I, I, I am not sure if the streets are literally going to be gold, it may be, it may not be but I think it is clear that pearls like gold both symbolize something very valuable, beautiful, precious. So all that to tell you that this man, this merchant is searching for something really, really rare and precious he's searching for fine pearls and the word merchant is an interesting word in the Greek, it's the word émporos, which refers to someone who is a traveler, someone who has traveled far, he's like a wholesale dealer.
He has seen a lot of stuff, he's not a small time retailer in a mom-and-pop shop basically he's someone who is well-traveled, he's someone who has seen probably a lot of things, a lot of pearls, he's looking for fine pearls and then he finds one. After a long search perhaps, he finds that one and when he sees that pearl, he recognizes the value of it may maybe Mikimoto I don't know but he, he finds the value of that pearl and he goes and likewise, liquidated all his assets, all his stocks in order to find or to buy that one pearl.
So again, Jesus is teaching that there is that all surpassing worth of knowing God, of knowing Jesus, of knowing the Gospel, being part of the kingdom of heaven, that it means you are willing to give up everything in order to possess it.
Now I think I've finished explaining the parables right you can all go home now It will be so good, you say, wah, pastor you are so kind, you ten minute sermon, we are done well. I'm not so kind, alright, or rather I am not so lazy, I want to share a little bit more if you allow me. I think it is clear that Jesus is teaching about the all surpassing worth of the kingdom, but let me point out to you a few observations about that.
Number one, if you really appreciate value, understand the all surpassing worth of the kingdom of heaven, there will be a delight in the kingdom of heaven. There must be deep joy a mark of a Christian is that he has deep joy not that his circumstances are always favorable to him, but he has a deep joy because he knows he's in possession of something really, really, the Bible tells us that this man who found the treasure had great joy, he was so happy he doesn't mind selling all that he has. He doesn't mind giving up all he has because he has something that brings him deep joy. I suppose the émporos, the merchant would be likewise when he finds it pearl of great price, I can imagine his delight.
Last year I think about June my family, my dad and mom, sis and her kids, we went to Melbourne for vacation. Many of you might have been to Australia, many of you might have been to Melbourne and we went to someplace I've never been before, even though I've been to Melbourne before, and we went to this place called Sovereign Hills anyone been to Sovereign Hills before just to check okay, you went with me right, Okay, I will tell you, don't tell, tell alright Matthias you want to tell next time you, you tell, not now alright, alright so we went to Sovereign Hills and Sovereign Hills is an open air museum. Basically they're trying to replicate life hundred, two hundred years ago but it really was a gold mine in its origin. In fact, a lot of gold was mined out of this place, Ballarat city.
So if you go there right now, the highlight of the whole place, I mean there many other things you can see but the highlight of the whole place would be this little creek, this little river that people could go to look for gold. You see, in time past, people mined out actually, a lot of people lost their lives but also a lot of people managed to mine out huge chunks of gold from within the hills, the slopes and there happens to be a river.
The river comes from a spring, a water source from within the hill that brings out the gold. You say how does it work, well I've studied, I've learned a little bit that it's because of the water eroding the hills that it brings out both the minerals and also the gold. So we call this alluvial gold, it's part of the sediments that comes out with the erosion by the waters.
So people would gather there and when I saw pictures of people gathering there hoping to find some do you think you can find or not I mean look, okay, anyway people, tourist being tourist, we go, we sort of replicate what people used to do, so we take this, these containers they call that pans and you scoop up some water, together with sediments because you think that the water would have brought some of the gold, it was, it would settle along the way and you hope to catch some and then you would take it and you swirl, you will swirl and you will swirl so that the sediments would settle a little bit a little bit and those that are lighter would be sifted off and you swirl and you swirl until a long time later, you arrive something like this alright you swirl and you swirl, I, I look at this saying this is ridiculous, this is hao siow.
I won't know how to do this, I don't do this well and for that matter why would the Australians allow foreign tourists to come and get gold from their property from their land I say, there's no way we are going to find any gold, so I anyhow do just for the fun of it, just for the show of it and I spilled a lot of water by the way just to make it faster for myself and no way I thought we would have gotten the gold, until my nephew shouted, I found it I say please lah, how you find it no way you can find, I found it and he showed this picture to us he's Ethan our, my nephew.
He found, this is not from Google you know this from my phone alright, I took a photo of that speck it's not a speck, it's quite a lump of gold it's quite significant and it is clearly gold right and you're so, what happy that he found it we got a special container, he put that gold into that container and that was his precious, my precious, he was so happy with his goal. Could be so happy when with a just a small bit of a gold I can imagine the great joy when a man who understands the value of the pearl to have great joy as well.
When one understands the Gospel, when one really knows God and His Son Jesus Christ, there is great, they must be. Just not yesterday but two days ago I was praying with some of our brethren and in prayer one of the ladies started to tear, started to cry, say why, is life very hard, no, she cried because she is thanking God for opening her eyes to see the kingdom of God to be saved and to know her Savior, there is that joy that flows out in tears. She's saved many years, but the joy still remains.
Now, some of you are gathered here today and you say, Jason, I don't know what you're talking about, you talk about this joy, the Bible speaks about this joy about the kingdom of heaven, but I don't have that joy I don't mind coming to church the service here, but I don't have this joy. I'm not sure if there is really such a joy, how come you have such joy, or you talk about such joy, but I don't see that joy.
Well, I can understand exactly what you're thinking because many years ago, I had no joy. I came to church, I just looked at the whole church thing as something very funny, I thought Christians are actually very weak people, all Christians need some kind of emotional crutch they can't live life by themselves, so they need to have some kind of religion and so when I gather here, I didn't see any joy in what I hear from the Bible so I was like you.
And then later on I realized, that the reason I can't appreciate the Bible, God, Jesus, the Gospel is because God said this about those of us, he said in their case that is, in my case and maybe today in your case, the god of this world has blinded their minds. Now let me be very clear the word god here refers to someone who rules and reigns it does not refer to the Creator God, it does not refer to Jehovah or Yahweh the name of God in the Bible but this refers to the ruler of this world who is Satan. So God has allowed Satan to reign and to rule at this stage of human history.
So the Bible says in their, case Satan the god of this world has what blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ. In other words, the word, or if I may say the word glory refers to something that is splendid, something that is excellent and it speaks of the beauty and the manifold perfections of Christ obviously it refers to someone very, very precious, but those who are blinded cannot appreciate the beauty of Jesus.
So you today, you do not have the light because why, you don't appreciate Jesus, you say why, because you're blinded and no matter how much I tell you Jesus is beautiful He's glorious, He's excellent He's splendid, He's full of glory, you say I can't see because you're blinded. It's like talking to a man who is blind from birth, you tell him, the sun is so bright, you cannot look at it with your naked eye it is so glorious, it is so bright and the mind and the man who is born blind can only say I don't see I don't understand.
Some 20 over years ago, something changed in my life. I came to church blinded to these things, totally unappreciative of the Bible and God and the Gospel but I experienced verse 6, in God's mercy and God's compassion towards a filthy sinner like me. The Bible also tells us for God who said, let light shine out of darkness, this refers to how the world was created, the world was dark until God said, let light shine out of darkness, this same God who caused light to be seen physically, is the same God who calls light to be appreciated spiritually. He has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
So 20 over years ago, God turned on the lights in this wicked heart, he allowed me to see the glory of Jesus, the depravity of my sins, He allowed me to see the all surpassing worth of knowing Jesus His Son who alone died and paid for the sins of those who believe on Him and I saw Jesus as glorious as the only Lord and Savior. I believed, I repented of my sins, I believed. Ever since then, there's a joy that flows in my heart like my sister who prayed on Friday, like many of you who are sitting right here today, you're going through hardships of life, you're going through the difficulties of life, yet inspite of the external difficulties, there is a delight, a joy from within.
So Paul says we have this treasure, we have this excellent treasure, what is this treasure, I believe the treasure here refers to the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ. This treasure refers to the knowledge of the Gospel of the glory of God and there is great delight.
So can I ask you today if there is a delight in your soul? You see, a Christian is someone who has found the treasure, isn't it. A Christian is someone who has found the treasure, he sees the treasure, he appreciates the treasure and so, a Christian is someone who will have the delight because he now has that treasure, a Christian is not just someone who turns up on Sunday morning.
There is something real, there's a joy in his heart, just like the Ethiopian eunuch. He met with Philip, who showed him the Gospel and he left rejoicing, that is the description of the child of God. So one mark of the child of God is that there will be a delight in the kingdom of heaven, not in the things of this world, but there's a deep joy in the things of God.
Number two, this is a bit harder but besides the delight in the kingdom of God and because of the delight in the kingdom of God, the child of God will have a denial for the kingdom of God. It is pictured in how the two men are willing to sell all that they in order to possess the kingdom of God. Let me be very clear first, some of you may immediately say, aah, pastor, are you saying that we need to give money to God in order to be saved?
Are you saying that we need to give our time and efforts to serve God in order to be saved? I say no, absolutely not, clearly Jesus is not saying that you need to give up things in order to earn salvation. Jesus is not teaching that you need to sacrifice in order to deserve salvation. None of our sacrifices will deserve salvation. None of our sacrifices deserve forgiveness from God. There's only ever to be one sacrifice that deserves it and that is the that is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord, on the cross.
So we are not talking about giving things up in order to earn your salvation, but nevertheless because you know what Jesus has done for you, you are so filled with joy and gratitude that you want to give your life to Jesus, that is what it means. So what does it mean, what, what do I have to give up in order to follow Christ, what do I have to give up in order to really embrace and possess the kingdom of heaven, a few things.
Number one, I say you need to give up self-righteous works, very clear that if I want to know Christ, I need to give up my self-righteous works. There was a old man named Nicodemus, He wanted to find a way of salvation and life. So he came to Jesus by night, and he wanted to ask Jesus this question, sir, master, rabbi, what must I do to be saved. He didn't get to answer that question, ask that question because Jesus answered him right away.
I think Nicodemus must have expected Jesus to say, do this more, give this more, sacrifice this more, but Jesus said no, Nicodemus, you must be born again, what does that mean, it means Nicodemus, you are a Pharisee, you are a ruler of the Jews, you have been very meticulous in trying to obey all the law, but let me tell you all you have done means nothing, you must be born again, you got to give up all your self righteous works and that's exactly what apostle Paul understood.
Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3, he was circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, as to the law of Pharisee, as to zeal a persecutor of the church, as to righteousness under the law, blameless. So what is Paul saying here I'm laying before all of you my credentials I'm telling you how good I am in the eyes of religion, I'm telling you how good I am, in terms of self righteous works, I am as good as it gets, folks.
And then he said, but whatever gain I had, whatever I've accumulated over my life, as a Pharisee, as a persecutor of the church, as someone who meticulously kept the law, whatever I had gathered, all gain I had, I counted as loss, I, I wrote it all off I canceled it all off, why, for the sake of Christ. If I want to know Christ, then I cannot hang on to my self-righteous works. I wrote it all off, indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I found the treasure and the pearl of great value and I sell all that I have and I count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
So why do you give it all up because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus. Hey, some of you are longtime church people and maybe you must have pat yourself on the back that says, you know I've been quite a good boy, I've been to church my whole life, I've been to Sunday school, heard a lot of Gospel stories, Bible stories, I have read my Bible, I said my prayers, I have even helped out in somethings in church, that must count for something before God right? Well Paul did far more than you and Paul realized all this is rubbish it does not save me he had to give it all up because of the worth of knowing Christ.
My dear friends, I pray today you would really say I want to know Christ. It is not churchianity that saves you, it is Christianity, it is Christ it is not the outward rituals and forms you do that saves you, it is knowing Christ that saves you, you have to give up self-righteous works.
To follow Jesus not only must you give up self-righteous works let me say this just to give up the pursuit of wealth. Now, I'm not saying that you don't walk to earn money we all have to. The Bible says that if you do not work, neither shall you eat, so there's nothing wrong with earning, there's nothing wrong with profit even in business, but there is everything wrong when you serve money.
Jesus said, no man can serve two masters. You cannot serve God and riches or money or mammon. So if you want to follow Jesus, you got to say no to a life dedicated to pursuing wealth. You can't be a Christian, Let me say this, you can't be a Christian if your whole life is about stuff, if your whole life is about making it big in this world, you can't, you really can't. Why, because no man can serve two masters.
You can't say I'm a follower of Jesus my Lord, when your life is about serving the master called money it's not that you shouldn't it's not that you won't, but you can't, so if you today are living for money, very clear you're not serving Jesus, you are not following Jesus and if you want to follow Jesus, there are things you have to sell all to.
In fact, it gets even more extreme when Jesus says, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his very soul. And this I think, refers to again stuff and comforts, together with the stuff, conveniences and the prestige and the fame that comes with the things in this world they are things you have to give up.
You can't say I want to gain the whole world and I also want to save my soul. You can't, that's the point. You have to choose one and so if you want to follow Jesus, well for the surpassing worth of knowing Him you have got to give up the things of this world.
Maybe it gets even clearer here, if any man or if anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself. This is not just about money anymore, it's more than that deny himself deny your own ambitions deny your own comforts, deny your own conveniences, deny yourself, to take up his cross, which is extremely shameful, painful, difficult, and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel's will save it.
Why do you do that, because you want to follow Jesus because of the sake of Christ, because of the Gospel. This is nothing new, but I think it might be new for you because we live in a culture, in a, in a day where churches are saying when you follow Jesus, you have a good life, when you follow Jesus, he will bless you in your business, he will bless you when you're sick, he will bless you when you have troubles. He will help you and we think that God is here to give me the good life and maybe that's why you're here in church you, you don't go to some other religion to look for 4D number, but you come here so that you get some promotions, so that you get a good job, so that your kids can go to a prestigious school, the good life.
Now, I'm not saying God cannot do these things, but that's not what the Bible is about, that's not what following Jesus is about. Following Jesus is not a guarantee for the good life. Instead, following Jesus means, I want, I have to give up that good life if I want to follow Him well because that's where he went, He went to the cross. He came not to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for me. How perverse it is that Christianity today is seen as a get rich, do it fast scheme that somehow we can manipulate fool God to think that when we come to church He will be so happy with us, He will give us all the money, all the wealth, all the success we want, that's not the Gospel, folks.
The Gospel is knowing the all surpassing worth of Jesus in giving us forgiveness, in giving us eternal life, in giving us reconciliation with God, in giving us the real meaning of my existence, of knowing His Son of being heirs and coheirs with Him and because of all this beautiful promises in the Bible, I am willing to give it all up for Him, that's what the Gospel means. So please if you're here whether you believe the message of the Gospel or not, at least be clear, the gospel is about something far greater than money and health and success in this world. It's about God, Jesus, eternal life and I pray today God will shine in your heart that you will see this value and you will live a radically different life, because of the Gospel.
You know the Bible is replete with man who give up things for the sake of the kingdom. I read about Abraham, who gave up Ur of the Chaldees, that's his hometown that's his Singapore, he gave up the Chaldees to follow God, you read of Abraham, he was willing to give up his precious son Isaac for God, for the kingdom of God.
I read about Moses, Moses gave up the title, the position, the comforts of being the Prince of Egypt and the reason he did that, we are told in Hebrews 11, he was willing to be mistreated with the people of God. He was willing to bear the reproach of Christ, why, because of the all surpassing worth of Christ and the reward of the kingdom of God. He was looking forward to the heavenly city, not the earthly city of Egypt. People give things up, we read about the early apostles, Peter, Andrew, James, John, come, follow Me and I'll make you fishers of men and immediately the Bible says they gave up their nets, they gave up their boats, they gave up their father, they left their fathers and followed Jesus.
You say, this is so extreme, wow what's going on? Well Peter asked the question, Master, Jesus see, we have left everything and followed you, what then will we have, is it really worth it? Well, Jesus graciously answered, truly, I say to you in the New World, in the regeneration, in the restoring of all things, when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel, and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, especially in Singapore, no in Hong Kong and Singapore, okay alright anyone who has left these things for my Namesake, look at this, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. Peter, Andrew, James, John, for the all surpassing worth of knowing Me, following Me, it will be worth your while.
I tell you something, Christians appreciate the promises of reward that is to come the esteem it well as contrasted with people who do not esteem it. You know, the Bible tells me of a man who did not regard did not esteem spiritual things You know who he is, he's the, he's the prototype of those who despise spiritual things. That's right Esau, the hairy man, Esau, what did he do, he was given the birthright now, the birthright, I think is special in the case of Esau because God had promised that in the descendant of Abraham will there be a coming Savior. He had the birthright, it should be from his line but Esau despised that birthright and he sold that birthright for a bowl of soup and the Bible later tells us that he's a profane man.
In Hebrews chapter 12 he's a profane man, he's a man to be despised, why, because he despised spiritual things. Well, the child of God, the follower of Jesus regards, spiritual things and therefore was willing to give up all. I think about this lady who was willing to give up all to spill an alabaster box of precious perfumed ointment she spilled it all pour it all to anoint the feet of Jesus and everyone around say, wow, what a waste, what extravagant ways but to Jesus, she did it well. Why she was willing to give up all because she knew she was blessed she's Jesus said she gave much because she was forgiven much. My friends, there is a denial for the kingdom of God that is a response of the joy we have of knowing Him.
We sang a song yesterday and Saturday evening I thought it was a great song that summarize this, when I survey the wondrous Cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. In fact, the song goes on to say, were the whole realm of nature mine, that will attribute far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life my all. There will be a joyful denial for the sake of the Gospel, you wouldn't give your leftovers to God, you wouldn't say, let me settle my life first then I will give my life to God, you wouldn't, it demands my soul, my life, my all. Not that you earn your salvation but because you know your salvation in Jesus, you are willing to give it all for the joy of knowing Him.
I end today with just this one last thought, there are some of you here who say, how then can I find this kingdom, how do I get this. You, how do you get it? Well it is interesting therefore in this parables that Jesus speaks of, I think two ways people come to the kingdom. The first man, somehow stumbled upon it if I may use that word by chance. He was not really looking for it, but he happened to stumble over it. The second man was actively searching for it.
So in the Bible, it tells us there's some people who come to know God, who come to the kingdom of God, not because they were searching for God, but God reached out to them and there are those who are actively looking for God and God also reached out to them. I think in the first case of the Samaritan woman, remember that, in John chapter 4, she was not looking for God actively, she was out there looking for water. She just wants to draw from the well, that's all, but there on that day, she, unknown to her, Jesus came into her life and gave her not just physical water, but eternal waters, spiritual waters.
I think about myself. I came to faith years ago, not because I was actively looking for God I came to church not because I was actively looking for the Bible, looking for the Gospel, looking for church community I was here in church looking for girlfriend, that's all. I mean my girlfriend then was in this church.
So I came, not looking for God, but I came to stumble upon the treasure, I found the treasure, I saw this treasure, and, and God shone in my heart to help me see the value and worth of knowing Christ. I was like the first man and there are those today, like Nicodemus who are actively knocking on the door, say, I must find a way of salvation and life.
So friends, I do not know why you're here today, maybe you're here because you really looking for the words of eternal life. I hope you will find it real soon appreciated real soon believe upon it real soon. But there maybe some of you are here just because it's Sunday morning and have nothing better to do and Punggol church happens to be in Punggol and you live in Punggol. And maybe you're here because there's a girlfriend or guy that you want to look for here like myself.
But whatever the case may be, this is our prayer this is our goal in this church. We pray and we labor in such a way that you will one day see the light of the glory of the Gospel of Christ. And when you see it and when you hear the good news that God has sent His Son Jesus to die and pay for your sins, and that in Christ, God has promised to give you all things that pertain to life and godliness, when you see it, hear it and could almost grasp it, I pray today you would be willing to leave all to follow Jesus, to repent and believe upon Him, and to have Him as the Lord and Savior of your life.
I close with this last slide. Oh sorry I forgot to say this is about the discovery but I want to close with this last slide which you have seen, I heard a preacher recently and he was talking about this and I thought it would be appropriate for me to repeat what he said actually. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his very soul. This is talking about stuff, right, this is talking about things, possessions, riches, it's talking about businesses, lands, properties, stocks, options, what does it profit a man if he has all these stuff and lose his soul. In other words, He's, Jesus is calling you to some accounting here, some, some calculation here. What's the worth of all the things of this world and what's the worth of knowing Christ.
Suppose today you have an estimation, you make an evaluation in your mind and then you suppose yourself to have decided I think I'm going to give up Christ because I think it is more worth it to live for stuff. At least I see stuff, at least I can feel stuff, at least I can enjoy stuff and so for whatever it is, you say I want stuff.
I want success, I want things I want riches I want possessions I want wealth and suppose you're very successful at it you're very good at it and you managed to get wealth, lots of it and you're on a roll, you get more of it, more of it more of it until you get the whole world. Think about it, you get the whole world. You now own hundred percent shares in Apple you are the only shareholder of Apple. You're the only shareholder of Capital Land, the only shareholder of IBM, you, you own all the buildings in Shenton Way, in CBD, in China, Shanghai Beijing, New York, you own everything wow.
Who can beat you, you have the whole world and suppose you die. And that very instant you die you know you have committed suicide, eternal suicide, because now, standing before Christ, you say Jesus, I've gain the whole world, I have everything, can I give you everything now to exchange for my soul. And Jesus will say to you what profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul and He turns His face away from you. What's the worth, what's the profit my friend, today I do my very best to dig away all the soil so as to bring up before your eyes the treasure of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, what will you do with it? I pray God will shine in your hearts to see the surpassing worth of knowing Him.
Let's bow for a word of prayer together. The Christian faith is a faith of tremendous worth. It is so sad when we see people cheapen this faith, reducing it into a get rich scheme when it is really not. The Christian faith is about forgiveness, that no man can ever earn for himself, the Christian faith is about knowing the Creator God, from whom we are eternally separated apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ.
The Christian faith is of tremendous value because it leads us to real meaning, purpose, peace and joy forever more. There are people who sing I still haven't found what I'm looking for, but I tell you in Jesus Christ, you will find all that you are looking for. But the Christian faith is not a cheap faith, it is not a faith where you say that we sign on a piece of paper let me put my name down and let me then have a ticket to heaven.
The Christian faith is marked by tremendous joy in the kingdom of God that you will be willing now to leave aside the kingdoms of this world, you will be willing to deny all in order for you to enjoy and to grasp and to apprehend the surpassing worth of knowing Christ, is that you today, is that you today, would you say that in your life, there is really a deep joy. I'm not saying that you never have down times, you may have but even in the darkest of nights, you have this joy that you know Jesus.
Is there in your life this infectious powerful joy that enables you to give up stuff, success, recognition, because you know Christ or are you groveling like the rest of the world running on this hamster wheel called success, hoping that it will bring you somewhere. Is there a denial of self-righteousness of this world of wealth, of even your whole life. If you have not, I speak this I hope in kindness, I want to help you to really come to Christ, not just assume you come to Christ, but we really come to Christ and I'm praying that God today would shine in your heart to give you the light of the glory of the Gospel of Christ.
O, may God remove our blindness today, O, may God have mercy to grant you conviction that you may repent and believe this, that's the kingdom parable. That's the secret of the kingdom of heaven, it is not a superficial allegiance, it is a deep joy inspired and motivated giving up of all things that I may follow Him and one day you will know for all eternity it is all worth it. Father have mercy today upon our hearts, be gracious today to save even those who might have assume they are saved when they really are not yet. Lord, let this be a beautiful day of salvation. Work in us, shine in our hearts.
And I do pray for my brothers and sisters who are Yours, that we will remember the Gospel, that our hearts will have the ever flowing spring of joy and may that be our strength may the, the joy of the Lord be our strength. When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride, were the whole realm of nature mine, that will attribute far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. We thank You in Jesus Name, amen.
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