This was a very interesting message, probably because it flies in the face of much of what is taught in the modern American church. (There is a provocative opening line.) I actually taught or preached this message three times in the past week or so;
Then on Sunday the 20th as a Sunday School lesson for the adult class at Mt. Pleasant Bible Church.
Both of these were very well received and as I prayed about it I felt that it would be a good message for the men at the Detroit Rescue Mission where I preached on July 27th.
The text of Scripture that I preached from was Colossians 1:24-2:10 where Paul begins to speak of his ministry to the Church at Colosse. Here Paul says, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,” (Colossians 1:24).
The message deals with at least one reason why we as Christians should not only be willing to suffer, but glad to, for the benefit of others, so that they can see our faith in and the importance of the message of the Gospel.
- What are you willing to suffer for?
- Are we as Christians called to suffer or is God supposed to make our lives easier because we have believed in Jesus?
- What exactly does Paul mean when he says that he is going to, “fill up in [his] flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ”
I hope that this message motivates you to endure in your own suffering and to use it as a tool to present the truth of the Gospel to a dying world and an impotent Church.
Sufferings of Christ, Suffering for the Church
P.S. There was a Muslim man that the Lord allowed me to persuade to come to the service at the Rescue Mission. His name is Rick and I had a very good conversation with him afterward. Please pray for him. He expressed a desire to see me again next month.