A Look At Prophecy In The Gospel of Matthew
Less Is More?
Matthew 5:3,10 NLT
Matthew 5:3,10 NLT
More is Less, Less is More
The Beatitudes say that the poor in spirit and those who are persecuted for doing right received the Kingdom of Heaven.
How many of us avowed Christians can pass that test for entry into Heaven?
That's an amazing question?
These two Beatitudes turn many theologies and many evangelism programs on their heads.
BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT:
The Disciples of Jesus went throughout the Roman world and beyond preaching the Gospel and only those who recognized they were poor in spirit were converted. The more we believe we possess spiritually, the less likely that we meet this criteria for conversion, for securing the Kingdom of Heaven.
In an equivalent teaching, Jesus taught that those who were truly righteous did not need the gospel. Please do not be confused. This did not mean they did not need Jesus.
The more we righteous we believe we are before Christ, the less thankful we will be for our salvation. The less sense of being all right, the greater our poverty of spirit and our awareness of it, the greater our recognition of what we receive in Christ Jesus, the greater our gratitude toward our Savior, and the parallel, the more fully we accept and need the Lordship of Christ.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR DOING RIGHT:
Less is more, more is less applies here as well.
It is not freedom from persecution that brings us blessings. It is not those who do not face persecution who receive the Kingdom of Heaven.
Less praise and acceptance for doing what is right reaps the reward of heaven. Often the greatest influx of converts into belief in Christ comes when a person, or Christians in general, is being persecuted, wrongly accused, unjustly treated for doing what is right.
Jesus stated clearly that all who follow him will suffer rejection as he did. Those who follow his example of doing right will be opposed, hauled into court, imprisoned, even killed for his namesake.
I remember a time when the people of the churches (believers) were despised by the people who rejected church or came to fellowship with Christians, not because of Christ, but reluctantly, for social reasons. They would curse us. They would put down our standards of righteous living. They would seek to take economic action against us to take advantage of our Lord's commands regarding how to respond as he and his Father would.
Of course, that was before the people of the churches became so bought into the culture around them that no one could tell us apart, people could rarely tell our beliefs, words, and action apart.
And our blessings have fled. We have sunk to the point where many who name the name of Christ, many who claim they have been saved, are not disciples of Christ. Do not follow the Way.
They are so accepted by the world that their reward has become this earth and they cannot be included among those of whom Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs."
More comfort. Less opposition. Evidence that the reward of the Kingdom of Heaven will not be given.
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