Sermon Summary
What is My Cross Today?

Scripture: Matthew 16:24-27

There are 4 types of crosses we must carry today:

1. We must strive to enter through the narrow door

Jesus said to strive to enter the narrow door for many desire to enter the narrow door but they cannot. ‘Strive’ means we need to use great effort. Jesus also says we are the salt of the earth meaning our words must be salted, we must watch what comes out of our mouth (Mat 5:13). We need to watch so that we do not join into negative conversations that are without thanksgiving(Col 4:6).
The wide door is the world, the unbelievers at home, the social media, the colleagues who don’t believe in Jesus, all things without Jesus is the wide and comfortable gate that we are so drawn towards. Anything that draws us away from prayer, from service, from reading the Bible is the wide door. If we are not drawn into it then we don’t need to strive to enter the narrow door.

2. Secondly we must strive to enter the eternal rest

There is a rest remaining for us all and this is the eternal rest which no one has entered. The people of God only have the Sabbath, and the Bible says we must strive with all of our strength to enter that eternal rest (Hebrews 4:4-11, Genesis 2:2, Exodus 20:8-11). Every Lord’s Day is a practice to enter that eternal rest, so as we strive to go to church every Lord’s Day is a shadow of our striving to enter the eternal rest carrying our cross.

3. We must be diligent in presenting ourselves blameless in body and spirit before our Lord

Thirdly, we need to strive even more. ‘Strive’ to stand without any blemish before the Lord, in our mind, body and soul. This means that we have to use all of our might. If we are not diligent, we will end up sinning with our eyes, our ears, and our mouth.
The soul is more difficult to control than the body. When we hate and silently curse somebody, then that is a blemish that God sees. God says that we must be blameless and spotless (2Pet 3:14) in the body and soul. This is possible with God’s help.
1 Thes 5:22-23 tells us to ‘abstain’ from every form of evil. So if we are easily tempted we need to keep away from that temptation.
1 John 5:18 tells us that God will keep us, but we need to make an effort to hold onto God tightly. So when we feel something is causing us to be dark we need to turn around quickly and slap ourselves awake, and this is our striving and our cross. So spiritually we need to fight against ourselves to obey the Word of God.

4. Your calling and election is a cross

The last Cross is to respond to your calling and election and to know what your calling and election is.
1 Peter 3:14 tell us that in our daily life there will be trouble but we should not be afraid. We all prefer blessings rather than trials and perseverance. But we need to first overcome those trials that constantly come before we are able to reach the blessings. God has called us to walk the 66 books of the bible and not just the Book of Revelation where your name appears in the Book of Life and you enter heaven.
2 Peter 1:10 tells us to be even more diligent to make our call and election sure, for if we do these things we will never stumble. So being elected means we are set apart and differentiated from others. God is training us to become spiritual managers so we need to be trained in all different aspects, therefore our trials will not only be about one thing, but many things. We are called to proclaim Eternal Life and so we are being trained.
We learn through trials and become a bigger hearted person and it will brings us closer to our task to evangelize. We cannot stop evangelizing just because of an epidemic situation or a sickness, because if that becomes an obstacle then it means that our fear of death is greater than God’s calling.

Secondly, God furthers the gospel through our difficulties (Phil 1:12), it is so that God can use us better to spread the gospel. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 tell us to preach the word in season and out of season. In season means when we are zealous, maybe we just came back from a retreat or just overcame a great difficulty. But out of season for a tree is when it doesn’t bear fruit, it is when you feel down, frustrated and had a bad day, yet God says because we are called we still must be ready to preach.

Lastly, there is a price to pay when we are called yet we do not do our duty properly. Jer 48:10 says cursed are those who do work deceitfully or negligently. In Hebrew it is רְמִיָּה remiyah {rem-ee-yaw’} which means to be slack, to trick, or to be lax. We do things in our own sweet time. So even if we do the work but we do it deceitfully or lazily God says we are treacherous and He will curse us. So God wants us to do it quickly in God’s timing, thus we need to do it giving thanks. When we carry our Cross, God give us a special grace of relief, blessing and joy and peace.

Pastor Samuel Kim