Matthew 19:27-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”
28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
What an interesting, important Biblical chapter!
--It ends with Peter saying to Jesus, "we have left all and followed You. What shall we have?" (v 27).
--That is, What do we get from following Jesus?
--What's in it for us? Does it pay to serve God?
--Good questions. Indeed God has His rewards for us!
Peter said, "We left all," that is his nets, living.
--Saying for them, "We've followed You, Lord, all of these years faithfully, sacrificially, what do we get in the end?" Ever wondered about that?
--What's in it for them? For us? For me? Anybody?
Of course, there's everything to gain nothing to lose.
--We are rewarded, both here and now, and hereafter.
--Jesus spends the next three verses with benefits.
--The benefits are out of this world, in goodness!
--Jesus said, ".. in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones .. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters, or father or mother or wife, or children or lands, for My names's sake shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life." All this and heaven, too!
--Godliness pays. "What we sow, we reap," God says.
--Believe me, the Lord has many blessings, for us!
Let's not forget, "the regeneration" is and for those "born again" by receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord.
--It is for the saved, in Christ Jesus, our Messiah.
--Those benefits and blessings begin right now.
--They will never end. God's rewards are everlasting.
Note, that Jesus did not rebuke Peter, for asking.
--A lot of people wonder, and some ask, as he did.
--Our Lord doesn't want us in the dark on anything.
Peter had good reason to ask. Let's begin, verse 16.
--A rich, young man came running to Jesus, asked Him, "What good thing shall I do to have eternal life?"
--Many still think salvatign is something we do.
Salvation is something Jesus did, on a cross, for us.
--None of us is good enough, else Jesus had not come!
--The Messiah came to do what none of us could do.
--Jesus did it, both for those before and after Him.
--For all the world by His cross and resurrection!
This "rich, young ruler" was religious, but lost.
--He came to the right Person, Jesus! Have you?
--He came in the right spirit, "humbly, kneeling."
--With the right question, to "have eternal life."
--He got the right answer from Jesus, "Follow Me."
--But made the wrong decision, "went away sorrowful."
Jesus said, "it is hard for a rich man" to be saved.
--He has great possessions, or possessions have him.
--But rich need Jesus, as all do, and may have Him!
What keeps people from Christ? Church? Salvation?
--All kinds of things. But mainly it is unbelief.
--It is sin. Worldly pride, and pleasures.
--It is also procrastination, "I will some day."
--This young man was so close to Jesus, and heaven.
--But, like some, he walked away, "sorrowful."
--He lost his golden opportunity, to follow God.
Peter watched him walk away, different than he came.
--He thought, "that man kept all; we left all."
--"For what? We who follow Jesus what do we get?"
--Peter's eyes needed opening wide, to the Lord.
--Jesus tells him, and us, our rewards are great and God's rewards are sure. They never lose value!
Many unknown saints, given to prayer, who serve the Savior faithfully, without praise or fanfare, are to be rewarded, as Jesus said, "The last (or least) are to be first, and many who are first shall be last."
--Ever thought about that? Your rewards are coming!
--My friend, life may not be fair, but God is!
--May I ask you, Who are you following, really?
Note, Jesus is not saying we have to be poor, isolated, and unlearned, to be saved and rewarded.
--Of course not. We are to come "Just as we are."
--As we do, the Holy Spirit gives wisdom and right.
--By His Holy Word, prayer and worship, we grow spiritually "in favor with God and man." Visibly!
I know families who before coming to Christ, had hard times - never enough money, quarreling, going weekly to bars and here and there, drinking, wasting life.
--Didn't know how to manage life, money, or kids.
--Things going from bad to worse. All so unhappy!
--We see it all around us, friend. At least I do.
--But one day they meet Jesus. They get saved.
--They get a Bible. Begin to study it. And pray.
--Start coming to Church. Sunday School. Prayer.
--Begin to grow, God's way. Even begin to tithe.
Go back later, visit their home. And family life.
--It looks a lot better. More happy. Peaceable.
--Having a family altar, and grace at meals.
--Children doing better in school. Manners improve.
--Looking forward to more schooling, at graduation.
--All have begun to grow, in the will of the Lord!
--God's rewards begin to multiply, to His glory, and the good of everyone in that home! And America!
Don't tell me God has no rewards for His followers!
--Good friend, I indeed know there are! I see them! I know many cases like that, really made a decision for Christ. Their lives, and home, changed for good.
--The devil's ways went out! They'll not go back!
On the other hand, I've worked with cases that didn't work out - but it was because they left Jesus out!
--God didn't fail, my friend. We fail Him.
May I say God's rewards are not all down on earth.
--That's great, but He promises rewards, in heaven! They are most important!. You know why? Eternal!
--"In the regeneration" - not only means "born again," Jesus is also referring to heaven and "His throne".
--I want to be there in that number! How about you?
--My dear wife is there! My Lord. Loved ones.
--All the saints and saved, we've loved and lost.
Jesus pointed Peter from earthly to the heavenly.
--Follow God gladly, gratefully. Nor for reward.
--Time on earth is soon past, it is what is done for Christ that will last - and be rewarded, richly.
At a Detroit Youth for Christ Rally I heard ABC newscaster, Paul Harvey, tell when he was converted.
--It was in Cove Creek, AZ, while on vacation.
--He had accepted the Savior as a boy, years ago.
--Paul Harvey knew he had not been living for Jesus.
--That day the Pastor spoke on John 3:16, "God so loved the world ..." He thought, Am I saved or not?
--It touched his heart, where he needed it.
--"I began to see how much of me I was holding back, from the Lord. Living for self; not serving God as I ought. I needed to make a decision, and did!"
--In that small church, he surrendered all to Jesus!
--He said the fellowship since, had been heavenly.
--For Paul Harvey, his wife Angel, and his family. God can make a difference in any life, my friend.
--He has in mine. Perhaps the Lord can, in yours.
As a fisherman Peter and friends were a bit rough.
--With Jesus, little by little, Peter grew in grace.
--You know all about Peter's life, ups and downs.
--But like Paul Harvey and others, Peter changed.
--His heart was tenderly touched. Was "born again."
--After the cross and Jesus' resurrection, Peter, at Pentecost, preached and 3000 souls were saved!
--Peter was a different person. As they became!
--He won many others to the Savior. Wrote Epistles.
Does it pay to follow Jesus? It pays spiritually!
--In fact, it costs, if we don't follow the Lord.
The more we live - do and give - for God the sweeter and better is our life, and greater our rewards.
--They are here and now, but mostly in eternity with God, in His glory. Don't you want to make sure?
Why delay, or hesitate, to surrender all to Jesus?
--God's rewards begin the moment you do! Never end!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD, DD 850