Why should a person live for Christ after he/she becomes a born-again Christian?
- If accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Savior guarantees me eternal life in heaven, why not “live it up” and do what I want after that?
- If all my sins are forgiven (past, present, and future) when I trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior, what difference does it make if I sin all I want to and enjoy life with its worldly pleasures?
- Who cares about rewards; I’ll be satisfied just being in heaven!
Here’s why you should care:
2 Cor. 5:10; Heb. 9:27 Why should Christians want to be pleasing to God?
What will happen at this appearance?
[“recompensed” – given something in return and in kind/likeness, whether for service/obedience rendered or for disobedience/sin committed].
On what basis will this recompense be given?
How do you think you will turn out at this judgment, and why?
What do you need to stop doing and/or start doing so that your recompense will be a positive, beneficial one?
Why would this even matter?
Why should we persuade other Christians to live for the Lord (vs. 11)?
[“fear of” – reverential respect/awe for].
Are you attempting to persuade other Christians who are not living pleasingly to God to do so, and why?
2 Cor. 5:15 Because Jesus died to pay for the sins of all those who believe in Him as Savior so they can live spiritually and eternally, who should Christians live for now while still on earth?
For whom or for what are you living (e.g., girl/boyfriend, family, job/career, hobby, sports, music, money, expensive car or home, Jesus, etc.), and why?
Just how much do you appreciate Jesus taking the punishment for all of your sins so you can go to heaven?
And how do you show it?
Rom. 14:11, 12 What will each one of us as Christians have to give to God?
What do you think your account (a record of your actions, words, thoughts, and motives) is going to be like, and why?
Are you satisfied with it?
If not, what plan of action are you going to take from this point on (be specific), and why?
Gal. 6:7-10 What will a person reap?
What will a person who sows to (does for) his own flesh (worldly, self-centered, sinful desires) reap?
[“corruption” – a complete loss in terms of eternity; loss of rewards in heaven].
[Sowing to the Spirit means to do what’s pleasing to God the Holy Spirit and that’s to obey the Bible with right motives.].
To what are you sowing, and how often?
Why should we not lose heart in doing good?
Do you think you will reap rewards that will last in eternity, and why?
When and to whom should we do good?
Do you lose heart in doing good, especially when people don’t appreciate what you do for them, and why?
1 Pet. 1:15-19 Why should we be holy?
Does it mean anything to you that because God is holy, you should be also, seeing that this is God’s will/command?
Does it motivate you to do so, and why?
How does God judge?
In what way should that influence our conduct here?
Does the fact that you as a Christian are going to be judged according to your work/conduct motivate you in fear (reverential respect/awe) to live a holy/obedient-to-God-and-the-Bible life? If so, how?
1 Jn. 2:28 Why should we abide (remain, dwell, be obedient to, live) in Christ?
[If we consistently obey Christ (via biblical commands), we won’t have to be ashamed when He returns to earth.].
Will you be one of those who shrink away from Jesus in shame at His coming because as a Christian you lived a sinful, disobedient life?
If so, what can you specifically start doing from this moment on so as to not to be ashamed any further when He returns?
And what do you need to stop doing from this point on so as not to be ashamed at Christ’s return, and will you?
Matt. 6:19-21, 24 How many times have you heard or read this passage?
Are you still guilty of verse 19, and why?
Why should verse 20 be the way we think and act?
How does a person specifically go about laying up treasures in heaven (Lk. 11:28; 1 Cor. 10:31; 16:14; Gal. 6:10; Eph. 2:10)?
What does verse 21 say that exposes the truth of what we are really living for?
Where is your heart/mind focused? On the stock market? The interest rates on bank accounts? Fancy cars? Expensive homes? A successful career? Sports? Computers? Music? TV? Clothes? Videos? School? Girl/boyfriend? Martial arts?
Or is it focused on evangelizing non-Christians, helping those who are Christians grow spiritually, gaining a closer relationship to God/Jesus yourself, and obeying the Bible in general, and why?
According to verse 24, what can’t you do?
Which of the two are you serving? How, and why?
1 Cor. 9:24-27 How should we run (live the Christian life)?
Are you living your Christian life to seek and save the spiritually lost (vs. 23; 2 Tim. 4:5) and thereby win God’s prize/reward (9:16, 17)?
Just as winning athletes exercise self-control in all things in order to receive a perishable wreath, so how and why should Christians exercise self-control in the spiritual race?
Are you exercising self-control in all areas of your life (e.g., sexual drives, money management, eating habits, time management, temper, speech, reactions, etc.) so as to win God’s prize? If so, how do you go about doing so, or, if not, why?
Are you making sure you’re in fellowship with God, having no unconfessed sin in your life, filled with/controlled by the Holy Spirit, choosing as an act of your will to be self-controlled, remembering why you should be, setting goals, keeping a schedule, recording/writing down the benefits of it as well as the consequences of not being self-controlled?
Why does Paul buffet his body (keep it in subjection) and make it his slave (mastering it)?
[“preached” – about running the Christian life]. [“disqualified” – from getting the prize].
Do you think you will be disqualified from winning God’s prize/rewards, and why?
Lk. 16:1-13 [This parable is not commending dishonesty and crookedness. There is only one thing that is commended, that being, he planned for the future. The parable teaches that “the sons of this age” (the unregenerate/non-believers) are more wise and aggressive in preparing for their future on earth than “the sons of light” (Christians, vs. 8) are for their future in heaven. The “mammon of unrighteousness” is money or other material possessions which we can use for winning souls to Christ, “friends” (vs. 9). This is the way wise stewards/believers, plan for the future – not by spending their lives in vain quest for security on earth, but in passionate endeavor to be surrounded in heaven by friends who were won to Christ through their money – which was converted into Bibles, gospel booklets, meals for others, supporting missionaries, etc.].
Do you have this kind of wisdom (foresight for your future in heaven), and why?
And if so, how?
If you haven’t been, how will your life and investments be used from this point on?
Rev. 22:12 What is with Christ when He returns (at the Rapture)?
To whom will it be given, and on what basis?
[“everyone” – believers/Christians].
Do you think that you will get anything? Why?
1 Cor. 3:11-15 How we live or what we do – “each man’s work” (vs. 13) – will be tested by fire (figuratively speaking, meaning “will be judged”) for what purpose?
What will happen if our works remain (because what we do is to God’s glory and according to His will)?
What will happen if our works are burned up (the things we do with wrong motives or outside of God’s will)?
Will you appear before God naked – “yet so as through fire” – with no rewards?
Do you think that a lot of what you do in the name of Christian service is done in the energy of your own self abilities to: glorify yourself, look good in the eyes of others, get a good feeling, or be liked by others? How did you determine your answer?
What should be our motive for anything we do (1 Cor. 10:31:16:14)?
If this hasn’t been your motive, how can you begin making it your motive?
Rom. 8:16-17; Matt. 25:31-34 Who is going to be a heir with God?
When, where, and how are we fellow-heirs with Christ?
Do you qualify according to Rom. 8:17?
What do you think it would take for a Christian in the USA to suffer for Christ?
Have you ever suffered for Christ?
If so, when, how, and for what reason?
2 Tim. 2:11-13 If we endure with Christ (consistently, faithfully, obediently live the Christian life), what will happen?
Do you think that you’ll be reigning with Christ in His kingdom (e.g., Rev. 20:6), and why?
Do you “hang in there”, persevere, when living the Christian life gets tough and the pressure to compromise, quit, or give in to temptation come, and why?
If we deny Christ (i.e., that you believe in Him as God and Savior), what will God deny us of (vs. 12a)?
Have you ever denied Christ, either by your words or just in how you act when placed in a trying/difficult situation, and why?
Because Christ can’t deny Himself (i.e., who He is, the truth, what He promises), even if we lose faith, what is true of Christ?
Aren’t you glad that Jesus remains faithful to keeping His word of giving you eternal life once you initially believe in Him as Savior?
And how else does knowing this affect you?
Mk. 10:29-30 What did Jesus tell His disciples were the rewards of leaving everything behind in order to serve Him/Christ and share the gospel?
Have you left any or all of these things in order to devote your life to serving God and sharing the gospel?
If not, are you now willing to, and why?
Rev. 3:15-19 What will God do to the lukewarm (carnal, worldly, apathetic) Christian?
[“spit” – rejects fellowship with extreme disgust].
Do you think God rejects fellowship with you and is disgusted with your Christian lifestyle, and why?
What does God say about the smug Christian who is rich and thinks that he does not need anything?
What should this lukewarm Christian do (vss. 19-20)?
[“zealous” – intense, enthusiastic spiritually, diligent].
[“repent” – change your thinking, here, about your spiritual status and so change your actions/life to be obedient to God].
Would you consider yourself a lukewarm Christian, and why?
If so, what do you plan to do about it, and why?
Matt. 25:14-30 [The point of this parable is that “faithfulness” to the task (vss. 21, 23) – even though abilities and responsibilities differ (vs. 15) – brings exactly the same reward. The same faithfulness brings the same reward. You are only responsible for what God gives you to do. What other of God’s people do or are able to do, does not affect our reward. Not all of God’s people are gifted in the same way, but all of us can be faithful.].
[This parable deals with the Jews during the tribulation (24:3, 16; 25:31; Ezek. 20:37-42).].
[A “talent” is worth about $1,000.].
To which of the three people in the parable would you liken yourself to, and why?
Are you satisfied in being like that person?
Are you 100% faithful in using the abilities and opportunities that God has given you?
If not, what do you plan to do about it, and how soon?
How can a person become faithful to do God’s will and work if he/she isn’t presently?
[The person in verses 24-30 is an unbeliever.].
Lk. 19:11-27 [This parable is dealing with faithfulness in a matter of considerable value – a “mina” is about 100 days’ wages, doubtless applying to something all Christians have in common. All have the “opportunity” to invest their lives in serving Christ. The variable/difference here is the “industriousness” with which each applies himself/herself. While all of us have the same opportunity to live for Christ, the only limitation is our personal zeal and determination. The seriousness and determination with which a Christian cares for the interests of the Lord in this life, is the measure by which he/she qualifies for a job in Jesus’ government/kingdom in the future.].
To which of these three slaves do you most closely identify, and why did you say that?
Which one would you like to have represent your life?
Does it really matter to you? Why?
What is said to the third slave (vss. 20-26)?
What specific things do you plan to do so as to not wind up like this slave?
[The people in verse 27 are not believers.].
Matt. 20:1-16 [The point of this parable is that the Lord has the right to compensate His servants by His own reckoning, not theirs, and the criteria for measuring faithfulness is not time – duration of service. Just because one person begins serving the Lord early in life doesn’t mean he/she will get a greater reward than one who begins his/her servitude late in life. God’s rewards are not based on how long a person serves the Lord, but on his/her faithfulness from the time he/she begins serving after his/her conversion.].
Do you ever grumble when a newer Christian is honored or given recognition in something as much as you are, especially when you have worked longer than he/she has?
Why do you feel this way?
After working faithfully for a long time and then some new comer to your Christian group gets involved for just a short time, do you feel cheated when someone gives that person equal complementation or recognition as he/she does to you for your Christian involvement, and why?