This Week in Chapel

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fall 2016 Chapel Message

Suffering Reproach for Christ
Dr. Lon Solomon on October 4, 2016

Dr. Lon Solomon delivers a spirited and engaging message in the chapel on October 4 about the cost of living the Christian life that God has called us to live.

Why Expository Preaching?

Before treating us with his passionate message, Dr. Solomon offered a quick 5 minute tutorial on 'why expository preaching' based on his 40 years in ministry.  He details that expository preaching is not automatically the same as exegetical preaching.  But expository preaching deals with the Word of God verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book.  The only way to guarantee a balanced presentation of Word is to preach this way.  Everyone will be better off for it.

Suffering Reproach for Christ 

The central theme of Dr. Solomon's message that there is a cost to being a Christian and living the way the Bible commands us to live.  By God's mercy, we can be kingdom citizens, but God calls us to take a radical stand for the name of Christ, and doing so will always come at a cost.  The difference is between being an observer, or a sold-out follower of the Lord.

(NASB) Acts 33-42
33 But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

40 They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Heart of the Message

So what does this passage mean for us?  Well, we can look at Acts 9 when the Lord calls Paul and God sends Ananias to restore Paul's sight.  Paul's salvation is not in view here.  God declares in verse 16, "for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”  The Lord's statement is beyond salvation.  He's talking about Paul being a servant of Christ and how he's going to suffer for it.  All people in Christ will suffer for the name of Christ.

Suffering and persecution for our faith is a normal part of following Jesus.  By His own words, He's prepared us for this and there are numerous passages in the New Testament which support this.  The world around us is spiritually dead and that world hates His holiness.  

It's not us that they are opposed to, it's the light and truth of God's holiness.  When you put somebody who is living in their sinful nature next to a Christian, there is going to be animus, conflict, and friction.  When you confront someone about sin, there's going to be blowback.  Much like the scene in Acts 5 above; Jesus is not looking for 007 Christians to spread the gospel, he's looking for apostolic Christians.  Christians who are willing to pay any price in service to the Lord.

In Summary

If you take a stand for Christ, you better be prepared for what will come your way.  There is a difference between knowing Christ and suffering for Christ.  A difference between knowing Christ and standing for Christ.  A difference between knowing Christ and serving Christ.  And taking the blowback that will surely com.

Dr. Solomon finishes with a challenge to those listening.  If you're not suffering for the name of Christ, you're not doing it right.  You're not living the life that God calls us as Christians to live according to the model of the apostles.  Because all who live for Jesus will suffer persecution.

He wraps up the session with a hearty rendition of the hymn, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus".  This was a powerful and engaging sermon and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the sessions that Dr. Solomon is planning on delivering.


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