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Strange Math, This . . .

Our worship service this morning included this verse: “ If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:19, NLV). Some translations use “miserable” in place of “to be pitied.” Either way, following Christ only for what we get out of it now is a sure road to despair.

This option of identification with Jesus just for immediate benefits—believing for receiving, trailing for favors, hanging out for handouts—is the dominant theme of prosperity teaching. But Paul warns us: if you pursue for this life only you will end up in the pits.

Jesus wants us to prosper. He teaches that if we pursue eternity’s values we will get a spectacular return on our faith and action: “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Mt 13:23).

Subtract the efforts of here and now--die like a seed in the ground--and reap the harvest. Why would we follow the empty words of a mortal when we have the promise of Jesus? Strange to human ears, but does Jesus know some things we don't know? If you believe that he does, why not follow His perfect wisdom?

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