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24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV
A.Paul uses this passage like a literary bungee cord that connects what he just said to what he us about to say.
II.PARTICIPATION TROPHIES, PLAYING TIME, AND THE PRIZE
A.When it comes to Christ and the eternal joys of heaven there are 3 groups of Christians…
1.Some people are satisfied to just participate.
2.Some selfishly only care about what they can get out of it (playing time).
3.Some are willing to pay the price to win the ultimate prize.
III. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE
A.The prize we labor for as Christians is an eternal one, mainly the souls of others for the sake of the glory of God.
B.Only what is done for the glory of God and the good of others will matter in eternity. (1 Corinthians 9:1, Colossians 1:28-29)
IV.A SOUND VIEW OF ETERNAL REWARDS
A.Our works before conversion to Christ don’t matter. After conversion, they do. (Ephesians 2:10)
B.Heaven is not about what we get but the factuality of eternal rewards is undeniable. (1 John 2:28, Mark 10:28-30)
C.The greatest reward of heaven is to share the presence of Jesus with those we have known and loved on the Earth.
1.Don’t just participate in Christ now, prepare for life with Christ forever by leading others to have life with Christ forever.
Supremacy of Jesus Over Sin — 1 Corinthians 10:1-22