Interesting post from Dan Edelen today at Cerulean Sanctum.
Whenever Church leaders talk about how great it is to be a follower of Jesus, does it ever bother you that they always go back to the Old Testament for props for their teachings and sermons?
In the Old Testament, the reward in this life for faithfulness included the following:
- Material prosperity
- Freedom from want
- Large families
- Respect from the community
- Long life
But then in the New Testament, something else enters that idyllic picture and seems to replace it. The reward in this life for faithfulness in the New Testament:
- Separation from family
- More persecution
Amid all those sermons on all the great stuff you’ll now get from claiming OT promises, no one seems to talk about the hallmarks of NT faithfulness and what its rewards now look like.
That’s a good point. Interestingly all the OT promises of rewards are misunderstood as anything other than the signs they were. I guess they go for a redefinition! Instead of a fertile wife and large family, we get a family of Jesus people with faithful blood spilled as a catalyst for growth. Instead of the riches of silver, instead are the riches of wisdom. And a land of milk and honey stands for a renewed world.
Foolishly, some folk misunderstand the heavenly designs as past signs for the King. The shadow of the cross covers over all the promises. We get glory through the horror of crucifixion. It never astounds me how insane this idea is, but it doesn’t baffle most: History is given a foundation by a crucified rabbi who claimed to be king & true glory is found in his death and (shockingly) resurrection.
It would make much more sense for the unknown god to give me a pretty little thing and a Ferrari for being strong and brave. Of course, that’s what too many Americans believe anyway. I recall something about serving 2 masters?
Well said Cal. 🙂
That should read: “we get glory in the horror of crucifixion”