How we handle our possessions in this world and the praise of man not only shapes our lives now, but determines our fate for eternity.
Praise and possessions — those are two dominant idols of our age. The desire for self-glory and the desire for material wealth. So what is the Christian’s relationship to the praise of the world and to the possessions of the world? Pastor John explained in a really helpful sermon at the 2019 Gospel Coalition National Conference in Indianapolis, a sermon on Jesus’s words in Mark 8:31–38. I’ll begin by reading the text.
“And he [Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.’
“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’”