Sold Out for the Kingdom

Home Church Service 5/1/2021

These sermons began as devotionals for my family as we met during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. We have now begun to include our friends and the devotional has now become a full sermon. We are also recording our service and will begin posting those videos in the near future.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”                                      Matthew 13:44-46 (NASB)

Somewhere, deep inside, we would all love to live, at least for a short time, on Easy Street. But living on Easy Street takes money, lots and lots of money, something most of us just do not have enough of! Who among us would not love to find a hidden treasure chest or something so valuable we could sell it and be set for life?

Maybe that hidden treasure comes in the form of an unexpected inheritance from a family member you had no idea existed! Or, perhaps more realistically, the purchase of a winning lottery ticket. Or maybe you are the lucky one who finds the elusive barn find that is so valuable, once made public, the value skyrockets. Maybe you play the market and one of your investments finally pays off in a big way!! Whatever the case may be – would it not be wonderful to wake up tomorrow morning and know your future is secure?

In our passage today we will look at two such people – people who can wake up knowing their future is secure. One stumbles across their treasure while the other has spent, perhaps years or much of a lifetime, seeking and searching, waiting patiently. Both, upon finding their great fortunes, immediately sell all they have to make one final purchase – this purchase is different because they have sacrificed all and now, they are Sold Out for the Kingdom.

The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a hidden treasure or a pearl of great value, that when found causes such joy a person is willing to sell everything to become Sold Out for the Kingdom.

The kingdom of heaven is more valuable than any material possessions we might own. The kingdom is the find of a lifetime so valuable we are willing to sacrifice all we have to be Sold Out for the Kingdom.

The question we seek to answer in this message is, “Why do people want to become Sold Out for the Kingdom?”

We are Sold Out for the Kingdom because nothing is as valuable as the kingdom of heaven – the find of a lifetime!!

1). We are Sold Out for the Kingdom because it is a treasure to be shared – not buried!!

Buried treasure cannot be seen or enjoyed by anyone and we just might forget where it is buried!!

Before us we have two examples of the kingdom of heaven. In our first example a poor man is going about his daily chores. In fact, Jesus stresses the point this man was NOT looking for treasure. Tedious as they may be this man is going about his work. So, consider this scenario, a man is plowing a field when his plow suddenly and quite unexpectedly, hits a box buried in the ground. The man digs up the box to examine it and upon opening it, he finds it filled with treasure – cash, gold, silver, jewels, diamonds…who knows, maybe all of the above!

Treasures were often buried in fields because there were no formal banks as we know them today. It was a common practice to bury treasure in the fields at the approach of an enemy army. If the homeowner did not survive the invasion the treasure could be forgotten indefinitely. In fact, the field could change ownership several times with no one aware of the hidden treasure! The man recognizes the value of what he has found and immediately buries it again and runs off to sell all he has to buy the field. Is this man crossing some ethical line by burying the box so he can buy the field?  

Not according to Jewish law, according to the law he is perfectly within his rights! According to the Jewish law, “If a man finds scattered money, it belongs to the finder!” Here we have the old childhood taunt of “Finders keepers, losers weepers,” written right into the Jewish law. The kingdom of heaven is like a hidden treasure because of its hidden nature. This man found the hidden treasure and recognizes the value of the treasure. By selling all that he has the man secures something of surpassing value to what he sold and the field he bought.

The example of the hidden treasure emphasizes the supreme worth of the treasure unseen by others, it is worth far more than any other sacrifice made to obtain it. No sacrifice is too great to live in the will of God and to experience the relationship of being a disciple of Christ Jesus. Do you have a treasure, unseen by others, that is worth sacrificing all you have to obtain it? Is it some material possession? Your home? Or car? What about your job? Is there anything in this world worth sacrificing all you have just to say you own it or belong to it?

The second example is the pearl of great value, found by a rich man, an expert who is looking for perfection but has never seen it until he found this pearl. This expert has searched diligently and patiently, he is qualified to know the value of this pearl, and while there are other pearls on the market to purchase nothing compares to this pearl of great value!

Knowing the value of this pearl, the expert goes and sells all he has to obtain this one pearl, but he also knows that even though he has sold all he had, he has still purchased something that far surpasses all he sacrificed. The point that Jesus makes is not that you can buy your way into heaven but on recognizing is supreme value. The emphasis of this parable is the incomparable quality of the kingdom of heaven.

What is that you have been searching for patiently? Is there that one thing you have been waiting to find for a long period of time now? What will you do if and when you find it? Are you willing to sacrifice all you have for that one thing? Would it bring joy that is so strong you just have to grab hold and not let go?

We are Sold Out for the Kingdom because nothing is as valuable as the kingdom of heaven – the find of a lifetime!!

2). We are Sold Out for the Kingdom because it is worth sacrificing all we have!

No material possessions can ever bring the joy found in discovering the kingdom of heaven.

Both parables presented by Jesus emphasize the incalculable value of the kingdom of heaven – it is worth any sacrifice! People find the kingdom of heaven in many ways. Some come upon it by accident while others find it after a long and patient search. Regardless of how people find the kingdom of heaven its value is incalculable and worth any sacrifice we must make to obtain it.

Some people find the worth of the kingdom of heaven by accident. They are going through the familiar routines of life when suddenly, against all expectations, they find hidden treasure. Some people find the kingdom of heaven through diligently searching and great patience. They try other faiths, sample different ideologies and even gain much from them but one day they find the kingdom of heaven – the find of a lifetime – and give all to have it! When you find Jesus, He is worth any sacrifice to secure.

Whatever a person might sacrifice to obtain the kingdom of heaven, there is nothing that compares to belonging to it. Salvation and the righteousness of the kingdom of heaven are greater treasures than anything the world can offer, and it is the source of the greatest joy. When we can fully realize the value of life in Christ now and in eternity, then we can fully realize that all the sacrifices we make cannot compare to the joy we experience now! It is all too easy to lose sight of this value and then lose our joy.

What are you holding on to that is keeping you from being Sold Out for the Kingdom? Are you afraid the kingdom of heaven will not be worth the work? Or is it not a tangible value that you can show to friends and family? Maybe you prefer to have a quantity of things, that is having so many things your friends and family are dazzled by the amount of stuff you own! Perhaps it is the thought of sacrifice that scares you. Are you afraid of doing without? Or is it just the thought of giving up al you have accumulated.

You see, the sad fact is that everything you bought, found or traded for is going to be gone one day. Nothing in this world can last forever. Car’s rust, silver and gold lose their value, clothes wear out, diamonds and jewels fade over the years, homes are outgrown or become too big to maintain. Nothing in this world can last forever. Maybe you have heard and listened to the lies that Christians have nothing, cannot have fun and must follow a list of dos and don’ts? What is holding you back? What are you waiting for?

If you are willing to spend your last $20 on lottery tickets, what is it worth to find the one thing that can truly make your future secure? Let me be blunt, what is the kingdom of heaven worth to you? Would you be willing to make any sacrifice necessary to obtain it? Are you willing to sacrifice your personal comfort? Let me bring this really close to home – are you willing to sacrifice your personal comfort zone? Your lifestyle? Money? Power? Position? What is the kingdom of heaven, the find of a lifetime, worth to you?

Do you want quality or quantity? What are you seeking – quality or quantity? Do you want the most? Or the best? What are you willing to sacrifice to have the best? The quality of the kingdom of heaven far out surpasses any material possessions you might own, or any other religion or cult might offer. What are you willing to sacrifice for the one thing that can bring you both the most and the best, the quality of the kingdom of heaven?

We are Sold Out for the Kingdom because nothing is as valuable as the kingdom of heaven – the find of a lifetime!!

We would all like to wake up one day knowing our future is secured. Maybe it is because of an inheritance, lottery winnings or an investment that has paid off – however it might happen really does not matter – we would just love to live on Easy Street for a while.

In our passage we have seen how two people found their fortune and sold all they had to obtain this great fortune. There is one such fortune that is worth anything we must sacrifice and with this purchase we find our future secured as we become Sold Out for the Kingdom.

As disciples of Christ Jesus, we are to understand there is nothing more valuable in all the world, than possessing the kingdom of heaven. In writing his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul says we have “this treasure in earthen vessels” so the power that is seen is that of God and not ours. Because of this we do not hide or bury the treasure we have found in Christ Jesus and the kingdom of heaven.

There is still this unseen value that must be discovered by those who come to the kingdom, but now that you have found this treasure and you carry it about in your body, you must share it! If you bought a winning lottery ticket, would you not share your winnings with your family and friends? The kingdom of heaven far out surpasses any lottery ticket and the money that will eventually be spent or given away.

If you are the expert who has been searching diligently and patiently for perfection, you know it but have not yet seen it, would you not want others to share in the joy of finding perfection? Of course, you would! You would want others to know of the quality of this perfect find. You would share your struggle with searching and waiting, of trying and testing, of the successes and disappointments you worked through, only to have your diligence rewarded with perfection.

There will be those who must do the work and seek perfection for themselves. These people must discover the truth for themselves to be fully satisfied it is indeed perfection. It may take them days, weeks or even years but we must remember it is God who draws them to His Son Jesus Christ and His timing is always perfect! The point is this, now that we have found the kingdom of heaven, now that we have this discipleship relationship with Jesus, we must share what we have found. While there will always be a hidden aspect of the kingdom ours in not to keep it hidden, but to reveal what the kingdom has done in our lives and let others discover this truth for themselves as the Holy Spirit works in the hearts and lives of those who see we have become Sold Out for the Kingdom.

We do all things for the glory of God through Christ our Lord.

Amen and Amen.

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