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An Incomparable Treasure

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Pastor Mark (Yu Chao) watched his father die for his faith during China’s Cultural Revolution. The Red Guard arrested his father for preaching the gospel and beat him within an inch of his life. The guards made Mark and his son watch as they tortured him, breaking several of his bones, and covering him in his own blood.

At a cemetery, they had a mock trial where they accused Mark’s Dad of being an “enemy of the state,” but gave him the opportunity to live if he would recant his faith. “We offer you this precious chance for life,” they said. “Choose wisely.”

Mark’s father responded, “You can cut my head off and you can spill my blood, but I will never forsake Jesus Christ! He has been faithful to me and has blessed me for many years and nothing you do can ever make me renounce my loving Friend and Savior!”

The guards rushed him and beat him to death to the dismay of the crowd. Looking back on the event, Mark said, “Because of the example of my father, who was willing to endure to the very end, great fruit has resulted. In Shandong province today I, his son, still follow Christ, as do my own son and my grandson. Three generations have followed the Lord, and we hope many more generations to come will, also!”

What is it that strengthens a Christian’s resolve to endure such treatment?
Why is it that many would rather be a martyr than recant their faith in Christ?

They have an incomparable treasure!

I. It is a treasure of hope.

A. Revealed in the knowledge of the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4:6 NKJV
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6 NKJV
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Cor
2 Cor. 4:

B. Seen only by His own.

2 Corinthians 4:3 NKJV
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
2 Cor. 4”
And so seeing this wonderful treasure, we ask ourselves, “where is it held?”

II. It is held in Fragile vessels.

A. The fragile vessel is the weakness of the flesh.

We are weak and fragile. How?
Prone to sin.
Can you imagine that God would entrust this precious gift, this treasure in the frailty of human flesh?
degraded under persecution.

Pastor Mark (Yu Chao) watched his father die for his faith during China’s Cultural Revolution. The Red Guard arrested his father for preaching the gospel and beat him within an inch of his life. The guards made Mark and his son watch as they tortured him, breaking several of his bones, and covering him in his own blood.

At a cemetery, they had a mock trial where they accused Mark’s Dad of being an “enemy of the state,” but gave him the opportunity to live if he would recant his faith. “We offer you this precious chance for life,” they said. “Choose wisely.”

Mark’s father responded, “You can cut my head off and you can spill my blood, but I will never forsake Jesus Christ! He has been faithful to me and has blessed me for many years and nothing you do can ever make me renounce my loving Friend and Savior!”

The guards rushed him and beat him to death to the dismay of the crowd. Looking back on the event, Mark said, “Because of the example of my father, who was willing to endure to the very end, great fruit has resulted. In Shandong province today I, his son, still follow Christ, as do my own son and my grandson. Three generations have followed the Lord, and we hope many more generations to come will, also!”

Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 6286 Soldier Adrian’s Decision

A young Roman by the name of Adrian, a Praetorian Guard, under Emperor Galerius Maximian, had been a fanatic persecutor of the Christians. But the calmness and courage of those he put to the torture impressed him. Adrian, brave himself, admired bravery. In these Christians he saw heroism greater than any he had seen in battle.

It was the year 280 and Adrian was twenty-eight years old. His skill and daring had led to one promotion after another. Yet, he could not get over his admiration for these followers of Christ.

One day he asked one of the Christians being tortured:

“What gives you such strength and joy in the midst of your sufferings?”

“Our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we believe,” the martyr replied.

In a flash Adrian made an important decision. He stepped to the heathen judge and declared: “Put down my name among those to be tortured. I also shall become a Christian.”

For twenty-three years after his conversion Adrian suffered much, but he never flinched from his loyalty to Christ. In 303 he was killed at Nicomedia. For seventeen centuries since he was the patron-saint of soldiers.

As we saw in China and continue to see throughout the world today, physically, Christians are brought to nothing. Yet even degraded through severe persecution, we can still have this treasure!
You see, even degraded through severe persecution, we can still have this treasure!

B. It is opposed to human reasoning and manifested in weakness.

C. Realized only in Weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:10 NKJV
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
You see our frailty is actually our strength!

III. It is only realized in weakness.

It is in this state that we are strongest in the power of God!
If it were by our own power it would be wordly!
This is why we must...
Suffer ridicule if need be.
Not seek vengeance
Do what’s right no matter how much it hurts.
These actions of humility are where the power of God is realized and no-where else!
So here’s the million dollar question!
Is this treasure alive and well in you?
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