David Lee Brown
The Concluding Beatitude
The Beatitudes are a list of declarative statements from Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount, most of which begin, "Blessed are..." Beatitude is a state of bliss and these statements are blissful reminders of what Jesus knew to be true. The Beatitudes are primarily found in Matthew 5:2-12, but there is a corroborative parallel in Luke from Luke 6:20-26. The two gospels corroborate each other beautifully, but are provided from a different prospective. We can't know everything that was said on the Mount, because it wasn't recorded on auditory or visual media, but the corroboration of the witnesses (Matthew and Luke) confirms the historical accuracy. The concluding statements of each gospel writer include, Matthew 5:11-12 which states, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." and Luke 6:22-23 which states, "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets." Then Luke takes things a step further in Luke 6:24-26 with his commentary on what Christ said in the, "Woe unto..." statements that further emphasize that those that live well in the world have already received their reward. At least that is true for those who are lost and without Christ. “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” It is possible to be rich and still have rewards waiting for you in heaven. It is possible to eat well and still receive rewards in heaven. It is still possible to have people speak well of you and still receive rewards in heaven, but only if you are born again through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus and your acceptance of His grace, salvation and lordship. If you are not saved by grace through faith, then all the rewards of this life will stop at the end of this life – all of them.
God, via the Bible, says if we as Christians are doing things in accordance with His will, we will be reviled, hated, persecuted and those that were our worldly friends will no longer want anything to do with us. Almost everyone wants to fit in, but if you are a genuine follower of Christ you will not fit in, and God says, thru both Matthew and Luke that we are to rejoice in that separation – be exceedingly glad and leap for joy, because we are called by God to be sanctified – set apart as holy unto God. Then God, via Luke says, “Woe” to those that take the pleasures of this life, because the pleasures that you receive in this life will be all you get. Then you get a lake of fire that burns eternally and provides nothing but pain, torment, hunger, loneliness, despair, weeping and eternal separation from God. On the other hand, as Christians, we will suffer a little or a lot of persecution while we are alive. We will also have an abundant life, but that doesn’t mean wealth or fame, it means all our needs met with the added bonus of a personal relationship with God. Then after this life we get a whole new life of perfect peace, service, happiness, joy and a literal and tangible relationship with Jesus for eternity – Very cool…