"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Promise about Kingdom Giving Worth Pondering

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)

When Jesus speaks of time, it’s usually with the language of “this present age” and “the age to come,” or “this present age” and “in the resurrection” (see Luke 20:34-35). 

The resurrection, the central tenet of Christian faith, separates “this present age” from “the age to come.” 

In this present age, when you and I are willing to give up assets, family, and income - for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s sake - He promises that we will receive a hundred times as much assets, family and income in this present age.  

I do not believe I have ever noticed this promise before. Typically, I have thought (and taught) that what a person gives in this age may only redound in blessing in the age to come. 

That’s not what Jesus says. 

Jesus promises that whatever you give in this age for the Kingdom will come back to you 100 fold in this age. Lest you think He’s thinking that what comes back your way is a “spiritual” blessing and not a “material” blessing, Jesus repeats the exact same nouns - houses, family, farms - in the 100 fold blessings you receive. 

Those who read my writings know that I have little sympathy for what is commonly known as the prosperity gospel and no patience for prosperity preachers. Their problem is the desire to “get rich” on the backs of the poor. Jesus condemns religious leaders who want riches for riches sake. 

However, I am a biblicist.  I believe what Jesus says.  So I am not going to throw out the proverbial baby with the bath water. 

Next time you feel impressed to give something for the Kingdom’s sake (to a person, a ministry, a church, etc.) consider this promise from Jesus. Give. Don’t worry about having enough to live. Give for the Kingdom and He’ll give you 100 fold in return.  

In other words, don’t worry about material or familial blessings “in this age.” Seek first His Kingdom and all these other things (home, family, income, etc...) are given to you by Him who promised a 100 fold blessing. Consider the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor worry, yet they are clothed in splendor more than Solomon was in his day. How much more does Jesus care for you.

Give to the Kingdom in this age and worry not about a thing in this age. 

He’s got your back.

Even in the persecutions that come your way for His sake. 

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

When you compare Matthew's account with Mark's of the rich young ruler Jesus says in both that he specifically would have treasure in heaven (not on earth) **if** he sold everything. So, I guess it's safe to assume Mark's conclusion with the insertion of the time-frame of now vs. the future regarding harvest time is likely someon's error.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+10%3A17-31%2CMatthew+19%3A16-30%2CLuke+18%3A18-30&version=ESV

Just my 2 cents. Ken (party pooper)

Wade Burleson said...

I think Mark may only be confirming what Jesus said about reward in heaven - “eternal life.” So it’s not a mistake. :)

But one can’t deny Jesus said “In this age 100 fold is returned.”

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I believe this an example why there are so many denominations; each will pick out a verse and that’s what they live on because they are blind to the rest of the Bible about that particular subject.

Example: “Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins….” (Acts 2:38)

If that was the only verse in the Bible on how to be saved, we would all believe baptizing was essential to be saved.

Let’s look at parts of (Mark 10:29-30). “…no one who has…will fail to receive…eternal life.”

WOW! That’s salvation by works! What happened to (John 3:16)?

Wade, we all want eternal life, so why didn’t you tell us to do what Jesus told the rich man how to have eternal life six verses previous? Do you really think he had to give everything away to have eternal life?

Bob Cleveland said...

This passage is the first thing I ever "claimed" ... told God I wanted, based on the promise. in perhaps 1974.

I was driving between some offices I was managing, with a little pocket Bible propped up on the steering wheel, reading. I hit that passage and pulled off the road and told God He could have everything I had, but I wanted that.

I can tell you that He has kept His part of that bargain. More than I can describe. And, incidentally, that Bible was one I'd purchased in a little Christian Book Store in Kokomo, Indiana .. situated next door to a strip club. I bought the Bible, and thanked the proprietor for holding forth right there in the middle of wickedness.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

These people in Jerusalem gave all that they had:

“All believers…felt what they owned was not their own, so the shared EVERYTHING they had…those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.” (Acts 4:32-35)

Did this ‘church’ in Jerusalem “receive a hundred times as much in this present age”? They were in the need of money shown by: “Now regarding…the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem.” (1 Corinthians 16:1) “They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.” (2 Corinthians 8:4)

For the amount to give did Paul abide by Mark 10:29-30? No; he said, “…GIVE IN PROPORTION TO WHAT YOU HAVE.” (2 Corinthians 8:11)

RRR said...

We now have family, true family, around the world, when prior to our surrendering all, back when we were working in business and trying to fill the storage barns, there was only my wife and I. We now have more than we need. An old missionary friend who is going through some tough financial situations told me recently that a number of people had heard of their plight and offered assistance but asked me, "Do you know who has given us the most of any other person? An old Burmese friend living in a village in Burma where we worked."

God help those who dumb-down the message by saying or interpreting this as saying, "Give a lot, get a lot!"


Also, I like the way Jesus relates to God's timelessness by referring to phases in God's plan rather than specific dates and time frames.

Anonymous said...

This one hits me sharp this morning. The verse talks about giving up home, leaving family, "for me and the gospel".

I gave up home and family to accompany my American husband to his home, his family. Did I do it "for Jesus and the gospel"? I did it for starry eyed love and adventure, but I stayed for obedience to Jesus. I bought return tickets because running away to my homeland would be antithetical to my belief in the gospel.

But the losses are staggering..no Christmases with the whole family, no "furloughs" as my missionary friends had (because I am not "In Ministry"), weddings missed, parents ageing and 36 years of distance, living a quarter of the world away. Grandchildren who have met their grandparents once. Only one of my five siblings has been I my home in the US. The list is long.

What are the "gains"? I have learned to be content somewhat, to count as precious the ability to Skype, visits home, almost always by myself every year or five, and memories. And I have children and grandchildren who are precious to me. And I have learned to "Look for the good" where I live, which takes a lot of imagination! Still, this list is longish, too.

But two things I don't understand about this verse, or three really. Is it really about money and assets? And are replacement people just as good as the original? And at the end of this age, this life, won't each of us lose everything? Even all we can try to think looks like a hundredfold.

So a. I don't really get it. And b. All I have is Jesus.

Heather

Aussie John said...

"This age" in which Jesus live is still the old covenant age which ended with new covenant age which was inaugurated with Jesus death,burial and resurrection.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

What is the context of “…will receive now in return a hundred times as many…mothers…” (Mark 10:30 NLT)

Literally this means a person would have a hundred mothers which is impossible even for the Lord.

Since this verse is NOT ‘literally’, why have you made it ‘literally’ about income?

You said, “Give for the Kingdom and He’ll give you 100 fold in return.”

Let’s do a little math.

A person gives $100 to the Kingdom and receives 100 times $100 = $10,000.

He gives that $100,000 and receives $1,000,000.

He gives that and receives $100,000,000.

He gives that and receives $10,000,000,000.

He gives that and receives $1,000,000,000,000.

Hey! This guy could soon pay off our National debt.

Wade I remember my father telling me, “Rex, you’re right. You’re always right, but when you’re wrong you’re dead wrong.”

Anonymous said...

Heather,
As I read your post, I couldn't help but feel a connection. I have had to give up family, what I knew as "home" and so much else, also for "starry eyed love." I, too, stayed when it became difficult- out of obedience to Christ.
As I count the cost, my list of losses is long. My list of gain? Christ and contentment therein. And while small in number, it is infinite in worth.
I think you are entirely right when you end with "All I have is Jesus." No money, no people, no land, nothing can match that. I think this is the critical lesson the rich young man missed. How fortunate, that by His grace, you and I have been given the same lesson and instead, found the perfect answer: Christ, our all in all.

Blessings to you!
- Hupomone

Rex Ray said...

Bob Cleveland,

Wade hasn’t replied to me but maybe you will.

You said, “…told God He could have everything I had, but I wanted that.”

Would you agree ‘telling’ and ‘giving’ are different? I mean talk is cheap. It’s like paying a debt to a guy with a check in his coffin.

So did you give everything to God like Wade said? “…to a person, a ministry, a church, etc.”

And what did you mean when you said, “I wanted that.”?

Was it the one hundred times ‘kickback’ or do you agree with Paul? “If I gave everything I have to the poor…but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3)

Wade said, “…when you and I are willing to give up assets, family…” has he read? “But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.” (1 Timothy 5:8)

Wade said, “So I am not going to throw out the proverbial baby with the bath water.”

In my opinion he sure didn’t do that as he threw out the baby and kept the bath water.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex and Heather,

Both of your points and questions are good ones.

I'm afraid I don't have an answer. I'm just thinking through for myself the 100 fold "for the Kingdom" and many questions come to my mind as well - similar to the questions you have.

I'm just reflecting on the words of Jesus. I don't always have the answers.

Aussie John said...

I don't believe that Jesus is speaking literally,in the verse in question. Jesus said in Matt.6:33 when addressing the issue of concerns for the material things of life,"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you".

The rich young ruler had everything material mentioned in our verse but didn't have the "unsearchable riches of Christ". His possessions were the focus of his heart, mind and life,and as such his Achilles heel and he wasn't about to get rid of them to have a possession that was "unsearchable", in his mind inscrutable and of an obscure nature.

What do we make out of Jesus words in Luke 12 :33,"Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with A TREASURE IN HEAVEN THAT DOES NOT FAIL, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys" if we are expecting a hundredfold of anything this world can provide?

I've spoken to many well off,but very sad people who chased the tenfold ideal, and had no certainty about their relationship with Christ.




Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Thanks for the reply. I like your title: “A Promise about Kingdom Giving Worth Pondering.”

I believe when you ‘give to the Kingdom’ you expect nothing monetary in return. But you receive a ‘good’ feeling.

Two illustrations:

Years ago Patterson fired a Hebrew teacher at SWTS for one reason: She was a woman. Her husband was unable to work and she had sold blood to make ends meet. You asked people to help. That was a good feeling.

I stopped where a house was to be built. Nothing was there but the foundation and a dozen men. They said they didn’t know how to read the blueprint. After three hours all the walls were up and I started to leave. One offered to pay me. When I said I didn’t want any money, he seemed scared and asked if I was an angel.

Anonymous said...

Blessings to you!
- Hupomone

Thank you for your kind words. I really was a bit raw on Saturday morning, both in my feelings and my words.

Heather