A. Most people think if you have money, you have all the
      advantages in life.  The disciples so thought - Mark 10:23-27.
   B. Jesus showed that riches can be a distinct disadvantage - Mark
   C. We want to show that the real advantages in this life are to  
      those  who are following Christ.
I. Our Faith and Hope are in God.
   A. 1 Pet. 1:20-21
      1. We believe we are made in the image of God.  Gen. 1:26-
         27.  We will give an account to our Maker.
      2. Believing that man evolved from animals (organic
         evolution) doesn't give man much dignity.
   B. We continue to build on our faith - Jude 20-21.
II. An Inward Satisfaction.
   A. There is a personal satisfaction in knowing we are what God
      wants us to be.
      1. God wants all to honor His Son.  John 5:22-23
      2. We do this by wearing His name, becoming Christians. 
         Acts 11:26; 1 Pet. 4:16; Acts 26:28-29.
      3. Our inward spirits bear witness with the H.S. that we are
         children of God.  Rom. 8:16-17.  Our spirits testify that we
         have done what the H.S. revealed.
   B. There is something very gratifying in the inner-self in knowing
      that were are pleasing to our Creator.
III. Forgiveness of Sins.
   A. One must receive remission of sins before he can become a
      Christian in the first place.
      1. John 8:24 - Many will die in their sins - but they don't 
         need to.
   B. Christians continue to have the blessings of forgiveness.  1 
      John 1:9; 2:1-2; Acts 8:22
   C. Think of the great relief to know that every sin we've ever
      committed has been forgiven.
IV. The Blessing of Prayer.
   A. There is help in time of need.  Heb. 4:16; 10:21-22
      1. It is the Christian that has access to the Father.  Eph. 
   B. Would the person who fails to honor the Son by becoming a
      Christian have access?  Prov. 28:9
V. An Inner Joy.
   A. 1 Pet. 1:8 - "Joy inexpressible" words cannot describe it, nor 
      can it be exhausted with words.  One must experience it for 
      "And full of glory" - full of honor and praise, having a sense 
      of dignity and greatness.
   B. 1 Pet. 2:3-5 - "have tasted" - since you have experienced the
      delights of the Lord, continue to come to Him.
VI. A Blessing to Society.
   A. Christians are like salt and light.  Matt. 5:13-16
   B. Employers have learned that Christian make better employees.
      1. If you were hiring someone, would you rather have a
         Christian or a worldly person working for you?
VII. Able to Cope with Hardships.
   A. There is a certain amount of adversity and hardship that comes
      to all.  Eccl. 9:11-12; Job 14:1-2
   B. The Christian can have an inward peace.  Phil. 4:6-7
   C. One of the messages of the book of Revelation is that when God
      brings plagues upon the wicked, it will not hurt those who have
      the seal of God in their foreheads.
VIII. Membership in a Local Congregation.
   A. Here we study God's word and increase our knowledge in His
   B. Here we have help and encouragement toward a common goal.
   C. There are some members in the local churches who are
      hypocrites, but also there some of the best people in the 
IX. Makes a Better Family Member.
   A. A Christian makes a better husband, wife, father, or mother.
   B. Generally, children of Christian parents are better children.
   C. No greater heritage can be passed down, than Christianity.
X. Manifold Blessings in this Life.
   A. Mark 10:29-30
   B. Matt. 7:7-11
XI. Because of the Heavenly Reward.
   A. In the age to come, eternal life.  Mark 10:30
   B. Everlasting joy.  Rev. 21:4
   C. The reward will far outweigh the price.  Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:16
      1. There remains a rest for the people of God.  Heb. 4:9-11
XII. To Avoid Eternal Punishment.
   A. Jesus solemnly warned against it.  Mark 9:43-48; Luke 12:3-4.
   B. There is a great day of wrath coming when the adversaries will
      be destroyed.  Rom. 2:5; 1 Thess. 1:10
   C. We are to fear.  Heb. 10:31 
      1. The fear of the Lord causes one to depart from evil.  Prov.
   A. Are there advantages to being a Christian?  Yes, Many!  It pays
      to be a Christian.
      1. Let us avail ourselves of the blessings.
   B. None of these blessings can be yours unless you are a 
      1. You must be baptized into Christ.  Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:3-
   C. Let us who are Christians remain steadfast so that we can
      continue to enjoy the blessings.  1 John 1:7; 1 Cor. 15:58

By David Riggs

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