Taking Risks as Christians


TITLE: Taking Risks as a Christian

SUBJECT: Attitude/Faith

PROPOSITION: In this study, we will look at different kinds of risks that Christians must take to be Christians. There is the risk of 1) Leaving the ones we love, 2) financial loss, 3) our life and health, 4) public rejection and failure.

OBJECTIVE: Each Christian should know what kind of risks he or she faces each day in living the Christian life and be prepared to handle those risks understanding that while there may be “risks” while we are upon the earth, the outcome is guaranteed.

AIM: I want to spur the brethren on toward taking more risks in these areas because the greater risk one takes the greater reward that is associated with the risk.


1. Read: Hebrews 11:8-10

2. About the Text:

1) Abraham was a man of great faith.

2) His faith often involved taking risks based upon his belief and trust of God’s word.

3) When God called Abraham to go to another land, he went. This was an incredible risk in his day.

4) Some of the risks he faced were:

i. Risk of leaving friends and family.

ii. Risk of financial loss.

iii. Risk of highway robbery

iv. Risk of bad health

v. Risk of food and water shortages

5) Abraham took risks because he believed in God and God’s promises.

3. What do we not mean by taking risks?

1) Don’t mean going beyond the evidence to believe something about the past.

2) Don’t mean going beyond what the scriptures teach in regard to church organization, worship, or practice.

3) Don’t mean teaching something other than what is taught within the scriptures.

4) Don’t mean taking risks with one’s own personal salvation in doing things that are questionable.

4. What do we mean?

1) That when God has commanded something of us we will take the personal risks necessary to fulfill that command.

2) That when someone is in need we will do what it takes to ensure that his or her needs are met.

3) That when a call to action is made by the leaders of the congregation we will do what is in our power and take the necessary risks to accomplish it.

5. What is a risk?

1) A risk is an opportunity for loss or failure in some specific area of life.

2) We see the term “risk” used most often in businesses today in relationship to finances.

3) Risk is attractive to those who have the money to lose because the greater the risk, the greater the possibility of reward.

4) The same principle is true in the life of the Christian. The greater the risk, the greater the possibility of blessing!

6. Risk also involves three things–faith, hope, and love.

1) Faith that God will work things out for good.

2) Hope that in the end the blessing will be greater than the risk.

3) Love for the one for whom we are taking the risk.

7. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: For the sake of Christ, Christians should be willing to risk . . .

I.   Leaving the ones we love.

1. Abraham left his father and mother to follow the call of God. Genesis 12:1 “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.”

2. When Jesus called the disciples he called for them to forsake their earthly relationships and follow Him. (Matthew 4:18-22). Notice specifically verse 22 “And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

3. When Jesus spoke concerning become his disciple he said,

i. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

ii. “And every one that hath left houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29).

4. But Jesus pointed to a more valuable relationship–the relationship between Christian brother and sister. “And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” (Mark 3:33-35).

5. Would we risk losing our families to gain Christ? It is a risk worth taking!

II.  Financial Loss

1. The thought of loss of money is a most distasteful thought in our society today.

2. An analogy.

i. What if I were a financial planner and I told you that for the next 30 years you would lose money on your investments, but that in the 31st year, your money was guaranteed to make up everything you lost and 10 times that. Would you invest?

ii. What if instead of years it were months?

iii. What if instead of months it were days?

iv. What if instead of days it were hours, minutes, seconds?

v. Now what is this life compared to eternity?

vi. God is asking a similar investment of us. In essence the promise of heaven is like this. God is guaranteeing that you will lose money while you are in this life, but that heaven will be worth every single loss you experience here on the earth and more. Will you invest?

3. Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44-46).

4. Jesus said also, “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:16-22).

5. Will we like the widow who cast in two mites risk the very wealth that we have for God’s work or will we like the rich fool build bigger barns to avoid any and all risk?

III. Our life and health

1. Luke 14:26, “. . . his own life also, cannot be my disciple.”

2. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-26 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

3. We read that Stephen gave his life for Christ (Acts 7:60).

4. James the brother of John gave His life for Christ (Acts 12:2).

5. Paul suffered tremendous personal and life-threatening injury for the sake of Christ.

i. There was a council to kill him in Acts 9:23

ii. The Jews raised up persecution against him in Antioch of Pisidia. Acts 13:50

iii. There was a plot against Paul and Barnabas at Iconium to stone them. Acts 14:5

iv. They finally stoned him in Acts 14:19 in Lystra and thought he was dead but this did not stop him.

v. At Phillippi he was beaten and put in jail, Acts 16:23 (Roman jail cells weren’t exactly the picture of health in those days).

vi. He was threatened at Thessalonica, but Jason saved him (Acts 17:9).

vii. Acts 17:13 says the people were “stirred up” at Thessalonica.

viii. He was brought before the Roman judgment seat of Gallio in Corinth at the hand of the Jews (Acts 18:12).

ix. Demetrius brought a riot against Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19:24ff).

x. All Jerusalem was in an uproar because of him (Acts 21:31) and he was subsequently arrested and put on trial.

xi. He spent several years after this under guard until his first trial before Caesar.

xii. Paul’s own words regarding his risk of life and health are as follows: “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” (2 Cor.11:24-27).

6. What kind of risk to our life and health will we take for Christ today? He gave His life for us how much of our life and health will we give him?

IV.  Public rejection and failure

1. Perhaps of all the risks that we dread the most, there is the risk of public rejection and failure.

2. Jesus spoke of public rejection in Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 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.”

3. Jesus told us what our attitude toward public rejection should be in Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

4. The disciples had this attitude in Acts 5:41: “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”

5. Perhaps the greatest example of public rejection in the scriptures is that of Jesus life and death.

i. Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

ii. John 1:11 ” He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

iii. Even in the hour of his death he was mocked. Those on the ground cried out, “If thou be king of the Jews, save thyself” “If thou be the Son of God come down from the cross.” Even the two malefactors that were hanging on the cross behind him joined in saying, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”

iv. The Hebrew writer says, ” who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2).

v. No greater rejection could anyone on earth experience.

6. Would we risk public rejection and failure for the sake of Christ?


1. For the sake of Christ, the Christian will risk . . .

i. The loss of his family.

ii. His finances.

iii. His life and health.

iv. Public rejection and failure.

2. Invitation