Date written: September 30th, 2006
Scripture ref: 2 Peter 1:5-11
TITLE: The Christian and Retirement
PROPOSITION: What is retirement for the Christian? It is 1) Not an excuse to Stop. 2) An Opportunity. 3) A Reminder.
Objectives: Each ought to understand that retirement for the Christian is not the same as it is for the worldling.
Aim: That each would make appropriate plans for retirement from one's physical work, but not from one's spiritual work.
1. Read: 2 Peter 1:5-11
2. About the Text:
1) In this passage we find what is commonly referred to as the Christian graces.
2) There are eight of these: faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.
3) The word that is translated “add” is from a Greek word which means to orchestrate together.
4) These graces are depicted as notes on an ever increasing scale.
5) The picture is of a conductor orchestrating his life by these graces.
6) Verse 11 tells us when the composition of our life ends, when we enter that everlasting kingdom.
3. About the lesson.
1) Many people today are preparing for retirement.
2) We see commercials about retirement on television.
3) We hear of people investing huge sums of money in retirement accounts to “secure” their future.
4) What is retirement?
5) The definition involves the idea of withdrawing from one's work or labors.
6) What about the Christian and retirement?
7) How ought the Christian to view retirement?
4. We should note . . .
1) The Christian has a responsibility to be a Christian even before retirement.
2) There is no guarantee that the Christian, or anyone else, will be able to “retire.”
3) In this lesson, we'll assume that the Christian lives long enough and has enough savings to retire, though such may not always be the case.
4) The Christian ought to be ready at all times for eternal retirement, not just the earthly variety.
5. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: For the Christian, retirement is . . .
I. Not An Excuse To Stop . . .
1. Being a Christian.
1) Some may take retirement as an excuse to stop being a Christian.
2) They may think they don't have to give to the Lord any further.
3) They may think that they have no responsibility to the church any further.
4) They may think that it is “OK” now to be selfish and only think of themselves.
5) One needs to be reminded of Revelation 2:10, “...be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
6) Jesus said in John 12:25 “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”
2. Taking care of family.
1) Many who retire believe that they have no more responsibility toward their family.
2) They may believe that their obligations to their children and grandchildren are over.
3) The Bible teaches otherwise.
4) Retired men and women may still have responsibility toward their families.
5) Children need ongoing examples.
6) Grandchildren need time and instruction.
3. Working for the Lord
1) Many who retire also think they may retire from serving the Lord.
2) They may reason, “I have done my part.”
3) We need to understand that there is never enough work that can be done to satisfy “our part.”
4) In Luke 17:10, Jesus says, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”
5) There is much work for the retired to do in the church.
6) Older men may be qualified to be elders (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1).
7) Older women have roles as well (1 Timothy 5, Titus 2).
8) There is no reason for the retired Christian to expect that His retirement is an excuse to stop working for the Lord.
II. An Opportunity
1. To have more time for the Lord.
1) During one's years of work, one is occupied with earning a wage and must focus upon such work a majority of one's time. This is part of God's design (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
2) Once one's obligations here are ended, one has more time.
3) Such time can be used for the Lord.
4) As Christians, we are to redeem the time that has been given to us (Ephesians 5:16, Colossians 4:5).
5) This means that we take every opportunity we have to serve the Lord.
6) And the retired are in the position to have more opportunity.
2. To be more involved in Christian activities.
1) All Christians have a responsibility to visit the sick, widows, and orphans (James 1:27).
2) The retired have a great opportunity to be involved in this work.
3) Retired Christians may also be more involved in the work of evangelism (Mark 16:15).
4) There is also mission work that needs to be done to foreign countries (Matthew 28:18-20).
3. To be more involved in the church.
1) Elder men and women have specific duties assigned by God's word.
2) An elder man may be a shepherd or deacon.
3) And elder woman may be a widow that can do special service (1 Timothy 5).
4) Elder women also have teaching responsibilities according to Titus 2.
5) The church always has work that needs doing.
6) What a great opportunity for those who are retired to be involved in this work.
III. A Reminder
1. That Death is Near
1) Most retire near the end of life.
2) Many have years of service left after retirement, but not as many.
3) We only have so many days on the earth. Psalm 90:10 states “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”
4) Death eventually comes to all men (Hebrews 9:27).
2. That Judgment is Coming
1) We are naturally reminded of judgment when we are reminded of death.
2) 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
3) Romans 14:12 says, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
3. That rest is for the faithful in the next life, not this one.
1) The Christian has but one responsibility while on this earth – serve the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
2) Once this life is done, rest will be the reward of the faithful.
3) Revelation 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
4) Hebrews 4:9-11 “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
1. For the Christian, retirement is . . .
1) Not an excuse to stop.
2) An opportunity to do more.
3) A reminder of the rest that is yet to come.