The Pearl Of Great Price

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. THE PEARL OF ANCIENT TIMES WAS TO THE PEOPLE THEN WHAT THE 
      DIAMOND IS TO US TODAY.
    2. THE PEARL WAS A PRIZED POSSESSION, AND IT WAS EXCEEDINGLY 
      VALUABLE.
    3. THE PARABLE ILLUSTRATES THE UNSURPASSED VALUE OF THE CHURCH:

    Ephesians 5:25 = "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and 
    gave himself for it;"

    Isaiah 53:5 = "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

    Acts 20:28 = "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PARABLE OF THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE 
      AND THE PARABLE OF THE HIDDEN TREASURE:
      1. The merchant of the parable of the peal of great price was seeking goodly pearls, but 
        the man of the parable of the hidden treasure in the field just happened to find the treasure.
        1. Some find the true church with little effort, while others seek the truth.
        2. Some are reared in the church environment and grow up knowing the truth.
        3. Some find the true church by mere chance.
        4. Some, like the Jews and those reared in denominationalism, must put forth great 
          effort to find the truth.
          1. They have to seek for it.
          2. They have to learn to discriminate between true religion and counterfeit 
            religion.
      2. The merchant seeking goodly pearls already had other pearls, but the man who found the
        hidden treasure had nothing which he prized more highly.
        1. Some who obey the gospel are forced to give up their old religion which they have
          prized highly.
        2. Others who obey the gospel are compelled to give up little from a religious point of
          view.
    2. THE CHURCH CAN BE FOUND BY ALL WHO SEEK IT. Matthew 7:7 = "Ask, and it 
      shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"
      1. The Lord has promised that all who fear him can learn the truth.
      2. Psalms 25:14 = "The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will 
        shew them his covenant."

        Matthew 5:6 = "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."

        John 7:17 = "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

      3. The merchant knew what he was looking for:
        1. He recognized it when he found it.
        2. He was looking for goodly pearls. Matthew 13:45 = "Again, the kingdom of 
          heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:"
      4. The world has many kinds of religions and "isms" in it:
        1. One must look for the true church and true religion of the Bible.
        2. One must study the Bible so he will be able to recognize the true church when he finds it, because many religions are counterfeit.
        3. Matthew 7:15 = "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s
          clothing, but inwardly they are revening wolves."

          Matthew 24:11 = "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."

          II Peter 2:1 = "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as
          there shall be false teachers, among you, who privily shall bring in 
          damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring 
          upon themselves swift destruction."

          Matthew 15:9 = "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines, 
          the commandments of men."

          I Timothy 4:1 = "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times 
          some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and 
          doctrines of devils."

          I John 4:1 = "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether 
          they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

          Acts 17:10-11 = "And brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by 
          night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the 
          Jews. These were noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received 
          the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, 
          whether those things were so."

        4. One who does not seek to find the religion of the Bible will likely be deceived.

        Proverbs 14:12 = "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end 
        thereof are the ways of death."

        Jeremiah 10:23 = "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not 
        in man that walketh to direct his steps."

      5. The merchant was seeking goodly pearls, he did not just assume he had something of value.
        Proverbs 14:12 = "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end 
        thereof are the ways of death."
        1. If a person wants a better job, he should look for it.
        2. If a person is a member of a church which is unlike the church of the new Testament 
          in doctrine, worship, and practice, he should look for a church that is like the church 
          of the New Testament.
          1. We have been warned against false religions.
          2. Acts 20:28-30 = "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the 
            flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to 
            feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own 
            blood. [29] For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous 
            wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. [30] Also of your 
            own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away
            disciples after them."

            Romans 16:17-18 = "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which 
            cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have
            learned; and avoid them. [18] For they that are such serve not our 
            Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair
            speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."

            2 Peter 2:1-3 = "But there were false prophets also among the people, 
            even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall 
            bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, 
            and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [2] And many shall 
            follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth 
            shall be evil spoken of. [3] And through covetousness shall they 
            with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now 
            of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."

          3. We are commanded to turn away from that which is error, or false.

          Romans 16:17-18 = "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause
          divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. [18] For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."

          2 Corinthians 6:17-18 = "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye
          separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will 
          receive you, [18] And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons 
          and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

        3. When temporal treasures are involved, we exhaust every means to obtain them, 
          and we should do the same with the most precious treasure we possess our soul. 
          Matthew 16:25-26
          = "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and
          whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. [26] 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. THE CHURCH IS A PRICELESS PEARL:
      1. The denominations and other worldly organizations are of some worth in shaping the morals of society, but they are worthless when compared with the body of Christ, because there is no salvation in them.
      2. The true church is worth more than all the world. Colossians 3:5-10 = "Mortify therefore
        your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: [6] For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: [7] In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. [8] But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. [9] Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; [10] And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:"
        1. You have the opportunity of seeking and finding this priceless treasure.
        2. You should seek for it and pay the price to be a member of the Lord’s church.
    4. THE PRICELESS PEARL IS COSTLY:
      1. It cost God His Son. John 3:16 = "For God so loved the world, that he gave his 
        only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
      2. It cost Christ His life’s blood. .
      3. Acts 20:28 = "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the 
        which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

        Ephesians 5:25 = "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"

      4. It will cost you any church or religion that you have previously embraced. 
        Galatians 1:13-14
        = "For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: [14] And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers."
      5. It sometimes will cost the breaking of family ties. Matthew 10:35-39 = "For I am come 
        to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. [36] And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. [37] He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.[38] And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. [39] He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
      6. It will cost the pleasure of self indulgence.
      7. It may cost worldly gain. Mark 10:17-22 = "And when he was gone forth into the way,
        there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life [18] And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. [19] Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. [20] And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. [21] Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. [22] And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possess."

  3. CONCLUSION: THE MERCHANT BOUGHT THE PEARL:

    1. THE MERCHANT KNEW THAT FOR WHICH HE WAS SEEKING.
    2. THE MERCHANT HAD COURAGE TO RISK ALL HE HAD FOR IT.
    3. THE MERCHANT LOST NO TIME SELLING ALL HE HAD TO BUY THE PEARL. 
      [HE WAS WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE].
      1. Many are slow to obey the gospel.
      2. Many want to wait until all the members are living right or until some big meeting is held.
        1. 2 Corinthians 6:2 = "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and 
          in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted 
          time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"
        2. Hebrews 4:7 = "Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden 
          not your hearts."
      3. Many want a cheap religion.
        1. They are not ready to give up the world, but they intend to obey later.
        2. They are not willing to pay the price.
    4. THE PEARL OF SALVATION IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE FLUCTUATION OF STOCK
      MARKETS – IT IS AS CHEAP NOW AS IT WILL EVER BE. Matthew 16:14-26 = "And 
      they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. [15] He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? [16] And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. [17] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. [18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. [20] Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. [21] From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. [22] Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. [23] But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. [24] 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. [25] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. [26] 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?"
      1. Your soul is worth more than all the world.
      2. You should obey now lest it be too late. 2 Corinthians 6:2 = "(For he saith, I have 
        heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"
    5. THE CHURCH IS OF GREAT VALUE, AND WHATEVER YOU MIGHT HAVE TO 
      GIVE UP TO BE A MEMBER OF IT WILL BE A CHEAP PRICE TO PAY FOR SUCH 
      A PRIZED POSITION.
    6. Colossians 2:10 = "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality 
      and power:"

      Matthew 16:26 = "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?"

      1. Have you turned your back upon the world?
      2. Are you putting the church first?

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 = "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day . [17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;[18]While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

1 Peter 1:3-4 = "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,"

Matthew 6:33 = "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

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