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Gospel-Centered Discipleship (6 of 8)
Series: The Gospel-Centered Life
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ''Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.''
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, ''If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels'' (Mark 8:31-38).
John Paton (1824-1907) is relatively unknown by Christians today. He served for ten years as the pastor of a growing Scottish church, but God began to burden his heart for the New Hebrides, a group of Pacific Islands filled with cannibalistic peoples who had no knowledge of the gospel.
He set his heart on one island in particular. Twenty years earlier two missionaries had gone to that island. They were killed and cannibalized. So it was no surprise that many tried to dissuade Paton from even the thought of following these missionaries' footsteps. Paton wrote, ''Amongst many who sought to deter me, was one dear old Christian gentleman, whose crowning argument was, 'The Cannibals! You will be eaten by Cannibals!'''
Paton replied to this man, ''Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect ...
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