By: Sunny Ogumor
1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
When we talk of a goal what comes to mind is a football match and when you hear IT IS A GOAL!!! That means one team have scored and there is this excitement and jubilation for those who scored the goal. Bear in mind that to score a valid goal you need to play the game according to the rules governing football or your excitement will be short lived. Players sometimes use trick to outdo their opponents but when they are cut it is a foul play and they are penalized. In Christianity God is the referee if you use trick to worship Him then you are a sinner and your penalty will be, disqualified from making heaven (red card).
What must I do to be saved? The jailer, Paul and Silas. Acts 16:30. Nicodemus by night. Jn 3:1-7. The process. 1. Hear the word. 2. Agree with the word. 3. Repent of your sins. 4. Confess Christ. 5. Be baptized. Mk 16:16. You become a new creature. The journey to the promise land begins. It will not be good for us to fall by the wayside as it happened to the Israelites when many fell by the way. Hands on the plough no looking back but, a catalogue of sins to avoid. 1Cor 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19-21. Works of the flesh. Those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore, as a Christian, who wants to make heaven those things should not be found in you, you must worship God according to the rules. John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
God is the creator of heaven and earth and all that are therein. He chose to put us here on earth. And, somewhere along the line death came in and death is inevitable but by special grace Enoch and Elijah did not see death. There is life after this world. Jesus told the thief who showed remorse, today thou shall be with me in paradise. Lk 23:43.
Heaven: 1 Peter 1:4 To an incorruptible inheritance, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Jn 14:2 A permanent residence for the faithful. Before you think of going to heaven, take the baptism. Rom 6:1-6. Baptism is putting away old bad behaviors, removing your hands from all ungodly and unholy pursuits, and of rising to walk with God in newness of life. But some hardened people never change, their outward behavior is a deception. They wear mask. They are Lion in the sheep’s wool. In their inner mind they never passed from the family of Satan to that of God. Such have no inheritance in heaven.
Running the race:
He who runs a race, must never discourage to stop before the end, but to put more effort to go as fast as he could, so those who have heaven in their view must continue to press forward to it, putting in their best performance in holy desires and hopes. There is no getting to heaven as our home, but by Christ as our Way. The way of those who mind things of the world may seem pleasant, but death and hell are at the end of it. If we choose their way, we shall share their end. The life of a Christian is heaven bound, where his Head and his home are, and where he hopes to be after this sinful world. He sets his mind upon things above and where his heart is, there will his thoughts be.
Obedience to the rule of law:
What are laws made for but to be observed and obeyed. Our obedience as individuals to the rule of law cannot be over emphasized it is the only evidence that we are partakers of the gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Considering how many temptations we are surrounded with, and what corrupt desires we have in our minds, we have great need to keep our hearts with all diligence. Those who cannot walk aright, walk carelessly. Deut.4:1-23.
Impediments in Moving Forward: There are challenges and impediments in the way but we need to move forward, we need to make a difference in this life, let your light shine. Do not be a salt that have lost its value. Way out. Do good works, those things that will promote the image of God. 1Ti 6:19 Lay up in store for yourself a good foundation against the time to come, that you may lay hold on eternal life. We should not join in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing and hearing, and being with such people, yet we should never choose them for friends. Join in spreading the Gospel you have hard, others must hear. Be part of the great commission.
There are enemies to defeat:
Sin in general: Be free from sin and live unto God, put on the vision of eternal life, that is the only way you can advance in Christianity. Bad things cannot be rooted out of this world, it is the Christian that will resist their enticement. Sin should not have dominion in your life. Rom 6:1
Unbelief is impediment: when the faculty of the mind is defiled due to some reasons, nothing seems right any more except its own judgment. Free thinkers and scoffers have things in common they make jest of anything not in line with their thinking. Some people don’t want to hear. Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 2Pt 3:3-4. Scoffers, walking after their own lusts. And saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. With this type of belief, you are stagnant in one position. Way out. 1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. This will clear your unbelief.
Love of the world is impediment: The things of the world are too enticing to ignore, that is why many people are falling away. The more the love of the world prevails, the more the love of God decays. 1. The lust of the flesh, wrong desires of the heart, the appetite of indulging in all things that excite and inflame sensual pleasures. 2. The lust of the eyes: the eyes are delighted with riches and rich possessions; this is the lust of covetousness. 3. The pride of life: showing off your big-man-nity, the thirst for honor (chief), applause (chair-moo), the carnally minded is enemy to God. A man who has no root in God will fall away. 1Jn 2:15-17.
Hardness of heart: Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Ignorance is impediment: Ignorance they say is a disease, the government says ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Can ignorance of God be an excuse now. The time of ignorance God over looked. Can you serve unknown God and expect to be in heaven? Paul told them in Athens that the God whom he served that is the God, he wants them to serve. Thou shall serve no other god. Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
Laziness is an impediment. Lack of interest is an impediment. To name but a few.
Choose wisely: Mt 7:13-14
There are but two ways right and wrong, good and evil; the way to heaven and the way to hell. We are walking in one of these roads, there is no middle walkway. A coin has only two sides head or tail. Saint or sinner, godly or ungodly. There is liberty, no check as to what you like and enjoy as you go along. For the ungodly it is a broad way there is choice of sinful ways. You can find many friends on this road. (Birds of the same feather flock together) The gain of being on this road is, be willing to go to hell with your friends.
The way to eternal life is narrow and the check points are many. Self must be denied. What your mates are doing and enjoying, that you will not do because it is unlawful. The body is kept under control, wayward life forbidden. Daily temptations must be resisted, duties must be done accordingly. We must watch all things before taking action, we must walk with care to avoid stumbling, and we must go through much tribulation noting that nothing good comes easy. These are the check points on this road. Even with all these check points this road should invite all of us, we will go slowly (nobody wants to die in a hurry). it is the road that leads to life. Christ have shown us the way but there are few that will follow this road. Shine your eyes, Heaven or Hell. Choose your destination wisely.
We must do the will of God.
We must worship God in truth and spirit. No wayo no masking.
Joshua said, this day choose who you will serve but for me and my house we will serve the Lord. And the people responded, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15-21.
Let this mind be in us as we pursue this goal.