A man from another religion once asked me, “I’m willing to join your religion (Christianity) but what’s in for me?”. I responded that he would go to heaven instead of hell after he dies. (This is taking into account that he becomes a Christian who follows and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and his commandments in the true sense). Here’s how the rest of the conversation went on:
Man : “Is that all you have to offer?”
Myself : “Yes, aren’t you looking forward to everlasting life?”
Man : “Yes but I thought there some benefits more than that”
Myself : “What benefits are you referring to?”
Man : “I mean aren’t you Christians going to give me financial benefits for joining your religion?”
Myself : “No, but we can help you find a job if are unable to get something yourself”
Man : “Alright, I don’t need this religion”
Myself : “Okay fine, I see you made your choice because financial benefits is all you are after!”
Man :”I’ll be able to handle it from here”
Myself : “If you anytime again have thoughts about this, do reach out to the preacher of a church.”
Before all of that conversation started this same man was able to tell me the key principles of the Gospels, he also said he believed in the existence of Jesus and also his holy resurrection! Yet, somewhere down the line, his heart was attracted to the vanities of this world and in his case; the lust for wealth.
Indeed I now realize, ‘the love of money is root of all evil’ (refer 1 Timothy 6:10). I’m not saying you shouldn’t work to sustain yourself or your family nor count yourself a sinner just because you have some wealth. Here the key thing is that you should never be so attached to money that you forsake the Lord God and his commandments!
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)
In the case of this man or even I can say in the case of even of those who call them Christians but don’t like it, the deceitfulness of riches choke the true understanding of the Word of God, and so it proves unfruitful ie there is no action nor faith in line with the Word of God. But the love of money is just one of the vanities of life. Some people love to party, excessively that they miss out on praying and reading the Bible, let alone being at Church. Some people want to be famous so bad, that they willing do evil deeds be it violent or sensual just to be showing up on TV, the newspapers and social media in general. While some just want to laze around when it comes to God but are super active in the things of the world such as their jobs, their social status and friend circles, that they miss out both on prayer and good works which have been ordained by God for them.
Make it your choice to reject the vanity of the world and instead follow the Lord Jesus in the true sense of the Word!
Verses for reflection:
- For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8:35)
- For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
- And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
You need to think in your walk with Jesus Christ if you are truly following him as you should. Its not that the world is trying to seduce you into wrong doing but rather are you choosing each day to carry your cross!
Those who are athletes, find it useful to examine their actions before the next big tournaments begins. They don’t find it depressing to correct their wrong landings and shaky movements. Because they know if they fix it up before the real test, the they are more suited to win and be crowned the champions. Your walk with Christ is no different! You got to check on your Bible if you are really thinking and doing things that are consistent with being a true follower of Jesus. You can then repent of any faults or sin and train to walk more strongly in the Lord God. The Holy Spirit will lead you in all truth, all you need to do is just ask him with sincerity!
Verses for reflection:
- Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! (Lamentations 3:40)
- I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
- Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Fear not for the Lord is risen,
Move out of any doubt filled prison.
Remember his Holy Word, remember his miracles,
And also his resurrection prophesied by God’s oracles.
Fear not for the Lord is risen,
Walk in faith in the Great Commission.
Jesus Christ is the Lord’s name,
By his grace the Gospel you proclaim.
Fear not for God has defeated death,
When to his son Jesus he again gave breath.
Those who believe will share in the first resurrection,
And get to walk in the new Jerusalem; all perfection.
Fear not any trouble nor any persecution,
For in Christ you have victory and absolution.
Stay away from sin, idleness and unbelief,
Guard you faith from each deceptive thief.
Fear not for your reward is great,
As for the Lord your heart does elate.
Hold on to the hope of Christ’s resurrection,
And stay put in your walk in God’s direction.
It’s as though [some] Christians’ read from 2 different Bibles. Some Christians read from the “DO” Bible. As they read this Bible, they actually feel a need to DO the things decreed in it. While other Christians read from the “VERBLESS” bible. In this ‘bible’ the commandments from God, magically disappear, or become optional life guidelines. As people read from this ‘bible’, their biblical knowledge grows, but their lifestyle stays pretty much the same as the rest of the world. (By Robert Brownell)
It’s a great disservice to both friends and enemies, that you flatter them into going to Hell. Never play with anyone’s salvation and after life by deceiving them about their relationship with Jesus and the Gospel. It is unwise to tell unrepentant people that they are on the way to heaven just because they are good donors to preaching of the Gospel. Don’t warn them to insult them but warn then for the sake of God’s love for them.
Love warns. Yes, it warns and will keep warning! Because its valid to do so. Because its your duty to do so. Because its your purpose to do so. All this in God’s will for your life!
- A parent will warn his or her child to avoid eating stale food because they love to see their child healthy. Isn’t that a valid warning?
- A doctor who loves to see his or her patient live won’t lie that its okay to have excess alcohol. Isn’t that a medical duty of a person who loves practicing medicine?
- A professor who delights in having his or her student not fail but ace the university exams won’t deceive students into partying all year long and expecting great result. Isn’t that the professor’s purpose of teaching?
Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World spoke didn’t mince (one’s) words about Hell not one bit. Here is what he spoke about it:
- But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:22)
- Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
- And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (Matthew 18:9)
- And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. (Mark 9:43)
So for a person who says he or she loves the Lord Jesus, one must preach all things that are mentioned in Gospel including things about Hell and repentance without any shame nor fear.
Christ be with you!
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Let us be on our guard against false doctrine. Unsound faith will never be the mother of really sound practice, and in these latter days, departures from the faith abound. See then that your loins be girded about with truth, and be very jealous of receiving anything which cannot be proved by the Bible.
Do not think for a moment that false doctrine will meet you face to face, saying, “I am false doctrine, and I want to come into your heart.” Satan does not go to work in that way. He dresses up false doctrine like Jezebel — he paints her face and attires her hair, and tries to make her like truth. Do not think that those who preach error will never preach anything that is true. Error would do little harm if that was the case. No! Error will come before you mingled with much that is sound and scriptural.
~ J.C. Ryle
O Lord Jesus, help me to keep waiting for your return with expectation and purity. The prophets and saints of old, waited for your first coming and were not disappointed, for they are comforted in your presence in heaven. Give me hope and joy, as I ponder on your second coming. Keep the faith in me ever glowing, for glory of God our Father. By your Holy Spirit counsel me that I remember your Gospel each and everyday of my life. Give me the grace to be unblemished by the cares, pleasures and allure of this world, so that I’m truly ready to receive you. I ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.