Life - An Eternal Perspective


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We humans on this place called earth have two things in common. We enter this world from our mothers' wombs and we exit this world when our hearts stop beating. Black or white, short or tall, rich or poor; there are no exceptions to this fact that we live and then we die; except our Lord and Savior coming in the clouds we’re all alike. Where we all differ is what’s done with our lives between the womb and the tomb. That’s where your eternal destination is determined.

Today I’m not going to speak to unbelievers. I am speaking directly to Christians about what our eternal perspective in life should be according to the Scriptures. For us Christians, is life really about “living the good life”, or should we have a different focus? Many of us, calling ourselves believers, are quite comfortable in this time in which God has given us to produce fruit. Is the comfort you are currently enjoying a blessing for your walk with the Lord or for something else? Well you can be assured that we’ll look at what the Bible says about our purpose in life and what our eternal focus should be. Let's look at the prize for which we are all reaching: eternal life in a place called Heaven. Here's a glimpse of what heaven will be like.

Revelation 7:13-17) Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” (14) And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (15) Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. (16) They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; (17) for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. What a comforting picture. No more hunger or thirst and Jesus will shepherd us and wipe every tear from our eyes. 

(Revelation 21:1-8) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. (2) Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. (4) And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (5) Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (6) And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. (7) He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (8) But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Here we are shown the two places in eternity; one is a lake of eternal burning fire while the other is a place where God Himself will be and we with Him for all eternity. Again we see that every tear will be wiped from our eyes, there will be no more crying, pain, sorrow or death. From that point on we’ll be in eternity drinking from the fountain of life and will inherit all things and be God’s sons. What a beautiful scene. 

(Revelation 22:1-5) And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. (4) They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. (5) There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. This is our goal. This is eternity and the prize that we're striving for. When we look at how very important this prize is, nothing else should really matter. (Romans 8:18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. To what could we compare earthly life when compared to eternity with our Heavenly Father? One grain of sand out of all the sand in the entire world? Maybe this life compared to eternity would be one teaspoon of water out of all the oceans in the entire earth. Maybe this life would be like one star among all the stars in the Universe. Really that wouldn’t even be a blink of an eye compared to what eternity will be like. With eternity there is no time and with no time everything goes on forever and ever… The human mind can’t even comprehend eternity. Whether God gives you 60 years or He gives you 100 years on this earth, it’s a drop in the bucket of eternity. With this in mind, what should our focus be with the time we have in this life? Can anything be more important than our focus on the Lord and what it takes to obtain that eternal life? I ask you again; can anything be more important than the Lord? Can your family, spouse or children be more important than God? (Matthew 10:37) He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Can your career and the prestige you receive from it or the money you make in life be more important than focusing on the eternal things of God? (Luke 18:24-25) “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! (25) For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. How about the extra time we take out of our lives in order to gain the finer things for our families, is that worth risking your eternal salvation?

(Luke 12:15) "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness (Greek - desiring more), for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."  Does our desire for more "things" please the Lord? How about your retirement fund? What does that do for your account in heaven? (1 Timothy 6:8,9) But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (9) But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. How are your stocks and 401K doing? (Matthew 6:19-21) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; (20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Evaluate your life right now. Where do you spend your two most valuable resources; your time and your money? Are they spent on things of this world or the things of God? Just look at all of your reading material. Are you spending more time reading newspapers, magazines or books than your Bible? How about the extra time we take out of our lives in order to gain the finer things for our families. Is that worth risking your eternal salvation? How about your television set? Do you spend more time with your TV than you do with God?  Wherever your time is spent, that’s where your treasure is. Your heart is either in the world or in the Lord. It cannot be in both. “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13).

Let’s go through a short analogy. If you had the foreknowledge that your house was going to burn to the ground at the end of the month and you couldn't stop it. What would you do? Would you remodel or re-paint your house that’s going to burn anyway? Would you make plans to build a new sunroom onto your house? How about your most cherished possessions and all your valuables? Would you leave them in your house to burn and then continue to gather even more valuables, storing them under your mattress? My guess is that you’d say, "that’s crazy!" or "that doesn't make any sense". Yet, isn’t that what we’re really doing in our lives? We all know our life is ending at an appointed time and that everything we’ve invested and put into this physical life and this world will be gone. Your body will be rotting in the grave. It really didn’t matter how important or wealthy you had become. It really won't matter what you accomplished in this life. It will have been all for nothing because you can't take it with you! (Ecclesiastes 2:10,11,22) Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor. (11) Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun. (22) For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? Yes, all of our efforts in this life, and trying to obtain earthly success is for nothing if we’ve only invested in this world and not the eternal treasures of heaven. You’ll find yourself bankrupt in the life to come. Do you really understand where the eternal “poor farm” is once you die? I’ll give you a hint: it’s very hot and lasts for eternity.

You may be thinking to yourself, "This study is not about me" because you’re a Christian and you have said the “sinner’s prayer” at one time in your life. The Bible says that even those who claim to be Christians will be hard pressed to enter in. (Luke 13:23) And someone said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them, (24) Strive to enter in by the narrow door: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Are you quite comfortable and confident in your position as a Christian? Scripture would say otherwise when it tells us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). With so very much on the line, shouldn't all believers do all they could to read the Bible and see what it really says about the Lord’s requirements for entering into eternity? Religion teaches us that it’s a very smooth road and as easy as believing in Jesus; as easy as reciting the "sinner’s prayer”. You then have your ticket to heaven. What does the Bible really say on this matter? That’s what we’ll explore today. Though it may get lengthy, we’ll cover the most important Scriptures on the subject of eternal life and what the Lord commands of His believers. After all, isn’t this the most important subject you could ever learn about?

One of the most dangerous things I see happening today is a sense of overconfidence by most Christians. By over confidence I mean believers who confess God and Jesus Christ as their Lord yet live a life of sin, thinking they've made it into heaven. Christians who are so sure of their eternal destination get lazy and rarely read the word of God, never striving for the holiness that the Lord requires. “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). Would God deem you as holy? Will you see the Lord?

Christians are caught up in the things of this world and what it has to offer them instead of striving for holiness. They’ve lost their eternal focus and exchanged it for a worldly focus. Like the house that’s burning down, instead of moving their valuables to the new neighborhood of heaven, they’re stuffing all they can into their mattresses. The Lord spoke of those “Christians” who were confident they’d already made it into heaven. (Matthew 7:21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (22) Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ (23) And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’  Were those who called Jesus "Lord" non-believers or believers? Are the unsaved prophesying in Jesus name and casting out demons in His name? No. These were people who called on the Lord as their Savior! They thought they had a “non-cancelable” ticket to heaven and yet they still could not enter! Why? Because Jesus did not know them! (1 John 2:3) Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. (4) He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (5) But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. (6) He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.  What could be more important in this life then seeking the Lord and getting to know Jesus as the Spirit revealed Him in the Bible? Does Jesus really know you? Is it just in your mind that you’re doing great things for the Lord when really He doesn’t even know you?

(Luke 21:27) Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (28) Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near”… (34) “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. (35) For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. (36) Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man”. Are you weighed down with the cares of this world? Are you watching and praying that you may be counted worthy? Oh brothers and sisters in Christ, what could be more important than running after the Lord with all your heart in this short life we have? What is so important in your life today that keeps you from spending time in the Lord? Please pause and answer this in your heart… Is it your television? your job? your computer? your friends or family? What pleasures in this life are you spending your precious time on instead of the Lord? With so much at risk, how can you just neglect spending time in the Lord, only to spend time on yourself and the things of the world? It is so important that you are counted worthy when you stand before the Lord; how can we let anything get in the way? Why is it that you’ve forgotten to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”? Even the apostle Paul didn’t take his position for granted and "worked" out his salvation with fear and trembling. “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Cor 9:27). Think on all of the great works that Paul did yet he wasn’t overconfident nor living for the pleasures of this life. Paul disciplined his body into subjection to God so that he would not be disqualified from the prize of eternal life! What makes today's Christian so bold as to think that he has eternal life locked up by reciting a quaint prayer? Do we realize the prize we are reaching for? (Luke 20:35) But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; (36) nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. For the glory which God has planned for those who love him we want to strive as Paul and do everything in our power to seek the Lord. Really, Can anything be more important?

What does the Bible say about our focus in life and what it should be? (Colossians 3:1) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. (2) Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. When you observe others around you, can you tell the difference between the Christians and non-Christians? No. Today God’s people are seeking the things on this earth like never before, and they feel very secure in the Lord while they’re doing it. Most Christians don’t understand what holiness really means. Scripture says that we are to be holy as our heavenly Father is holy. This means we are to be pure and clean. We are to be “separated" or "set apart unto God”. Yes, Christians would look very different from the world if they really were holy as the Bible commands; they would look so different from the world that they would stick out like a sore thumb. In the days after Jesus’ resurrection nonbelievers called the disciples and all the believers in Jesus “Christians” because they were “Christ-like”. Believers didn’t call themselves Christians; non-believers did because they acted like Christ and walked the same way He did. The world noticed that these people were different. Is that the case today? Sadly it is not. Today we are referred to as “Christians” by the loosest of standards, and seldom due to our actions. As believers we are supposed to be just passing through this world until we get to our real home, which is in heaven. (1 Peter 2:11) Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lust, which war against the soul. Peter begs God’s people to stay away from worldly lusts because we are simply travelers through this earth, on our way to our true home in heaven. This world is to be just like that house I spoke of earlier that’s ready to burn. We are not to get caught up in it. (1 Peter 1:17) And if ye call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to each man's work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear. Here we see that we must pass our time in this world with fear. Why are we to be afraid during our time on earth? I think because we as humans are so easily distracted and caught up in the pleasures of life that we can easily loose our focus and loose that prize of eternal life. We are to fear being caught up in the things of this life. (2 Cor 4:18) 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. We must keep our focus on the things that are unseen in heaven; that eternal prize, rather than what is seen now.

(Romans 8:5) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (6) To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Here we see Life eternal awarded to those who set their minds on the spiritual things. Fellow Christian, what is your mind continually focused on; the things of this world or the Lord? In this Scripture we see spiritual death awarded to those who are living according to the flesh and have their minds on a worldly prize. Many of these people are “Sunday Christians” who spend time once a week at church and the rest of the week worshipping themselves and what makes them happy. (2 Timothy 3:1) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: (2) For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money… (4) … lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, (5) having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! Many Christians think that because they’re not out in bars or doing what would seem as blatant sin, they’re doing just fine with the Lord. Yet as we just read, it’s NOT OK to put ourselves first or before God. It’s not alright to love money and the pleasures of life rather than God. What we see today is a fulfillment of the prophecies of the last days. Today most of us so-called “Christians” have a “form of godliness” while true believers who are running after the Lord are supposed to stay away from those luke-warm believers. That may seem harsh to say but that’s what we are commanded to do: having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away”! Believers are to stay away from the "posers"; those who are pretending to be Christians but are not Christ-like at all. Complacency is catchy and deadly. We’re to stay away from complacent Christians. “Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals" (1 Cor 15:33). That’s why we’re warned that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (1 Cor 5:6) and Paul again tells us to “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). Anything that is not of the Lord is considered unfruitful works and we are not to take part in them. We can see that we as believers, are not to be lovers of ourselves; of money, of pleasures, or of people who only have a form of godliness. We can see that we’re not even to associate with people like this! "Strive to enter in by the narrow door: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able". I ask you again fellow Christians, what could be more important than to strive with all of your heart to be counted worthy to enter into the Kingdom of heaven?

The Apostle Paul says in (Romans 8:7,8) “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God”. To have your mind on the things of the flesh is to not have your mind on God. Your mind doesn’t even have to be on something that’s sinful in order to be in the flesh! A mind set on the flesh is anything that draws your thoughts away from the Lord and gives your flesh pleasure. It could be typical things that we enjoy in life like shopping, reading romance novels, sports or television, computers, video games, golfing and many others. Paul says it best when he says that “those who are in the flesh cannot please God”. You are serving your own pleasures instead of serving your God. If you don’t enjoy serving the Lord now and spending time with Him in this present day, won’t you feel out of place if you were to get to heaven? If you don’t enjoy holiness now, then you’re going to be miserable in heaven!

Am I “raining on your parade” or taking all of your fun away? Maybe you think that I’m being a little too strict with what I’m writing? Regardless of what you may think, the Word of God speaks for itself, and Scripture warns those who are confident in their walk: “if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall” (1 Cor 10:12)! The prize of eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ should be so important to us that we’re scared to eternal death of getting complacent and spiritually lazy. Eternity should be such a focus that we don’t get caught up in the world and all the fleshly pleasures it has to offer. (Romans 8:13) For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Are you living according to the flesh? Are you spending more time in the flesh than with the Lord? If so, this Scripture tells of your eternal fate. Even Jesus spoke of this: (Matthew 16:25) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (26) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? What would a Christian who is saving his life yet loosing his eternal life look like? He would look like many believers today who are caught up in this life and all it has to offer. Jesus says that only if you lose your fleshly, worldly life will you gain your eternal life. This is a life of submitting to and serving the Lord; a life of dying to yourself and to your desires in this world. This is what the Lord requires of us. It is a lifetime of submission and service not a onetime “sinner’s prayer”. It’s taking up your cross daily and following Christ.

Please allow me to ask you a few questions about life and what is most valuable:

1. Who is more valuable to God; the man who provides his children with all that their little hearts desire or the man who teaches his children to put God before all else? (Ephesians 6:4) “And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

2. Who is more precious to God; the man who spends his time in the pursuits of fleshly pleasures or the man who studies the Word of God? (Deut 6:6,7) “And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

3. Who is more pleasing to God; the child who's popular in school and excels in sports or the child who reads his Bible and shares Jesus with his school mates? (Matt 28:19,20) “Go therefore and make disciples...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you”

4. Who is the child of God; the man who has two college degrees, three homes and multiple bank accounts or the man who provides for his family's needs and has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? (Matt 19:24) “And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Friends, what God wants more than anything is for us to spend eternity with Him. This was THE purpose for His creating us. There is no other pleasure which God seeks than to have His children in fellowship, forever, with Him. He knows us from the beginning of time. Our purpose is to intimately know Him by spending time with Him and we can only accomplish this by spending time in His Word, praying, and listening to Him reveal the deeper secrets of Himself to us. (Matthew 16:26) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? The whole point to this study is that what the world deems as so very important is of no importance whatsoever in the eternal kingdom of God.

(Philippians 3:18,19) For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. The Apostle Paul was saddened in his day because so called "believers" were making the same mistake that many "Christians" make today. Their minds are set on earthly things instead of heavenly things. Their god is their belly and what worldly fun and pleasure they can get out of life. Paul tells us "their end is destruction". (1Timothy 5:6) But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. This is the danger of serving our worldly passions: though we are enjoying life, we’re eternally dead. We may think we are eternally alive in Christ  but in fact we are spiritually dead. Do you remember when Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21)? Truly the entrance to heaven is much narrower than most think according to what God's Word teaches. No matter what you think or what ear tickling doctrine you may hear preached, if you are a friend of this world, then you are an enemy of God! (James 4:4) Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James calls those who are friends to the world adulterers and adulteresses. Why? Because they now have another god that they’re putting before the Lord. That’s not only adultery but idolatry too. We may not think of it as adultery but the Lord does and it’s He that has the final say.

(1 John 2:15-17) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. Here we have a command not to love the world or the things in it. Yet for most Americans it’s all about the pleasures of life and how well we do in this world. (17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. This is what I want you to get from this study: that this world and all its pleasures are passing away. Why sell your soul for a season of pleasure in this life? We must focus on the Lord and do the will of God so that we may enter into eternity above and not eternity below. You may ask, “What is the will of God?" The answer is simply to put God first in everything you do; to love your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind; read His Word and obey it. Do this and you will never stumble. Yet in our flesh this is a very, very hard thing to do, as the flesh does not submit to the will of God. Our flesh is ruled by our carnal senses and only wants to please itself. That’s why we must repent and turn to God; we must renew our mind and focus on eternal things and not the temporal things in life. (2 Cor 4:18) “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”.

You see, as believers we only have this short moment in life to bear fruit and when it’s our time to die, or when Christ comes back, He’s coming for the fruit and not the plant. If you’ve lived your whole life for yourself and not for the Lord you’ll still have eternity but not where you had planned to spend it. (Luke 13:6-9) And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. (7) And he said to the vinedresser, 'Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?' (8) And he answered him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. (9) Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'" Do you have the spiritual ears to hear this parable? Do you see the Lord being patient with us; waiting for us to bear the fruit of Christ? How long will He wait?

How many of us would plant a garden and save the tomato plant when it has no tomatoes? When harvest time comes, and you find no fruit on that tomato plant, you will either cut it down or pull it up by the roots. You certainly don't save the plants. You throw them in the garbage. When the Lord comes, He too will be looking for fruit in His children. Those who have bore no fruit have proven they really weren’t His children after all.

Do you remember the parable of the sower? Let me refresh your memory. The seed was the Word of God sown into the hearts of people who represent plants. Three out of four plants did not bear fruit. Here is one of the plants that did not make the grade. (Luke 8:14) And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. Many plants (Christians) become unfruitful because of the cares and distractions of life; they love the world and its pleasures more than the things of God. Over and over we continue to be warned by the Lord that it’s difficult to enter eternity and that many Christians go on thinking that they’re bearing fruit; thinking they have eternal life when really they don’t. (John 15:1) “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. (2) Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit… (6) If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. Are you a bare branch without the fruit of Christ? If in your soul you know you’re that bare branch then just repent of your worldly ways and run to the Lord and like the prodigal son. He will receive you!

Failing to bear that fruit of Christ is so dangerous to your eternal life. This would be even worse than being an unbeliever because you would think that you've made it into heaven only to be rejected by the Lord. (Luke 13:24-28) “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (25) When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ (26) then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ (27) But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ (28) There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth….”. Jesus is speaking of believers who called Him their Lord. Even though they thought they knew Him, Jesus did not know them! In other words they "Accepted Jesus" but Jesus didn't accept them! They ate and drank with Him and even taught in the streets yet Jesus still said that He didn’t know them. Today we would say “Lord I went to church every Sunday and took Holy Communion and followed you and prayed to you and even accepted you as my Savior” and Jesus would respond “depart from Me I never knew you”. Fellow Christians, open your heart to the Lord and start to seek Him like He was the love of your life. Seek Him while He can be found!

Like in the parable of the talents, we are expected of the Lord to do something with the gifts He’s given us. Look what happened to the one servant. (Luke 25:18) But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money (25)… Here you have what is yours.' (26) But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant!... (28) So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. (29) For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. (30) And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' The first thing we need to realize is that this parable is not about a wicked or lost person, it’s about the master’s servant; a saved person! Notice what he did with his talent. He put it in the ground; in the earth, or the world. This is exactly what we’ve been talking about. Christians get caught up in the things of this world and, squandering what the Lord has entrusted to them. They spend it on themselves and the pleasures of this world. (Philippians 2:21) “They all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ”. We each need to look back on this past week and ask ourselves, "Have I sought after my own interests or that of the Lord's?" The bad news is that most of us will answer that we have sought our own interests, be it ourselves or our families. The good news is that tomorrow is a new day and we can repent of our selfish nature and start anew. Ask the Lord to renew your heart and to put His spirit in you. Ask the Lord for the desire to seek after Him with all your heart, ask Him for the desire to read His Word and fall back in love with your first Love. (Rev 2:4,5) I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (5) Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

I pray that this has been an eye opening lesson for you. It isn't meant to soothe your itching ears. It isn't designed to make you feel good about your complacency in the Lord. We get enough of that preached to us from the pulpits. This is your wake-up call from the Lord. If the Word of God offends your comfortable position in the Lord so be it! I would rather you be offended and repent now than for you to stand before the Lord and be offended because He never knew you when you stand before Him in eternity! Jesus does not want you on the fence. He doesn’t want you having one foot in heaven and one foot in hell, He wants you either hot or cold but not lukewarm. (Rev 3:15-20) “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. (16) So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (17) Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— (18) I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. (19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (20) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Luke-warm America wake up! We think we are rich in the Lord. We think we’re wealthy in the things of God but Jesus says that we are “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked”. There will be nobody in heaven with a divided heart. Those who enter God’s kingdom will be there because they wanted eternal life more than the things of this world.  Those who have loved material things, pleasures in life, or relationships with friends or loved ones more then God will be eternally lost. Please hear these words. Please Lord, give your children ears to hear this message from your Word.

Since you’re about finished reading this, please take a moment to sit down in quietness and ponder your existence and why God created you. Since you understand that God did create you and that He formed you into the person you see in the mirror, I hope you know that you’re not here by accident. You’re here for this time and this place for some reason and some purpose; what is it? Have you been created to serve yourself and your pleasures or have you been created for a much bigger purpose? Why are you here? Please reflect on this. 

The Scriptures tell us that our lives do not belong to ourselves but to the Lord’s. We were bought with a price! (1 Cor 6:19,20) You are not your own For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit. Over and over we see what the Bible says, yet we choose to fool ourselves and believe we’re serving God when we're really not. We spend more time reading the newspaper and magazines than we do our Bibles. The Bible is God’s love letter to us but we just don’t make the time for God.

So what are you going to do now; today? Have you really signed up for the Lord’s Army? If so, the Apostle Paul has some parting words for you. (2 Timothy 2:3,4) Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (4) No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. Is your aim to please the one who enlisted you? Then don’t get distracted by all the things, all the cares of this life. Confess your sin and focus on the eternal things of God and you will never fall!

(Matthew 13:44) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field”.

May the Lord bless you and keep you! I hope to see you in heaven with me some day.



God bless,

Mark, a servant of the Lord.



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