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February 4, 2013

The preacher was really waxing eloquent describing to his Sunday morning audience the glories of heaven. He told of gold streets, the crystal water of the river of life, the tree of life, and seeing the face of God. Reaching the climax of the sermon, he paused to  intensify the moment and then said, “Everyone here who wants to go to heaven, raise his hand”!

It appeared that  everyone in the  building had complied. but the preacher looked around once more and saw a man in the third row with both hands in his lap. He glowered for a moment, then said to the man, “What about you? Don’t you want to go to heaven when you die”?

“Oh,” said the dissenter. “I thought your meant right now!”

Yes, I know this is a old story, but it perfectly fits my initial posting in this blog. There are some persons who are careless about their desire to go to heaven. Either they have become enamored with the world, or they have cooled in their undertaking of making the trek to the heavenly home.

Jesus knew that some hearers would abandon the path to heaven. Everyone remembers the parable of the sower (or the seeds) . Read his explanation to his disciples in Matthew 13:18-23. Jesus differentiates four types of soil: pathway, rocky, thorny, and good. Three of these tell about entrapments that trip up hearers of the gospel.  Any of these stumbling blocks (and many more) can devastate a believer at any time in his life. So, constantly beware!

The Christian’s quest to obtain a heavenly mansion is usually lengthy, arduous, and strenuous. But, that is what we signed up for when we obeyed the gospel!. Paul said that persecution would come to all who want to live holy lives (II Tim. 3:12).

In Luke 14:28-33 Jesus tells a parable reflecting the cost of discipleship. The first part of the parable describes a builder who considers building a tower. If he begins construction, but exhausts his funds before finishing, he will become a laughingstock. The other examples are equally thought provoking. This is a challenge from Jesus to believers.

So, you have obeyed the gospel and begun your arduous journey of faith. But are you staying on course? Are your legs beginning to wobble? Have you the resources to finish? Have your courage and stamina diminished?

Now it is time to review your efforts. Scrutinize both the big and little items.   Are you giving your every effort to finish the course? If you find your faith is weakening, you must double your efforts to obtain the heavenly mansion Jesus promised (John 14:2-3, KJV). You have time to correct your course presently.  Do it now! Assess the state of your soul and redirect you course!

“For we have come to share in Christ, if  indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” Hebrews 3:14 (ESV)



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