Nov 19, 2008, 6:03 AM
We all put in a lot of effort and energy when we embark on a new adventure, project, relationship (love affair, marriage) or a job – with much enthusiasm. There is a tendency to set off as if from starting blocks – with a spectacular dash. The impression is that we want to leave no stone unturned; our attitude tells the tale of someone who is bent on taking off well and seeing it through.
Nothing’s wrong with that, only that there is more to it than meets the eye. Whatever has been started has to be sustained, maintained, nursed, pruned and watered for its survival and most particularly for the finale.So we must be careful not to be spent, burnt out or exhausted before we even get half-way through the journey. We must persevere to the end. Not only that, we must make a good job of it – guided by our Spirit man, of course.
The success curve can be long-winding, so in order to make it to the finishing line, never give up, get weary or faint. While it may be true that such endeavours require a lot of patience, our expectations for the finale should far exceed the zeal with which we set out in the first instance. To this end, we must trust in God’s provision of his Son, to see us to the very end. When we lean on his infallible word, we have an assurance we shall not go astray, nor fall by the wayside. One thing is certain though, we cannot afford to be slothful, easy-going and carefree. To make it to heaven calls for our determination. Jesus once told his parents that he must go after ‘his Father’s business.’ Nothing then could have distracted him. We must be resolute.
That God, the Creator, takes keen interest in how we finish should not stun us. The life we live is not our own, therefore one day we would have to render account of our deeds and misdeeds.“For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat ... each of us will give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12) God keeps records of our performances. Imagine how exact those records of our ‘operations’ would be – by someone who knows and sees everything. Nothing is hidden from him.We have enough reason therefore to strive to have our names recorded in the Lamb’s book of life, for on Judgement Day, “everything (will be) uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)
Jesus’ disciples were very pleased with their performances after their return from an evangelisation campaign. He admonished them: “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20) Our final destination is heaven and each of us should seek to enter therein. The alternative abode is hell where there shall be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Would I qualify? Have I qualified? Would my name feature in the Lamb’s book of life? These are questions that should exercise our minds, particularly in a world where we think we can get away with anything. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
Satan and his cohorts are determined to deceive as many simple-minded persons into believing that because God is merciful he therefore would turn a blind eye. If God should crucify his only Son for our sins, sin must be outrageous in his sight. He expects us to overcome – the reason he sent us his Son to show us how to live. “He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.” (Revelation 20:12)
Our Lord Jesus has already paid our sin-debt in full at no expense to us. He has redeemed us from God’s anger. We need only accept his sacrifice for our sins by receiving him as our Lord and Saviour. At the end of it all, when all would have been said and done, what matters is whether our names would feature in the Lamb’s book of life. Seek to qualify for entry. Jesus is bidding us to ‘come.’
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” (Revelation 20:12)