Difficult Roads Often Lead to Beautiful Destinations

April 13, 2017 at 10:38 AM 1 comment

Anyone who has been an authentic Christian for any length of time concludes that being a Christian in a world ruled by Satan (under God’s providence and sovereignty), is not easy. In fact, there are many potential problems and pitfalls that are encountered every day. There are times of hardship, loss, bereavement, sadness and disappointment as well as times of joy, excitement, and a peace that seems enduring.

This life – even at the best of times – seems to change on a dime. Things can be going along great only to turn sad or tragic the next moment, right out of the blue, with no warning.

This is due to the fact that sin has tainted everything in God’s Creation. There is nothing that has been exempted from the effects of sin, allowed in because our first parents thought they knew better than God and opted to choose what they thought was God’s way. In actuality, they chose the same path that Satan had chosen before them; a path of self-righteous, self-pleasing, self-centeredness that immediately reversed their direction from facing God to turning their backs on Him. Nothing good can come of that.

Once sin entered this world, it spread to everything. Immediately, things began to go from wonderful peace to physical death and upheaval. Because of sin, God placed a curse over the entire Creation, which changed the way the animals behaved. Some went from being vegetarians to being carnivores. Though this situation will be reversed during the coming Millennial Kingdom, a pecking order among species was developed with the more powerful predators eyeing the less powerful prey.

Adam would now do the same work he had done prior to the fall (farming), but now it would actually cause him to sweat and experience pain and soreness. While part of the curse, this was also a benefit of sorts because it meant that without physical labor, muscles and ligaments would simply atrophy and stop working altogether.

As we move through the Old Testament, the reality of sin speaks to us from each page of Holy Writ. It paints a portrait of the inevitable consequences of failure, resulting in sin. I look at the amazingly pitiful picture of one life after another and am appalled. Yet, I cannot dare to stand in judgment of those individuals because I too, am a sinner, only saved by grace.

After Solomon died, eventually Israel divided itself into two kingdoms, the North and the South. Judah – representing the Southern Kingdom – tried to remain faithful to God. Out of all the kings who ruled over Israel’s northern kingdom, none were good. Of the many who ruled over Israel’s southern kingdom, only a few were good. The rest? All were evil. Whether it was Omri, Ahab, or numerous other kings, these individuals – even if they started out on the right path – became perverted in their loyalty to God and followed after other gods. This spiritual adultery is essentially what happens when people choose a path other than the one ordained by God.

This girl tries to find comfort from a dead animal. Do we know the blessings and comfort we have in Christ? That truth should keep us within the circle of fellowship with God.

Even though authentic Christians are saved or born from above (John 3), with the Holy Spirit taking up residence within us for several purposes, not least of which is recreating the image of Christ within, we have our own ability to choose the path that we will take. It’s not as though once we get on the narrow path, it’s a straight shot to heaven either. It is filled with turns, temptations that seek to pull us off the path onto one that moves away from fellowship with God. Each day, the authentic Christian is faced with decisions that impact the ability to stay on the straight and narrow. Oh and by the way, we’re not talking about the possibility of losing one’s salvation here. We are talking about the constant chance of moving out of fellowship with God. This is what each Christian faces every day.

When King David followed his lust over Bathsheba, that led him to want to sleep with her though she was a married woman. After sleeping with her, Bathsheba became pregnant with David’s child. Instead of confessing his sin and trying to do what was right, he doubled down and had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah killed in battle. Even though most of us are aghast that someone of David’s stature could sink so low, there is no indication that David lost his salvation, though he was certainly concerned about God removing the Holy Spirit (the joy of my salvation) from him (Psalm 51:11).

While I truly understand how some understand Scripture to teach that salvation can be lost, I find no such proof of it in Scripture. If you believe that salvation can be lost, that’s up to you, but I’ll certainly not debate that subject with you. While I do not believe salvation can be lost, the Christian can absolutely lose the joy of their salvation if they walk away from active fellowship with God. This, my friends, is the constant danger for each Christian as we navigate our way through this life and that is what makes the journey so perilous in many ways.

Each day is a new beginning for each Christian. Will you walk through this day seeking God and uniting yourself with Him in fellowship or will you go it alone, doing your own thing in Christ’s Name.

Though this life is often filled with storms, difficulties, and problems, the Christian is on the only path that ends well. Christians, due to their faith in God and His extended grace and forgiveness, will end this life with the greatest reward of all. Our path – and only our path – leads to heaven, where God dwells, where we will not only never sin again, but will never even be tempted to sin. The path that we are on is often difficult because it is opposed to the world’s system. That alone creates the drama, the problems, the issues that normally would not be there and will not exist in eternity.

The end of our earthly sojourn provides us with the full realization of the greatest gift God gave; salvation. This is exactly why I believe the apostle John tells us how to get through this life victoriously.

We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. 3 And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure). – 1 John 3:2b-3 NET

When we leave this life, we will truly see Him as He is now. John promises that “we will be like him,” which means among other things, that we will have absolutely no ability to sin, ever. That “hope” (as in sure thing), should cause us to focus on Him and the fact that we will be like Him. Doing so “purifies” us because it immediately helps us to focus on the best course of action to take in each situation we face.

As long as we live in this life, we will always be tempted to break fellowship with God. It is like steering a boat through a windstorm with bits of respite here and there. We must actively engage our minds to determine our steps. If the temptation is to do or say something that pulls us away from our fellowship with God, it should be rejected. Admittedly, that is not an easy thing to do all the time.

Fortunately, even in our sin, God holds out His hand of forgiveness and welcome back to fellowship with Him. The problems of life are what make this path so difficult even though we know what the end of the path yields and bring us to.

May we endeavor to understand our path and understand the things that try to pull us away from fellowship with God. May the Lord bless you and I pray that He will open your eyes to show you how blessed you are in Him.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Communism, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, emergent church, Emotional virtue, eternity, israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: , , , , .

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1 Comment

  • 1. rutnerh  |  April 14, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    Difficult road or path indeed leading to the eternal city in heaven…the destination of the “few” true believers or followers of Jesus, who like He was, will be hated or persecuted as His faithful and obedient servants. John Bunyan illustrated it perfectly in his allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress written more than 300 y ago ….where else but in prison as a debtor. GB Shaw called it epic prose more eloquent than anything Shakespeare wrote. Highly recommended reading or reviewing as interpretive synopsis if too busy to wade through it.

    Re losing salvation apostolic teachings validate your and my belief: if truly saved, and only God knows, in a sincere profession of faith as Lord and Savior, not merely as a Savior, you have eternal security or eternal life insurance from Day 1 to eternity. As servants of the Lord, our earthly duty as Christians basically is to inform unbelievers how to get free eternal life in heaven after their brief pilgrimage on earth by exercising God given free will choice. Rejecting Jesus or ignoring His offer before dying means eternal suffering in a literal hell…forever, by verdict of stern Judge Jesus (Luke 16;19-31).

    Becoming born again by choice, not by infant baptisms or other means like being born to Christian parents or joining a Christian church or living in a Christian country, is the one and only way to heaven per Jesus in John 14;6. All else is a false or “another gospel” twice accursed of Paul in Gal 1;6ff.

    Becoming truly born again, like Nicodemus in John 3,is the most important decision for every living person seeking to go to heaven.


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