The Greatest Hope On Earth

All through the New Testament one word stands out and that is HOPE. I wonder how many realize how great of a motivator that can be. I have never watched a Reality TV show. I have read material and heard reports on TV. I believe people will do about anything for money and fame. Ask professional athletes how hard they train in order to become their very best. Many have goals to be the best, earn millions of dollars and enter the “Hall of Fame”. One thing you will find common in each one of these individuals is their hope to be a winner. With that hope they will spend many hours each day training to perfect their abilities.

Having participated in sports in high school and college I have a very good idea what it takes to excel. The majority of us were just not willing to pay the price necessary to become all-stars. After so much practice training is no longer fun and enjoyable, just grueling to the point of exhaustion. It takes a lot of hours, energy and determination. Having coached in high school there were very few willing to put in the extra time and effort to get extremely better. Most young athletes have no long-term plans or goals, just dreams. They do not understand or are unwilling to train to become a professional.

The apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 9:25 – “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

I don’t remember how long I had been a Christian until I realized the importance of living with God and Jesus for eternity. My hope was to be with Christ when He returns to rule the world for those 1000 years. Another hope was to be in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I then realized that the Bible teaches grace is all it takes to be in that Book. However, Scripture kept insisting that I needed more than just accepting.

I Timothy 4:7 – “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” II Timothy 3:16 & 17 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

I was to train myself to be godly and righteous. Being holy meant to be set apart by God doing His services and acting responsibly. Being righteous was to be held accountable to God’s laws and standards. I was to treat people faultlessly and above reproach. There would come a time I would be with Christ throughout eternity. I could even receive a crown that would last forever. Does that mean what I do on earth makes a difference when I get to heaven? It doesn’t mean I am to work my way to heaven but I am to prepare myself for heaven.

Most of us realize there are prep-schools. They are instructing those in attendance as to what it will take to excel at the next level. We need to begin preparing. I knew I needed to be tested by God, approved and that God could trust me. I had to live in such a way that I was pleasing God according to Scripture. Are we living to please people or ourselves? Yes! But what is really important is: are we living to please God?

This has been a hope of mine: that I would be prepared to excel at the next level (heaven). I realize that many people are not interested in playing the game. As long as they can sit in the grandstand and watch the players, that is good enough for them. I want to be a player. Then what does that entail? First, you must learn the rules. You must exercise and get physically and mentally fit. In most games you must learn the plays and the game’s strategy. How well you learn and prepare depends on whether you get cut from the team, sit on the bench or become a starter. Have you ever watched a person play a game who didn’t know the rules? I don’t need to be in God’s Hall of Fame but my hope is to make His team.

Why will some Christians become workaholics to earn a living, get a promotion or earn big bucks; yet, spend little time reading their Bibles, studying the Word and preparing themselves for the “next level”? Are they training to become godly or righteous? What is more important 80 to 90 years on this earth or 1000 years with Christ? My greatest “hope” is to be able to spend those years with Christ prepared to accept whatever responsibility I am offered. Apparently what I am willing to do while on this earth will make a differences later on. At least that is how I interpret the Bible.

Hebrews 6:10 & 11 – “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.”

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1 Comment

  1. DonBoyd

     /  September 17, 2010

    On Thursday 9/16, 201 people read this post without one comment.

    Reply

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