Two Paths to Eternity

‘This book will make a traveler of thee, if by its counsel thou wilt ruled be;

It will direct thee to the Holy Land, if thou wilt its directions understand:

Yes, it will make the slothful active be; the blind also delightful things to see.’ John Bunyan

Everyone, should they ponder the great mysteries of this life, will be confronted with the great question such as, ‘How did I get here?’ Why am I here?’ What is life all about?’ and ‘What happens when I die?’ 

And if one begins to get a smattering of the Bible, they start to understand that humankind has reached a wretched state, with respect to their relationship with their Creator:

For we have become like one who is [ceremonially] unclean [like a leper], and all our deeds of righteousness are like filthy rags; we all wither and decay like a leaf, and our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing], like the wind, takes us away [carrying us far from God’s favor, toward destruction]. Is. 64:6 AMP

For my iniquities have flooded over my head; they are a burden too heavy for me to bear. Ps. 38:4 CSB

We begin to understand that there is an eternal penalty for opposing / rejecting God, and our self-preservation kicks in:

“…what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:30 NKJV

In reality, it is our innate hunger for communion with God that is kicking in – klaxons blaring: ‘Danger, danger!’ Yet, if you look to satiate that hunger, God will lead you to him, by steering you towards His Son. This ‘steering’ is facilitated by the Holy Spirit, by way of increased understanding of God’s word through reading and by making available to you, a spiritual mentor – be it a preacher, teacher, or another brother or sister in Christ that is further along the road of waking in our Lord’s footsteps:

…a man of Ethiopia…had come to Jerusalem to worship…and sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet…So Philip ran to him…and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” Acts 8:27, 28, 30 & 31. NKJV

Once God brings that guide(s) into your life, then you can begin to learn about the calamity that befalls all who deny Him and about the wondrous grace that Jehovah offers for those who embrace Him instead, (i.e. the two paths to eternity):

“Then his soul draws near to the pit [of destruction, and his life to those who bring death (the destroyers). If there is an angel as a mediator for him…to explain to a man what is right for him [that is, how to be in right standing with God], then the angel is gracious to him, and says, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit [of destruction]; I have found a ransom [a consideration, or reason for redemption, an atonement]!’ Job 33:22 – 24. AMP

And just as it is appointed for people to die once – and after this, judgment – so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Heb. 9:27, 28. CSB

Yet, in the beginning of a new God-seeker’s journey, as is common with many people, he or she still harbors a fear of dying – convinced that is their lot in life due to their previous misdeeds. Thus, the need for their spiritual guide to illuminate for them the two paths:

“You can enter God’s kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Mt. 7:13, 14. NLT

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. Ps. 119:105 CSB

When the right path becomes apparent to us, and we set foot upon it, the devil goes in overdrive to defeat your intentions – even using your family and friends against you, as well as the government, schools and media. Why? Because your actions convict their sinful and damning-God behavior:

For I have heard the whispering and defaming words of many… “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” All my familiar and trusted friends, [those who are] watching for my fall, say, “Perhaps he will be persuaded and deceived; then we will overcome him, and take our revenge on him.” Jer. 20:10 AMP

But we pray to God for strength to keep placing one foot in front of the other and a deaf ear to our so-called friends, knowing our heavenly prize awaits: 

“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back [to the things left behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.” 

Lk. 9:62 AMP

So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are visible are temporal [just brief and fleeting], but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable. 2 Cor. 4:18 AMP

Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue my goal as the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:13, 14. CSB

In spite of this worldly opposition, (from those on the path of a damnable eternity), if you earnestly continue to seek God, the picture of what is waiting for you on your heavenly path begins to crystalize:

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Jn. 10:28, 29. CSB

However, don’t forget that we are weak. It is only by God’s grace that we are called. As we make that walk, the world will blindside us with temptation, and we fall from our path into the devil’s trap. Yet, God always stands ready to liberate us and reset us on our journey:

He brought me up out of a horrible pit [of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my footsteps and establishing my path. Ps. 40:2 AMP

God will not give on you, if you don’t give up on Him. God cannot lie, and thus keeps all of His promises. And one of those promises states that along with your best efforts to live a godly life, He will make sure your destination is the right one – unlike the rebellious: 

Encourage the exhausted, and make staggering knees firm. Say to those with an anxious and panic-stricken heart, “Be strong, fear not! Indeed, your God will come with a vengeance [for the ungodly]; the retribution of God will come, but He will save you.” Is. 35:3 – 4. AMP

God is good. To be continued…

Goodnight and God bless. 

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Keeping Our Focus Heavenward

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subject to futility, not willingly but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will also be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. Rom. 8:18 – 22. NASB

What Paul is pointing out, is that when Adam and Eve corrupted themselves through sin, God levied the consequential penalty upon the entire earth and its inhabitants – in addition to our progenitors. The perfection of the Garden of Eden is now denied to the human race until the children of God receive their reconciliation and resurrection at the end of time. And the remainder of God’s creations await that moment as well:

And not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  Rm. 8:23 ESV

The children of God already possess the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (the first fruit of our heavenly transformation), and they are assured of the consummation of that transfiguration. God has given us a hope that does not disappoint. But it does require our faith, which is bolstered by the love of the Spirit of God:

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Rm. 8:24, 25. NKJV

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Rm. 8:26, 27. NASB

So, in addition to strengthening our faith, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us through a supernatural prayer language that we do not understand, but Christ does. He takes up those prayers and stands in intercession for us as well. Thus, we are well-equipped to be able to cling to our heavenly focus – to the salvation promise of God:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Rm. 8:28 – 30. NKJV

God has always had a plan for your total and absolute redemption. Your part in that redemptive process, is to accept His plan by placing your faith in who Jesus is, what He’s done, and to do your best to walk as He walked. Then, God has got you covered:

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Rm. 8:31 – 35. NKJV

We are justified by God through Christ, who continually takes a stand for us in His Father’s presence. Yes, Jesus will condemn those who rejected Him at the throne of judgment, but that condemnation will not fall on God’s children. We get a free pass to heaven – guaranteed:

…neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rm. 8:38, 39. NKJV

We have a remarkable future ahead of us, which should motivate us to live a wonderful life now. We do that be marinating in the word of God so that we conduct ourselves as the blessed children of Jehovah that we are – living out our heavenly focus…

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Rm. 12:2 NKJV

Goodnight and God bless.