We all fall short of what God requires of us

Published 9:07 am Friday, January 18, 2019

The apostle Paul said, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV). How tragic it would be were we to fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). While all people who are of the age of accountability eventually fall short we can become new through the blood of Christ. How sad it is when people remain in that condition and fail to receive the heavenly inheritance reserved for them. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” It is evident that there is a broad and wide gate that leads to destruction. Sadly many people are entering this way by the lives they live. Even many in the church have returned to living not only in the world but as the world lives and thus are headed through this most devastating gate.
Simply put, most people never prepare for the inevitable end. Jesus, in Matthew 25 teaches the parable of the ten virgins. In the parable, five virgins are seen as wise because they prepared for the coming of the bridegroom. Another five were foolish because they did not properly prepare to meet the Lord. After the wedding banquet had already began and the doors were shut, the five foolish virgins having returned from purchasing additional oil for their lamps, came seeking entrance saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us” But the Lord of the banquet answered and said, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not” (Matthew 25:11-12). This verse is an ever present warning against being foolish as we live our Christian lives. We should bear in mind the message of Jesus’ teaching; only those who properly prepare for the future are seen by God as wise individuals.
Peter warns us in 2 Peter 3:17, “beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” We are to “Let no man rob you of your prize” (Colossians 2:18 ESV). There is no doubt that mankind’s most precious possession is his soul. Jesus helps us to realize its importance when he asks, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 18:26). The terrible reality is that many people in the world are going to be eternally lost. Perhaps an even more tragic loss is those that have once obeyed the gospel and returned to live in the way of the world and losing their soul for eternity. Every Christian should recall the words of Paul in his letters to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:4). Paul warned the Thessalonians of the same terrible fate, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV).
Just as Paul encouraged the Corinthians, we should take heed to our own lives lest we fall (1 Cor. 10:12). Regardless of the individual, those who leave this world with their faith wavering cannot enter into the peace of God. It is our responsibility to care for our own souls. Peter said, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” (2 Peter 1:10 KJV).
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton. He can be contacted at 423-737-2287 or by email at: CenterviewCOC@comcast.net)

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