When all has been said and done in a lifetime, when life has been lived out along with its joys and sorrows and when man finally comes face to face with death, the soul longs for eternity, because the life lived is not enough. The hope of eternity that Jesus offers to one who trusts in Him is indeed the anchor for the soul in an otherwise meaningless and hopeless life for man on this earth. Jesus confirms for a believer the reality of eternal life and the transience of death not only by his promise but also by his act of conquering death. But the question arises, ‘Can we be sure of eternal life? Could man lose the promised gift of eternal life?’
The author of the book of Hebrews addresses this question.
We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:11,12)
And the answer is obvious- it is indeed possible to ensure that the promise of eternal life comes to pass, but only by patience, diligence and faith. The effort required by man is a partnership with God as He leads man on this journey to salvation.
Imagine you are starting college and have no money to pay for college. As you wonder how you will go through college, you hear that one of your distant relatives left you a large sum of money in a foreign bank account that could be used for your college education. But to be able to claim that money for your college education you need to fulfill some criteria. Your wealthy benefactor has said that you would first need to go this foreign country, live there for 6 months, become a citizen there and then go to the bank and withdraw all the money you need for your college. You could end up choosing one of three responses. First you could dismiss the story as pure fancy and reject the idea. Second you could believe it, but then say that the conditions are too cumbersome for you to fulfill and end up not claiming the money and finally not do college or gather a debt that is impossible. Or else you could believe it, take the trouble to fulfill the requirements, set apart 6 months of your life for this purpose and then breeze through college.
This example is a reflection of man’s response to Christ. Most people reject the idea that Christ could bring eternal life, as pure fancy. Many including most who claim to be Christians fit into the second category, where the trouble of following Christ is rejected in lieu of the easy life that can be had and eternal life is no longer within reach. Very few take the message to heart and then go through the trouble of applying diligence, faith and patience to inherit what has been promised. Applying faith means believing what is not seen and ordering your life around this invisible reality. Diligence is carefully obeying the Lord in all aspects of your life and making Him the author of your life’s decisions. Patience is the quality that helps you face adversity and still not lose sight of your eternal goal.
Getting to a favored destination is anything but easy, but every person has to decide if he will take the trouble to undertake that journey. With eternity hanging in the balance, much is at stake.
- HOPE, THE ANCHOR
- UNLESS THE LORD BUILDS