Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. - Ecclesiastes 9:10.
What we make of ourselves in probationary time is recorded in the books and will be brought to the judgment. Every thought and word and deed of our lives will meet us again.
Hebrews 9:27 - And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
When death comes upon us, nothing will change the character. The coming of Christ will not change our characters; it only fixes them forever.
It is through the wonderful Holy Spirit, which God works a moral change in the lives of those who will surrender to His will, become like a child, trusting in Him, having faith in Him through their obedience to His Holy and Just and Righteous Law, which when we do this we shall overcome sinning against God and we shall be changed into Christ’s likeness, perfectly established and ready for eternity.
1 Corinthians 15:52-53 - In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
When the last trumpet call shall reach the ears of the dead who sleep in Christ our Saviour, all the dead in Christ will come forth to a new life in sweet Jesus, clothed with the garments of salvation and the righteousness of Christ is upon us as victors, crowned with our Creator’s glory, faces lighting up that we are HIS forever and He is our God. Thus, all enter in through the gates into the City of God and are welcomed to the happiness and joy of their Lord.
Revelation 22:14 - Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Matthew 25:23 - …Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
We all need to understand and ever keep in mind the joys that await those who keep their eyes on the example and pattern that is found in Christ Jesus, and in this life seek to form all of our characters to be like Jesus.
When we look into the lives of the Apostle turned prophet and Judas the apostle turned murderer, we can see how John and Judas are representatives of those who profess to be the Christ’s followers. We have before us the wheat and chaff. Both these disciples had the same opportunities to study the living Word of God in their time when Christ’s earthly ministry was working side by side with the two where they were both very acquainted with the divine Pattern. Both of these disciples were closely associated with Jesus and were blessed to listen to His teachings. Both of these disciples had serious defects of character, and both of them had access to the divine love, which transforms character if they would yield to it. John was likened to a thunder in character, but as he learned of Jesus, as He beheld Jesus, John became changed and not just a hearer like Judas, but a doer.
Mark 3:17 - …John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
John, the one who was daily dying to self and was overcoming sin, he was being sanctified through the truth (John 17:17); while Judas, he was constantly resisting the transforming power of grace and indulging selfish desires, and thus was brought into bondage to Satan; the very thing that he was doing in indulging selfish desires and thievery, Judas charged Christ of robbing the poor in John 12.
John 12:4-6 - Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's [son], which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
We can see the transformation in John’s life for surrendering to the divine influence of Christ and we can see the result of Judas in surrendering to the satanic and cursed influence of Satan. There may be marked defects in the character of an individual’s life today, yet when they become a true disciple of Christ, as it was for John, the power of divine love and grace transforms and sanctifies all who take hold of Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:18 - But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Let us learn from the examples that they have laid down for us in the Word of God. We are without excuse. Everything that we need to know about is found in the Word of God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
The Word of God says…
John 6:53-58 - Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
Be of good courage and understand just how wonderful it is going to be and how joyful it will be when the redeemed of the Lord shall all meet together, gathered into the mansions prepared for them in heaven!
John 14:2-3 - In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.
There will be so much rejoicing for all who have decided today to be one with Christ, to be unselfish laborers together with God in carrying forward His work in this wicked world! There will be so much satisfaction for every reaper, when the clear, musical voice of Christ shall be heard, saying, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Truly, we have His promise. Let us all run the race and gain the victory and claim the prize that is found in eternity.
When the Lord makes up His jewels, the true children of God, will be looked upon with pleasure by all in heaven. The crowns for such ones, which will be given to all who make it to heaven, who allowed every spot to be removed, who worked in unity with the Lord, His heavenly host, and Christ’s earthly instruments, crowns will be reflected, with such splendor, the light which radiates from the throne of God will be seen.
So, today, while we have time, talk of heavenly things. Look to your Saviour, Talk of Jesus to others, bring heavenly truths into every atmosphere where you may be. Let go of sin. Let go of the world. Put off every weight and cast every burden and take hold of Jesus and let Him set us all free from the bondage of Satan, hell and death. Let us fight so hard today and have victory through Christ. His loveliness and glory, and of His undying love for us, let your heart flow out in love and gratitude to Him, who died to save us. O, get ready to meet our Lord in peace. The time is coming. The reward is coming. But we need to keep pressing for the mark. Keep up the fight. Don’t lay down your armor of God. Stand fast in the truth and waver not. Let us remember to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Truly, those who are ready will soon receive an unfading crown of life, which nothing in this world can purchase for you, but your connection with God who will give it to all who fight for it and want the prize! Heaven is a choice and it is one we are deciding for or against today with our doings.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 - Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.
Revelation 20:11-15 - And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
So, let us awake, I beseech you, brethren, and sleep no longer. Let not the last day find you destitute of the heavenly treasure, which comes from our Saviour—the Word of God. Seek to sound the triumphs of warning and to bear the cross as Christians soldiers, seek to enlighten every soul you can and however you can, labor for the salvation of your fellow beings as much as possible and do not rest from your labors for the end is nearer, and your work shall surely abide the trying test of fire that is coming upon the land.
Let us remember, whatever the line of work in which we engage, the Word of God teaches us to be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11.... “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:24.
Do good while you can and depart from evil and gain understanding. Allow God to work in each of our lives. Allow God to change our garments as He did Joshua the high priest a man of sins, which stained his garments.
Zechariah 3:1-4 - And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: [is] not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
The day of the Lord is upon us, so let us continue to walk that narrow road, which none but the elect of God will pass through. Many will try to enter an easier way but will fail because they would not enter the straight way. Truly, it is no easy matter to enter into heaven, but if we be with God, nothing can stop us. So, continue in the faith, because it is through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Acts 14:22 - Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
And let us also remember…
Jeremiah 17:7-8 - Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
So, dear brethren…
1 Peter 1:3-7 - Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
…when he shall come a second time and bring His eternal reward for all saints. For the King of kings and Lord of lords did say…
Revelation 22:12 - And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.