Most everyone in America knows that the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in the Super Bowl on Sunday. It was the most watched event in TV history! With about 20 seconds left in the game, the Seahawks came one yard short of winning the world championship when unheralded rookie free agent Malcom Butler made a spectacular interception at the goal line to seal the deal for the Patriots.
If you consider that heartbreaking, how about your journey in life? The Hebrew writer had warned Christians not to follow the disobedient example of the Israelites who did not go into the promised land and died in the wilderness because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:17-19). Then he said, “Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you seem to have come short of it” (Heb. 4:1). The Seahawks came so close, but they lost and it’s too late to change the play to run Marshawn Lynch into the end zone as most people expected to happen and are still upset about it even today. But it’s still just a game.
In real life, you need to fear because even though there is the promise of entering His rest, you can come short of going to the promised land of heaven through Jesus Christ (John 14:2-3, 6). You only have one life to live since the judgment will come after your death (Heb. 9:27). There are no second chances after death. After you die, you can’t change the deeds that you have done and if you have sin on your soul it will go before the Lord in judgment (1 Tim. 5:24). No sin will enter into heaven (Rev. 21:27) and those who die in their sins will suffer in hell for all of eternity (Mark 9:43-48). People need to fear God because He is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt. 10:28).
We are all guilty of sin, but by God’s grace Jesus tasted death for everyone and paid the penalty for their sins through His precious blood so that you can be saved from the wrath to come (Rom. 3:23; Heb. 2:9; 1 Pet. 1:18). Jesus is only the author of eternal life to all who obey Him (Heb. 5:9) not just to those who have faith only- even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:20).
The Lord has given commands as to what to do to be saved:
You must hear the gospel (Jesus died, buried, and rose again)- (Rom. 10:17)
You must believe that Jesus is the Son of God & confess it before men (John 8:24; Acts 8:37)
You must repent of your sins (Acts 2:38; 17:30)
You must be baptized in water in order to be forgiven of your sins (John 3:5; Acts 8:38)
You must be faithful to the Lord until death (Rev. 2:10)
As a Christian, realize that you can drift away from God’s Word so that you neglect so great a salvation in Jesus Christ and come short of eternal life also (Heb. 2:1-3; 4:1). If you think that the word of God is dull & boring (Heb. 5:11); if you are not holding fast to the confession of your faith until the end (Heb. 3:6, 14; 10:23); if you are forsaking worshiping the Lord with the saints (Heb. 10:25); you need to repent of your sins and get back to worshiping God faithfully and being holy once again. If you ignore the admonitions of the Scripture so that you sin willfully against the Lord, there is no more sacrifice for sin and only a terrifying expectation of judgment (Heb. 10:26-31).
You can run and endure the race to the goal line by fixing your eyes on Jesus, who finished the race and has sat down at God’s right hand. If you are growing weary and losing heart, think about how much He endured with joy so that you might be saved (Heb. 12:2-3). You can have eternal life through Christ and have no regrets! Will you press on towards the goal of heaven or will you fall short of the goal line like the Seahawks did and lose your soul (Phil. 3:13-14)? Today is the day of salvation, tomorrow may be too late. Decide to make your life right with the Lord by obeying the gospel or being restored!
by Steve Locklair
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