FAITH-STEP TO ETERNITY WITH GOD
by Eferovo Igho
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The Bible says: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5: 1. The first and indispensable step to gaining eternity with God or to properly securing our future is faith in Jesus. “And no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man which is in Heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” – John 3: 13-21.
Each of those seven verses of Scriptures makes nonsense all books of all religions, cults and occultism, philosophies and humanism, agnosticism and atheism! In those verses we are given hope in both time and eternity, for in them God’s love swallows Satan’s hate; truth eclipses lies, light extinguishes darkness; condemnation gives way to salvation; nay, eternal damnation gives way and eternal life heralded.
With those verses the soul can now return to its Maker at the Cross where the atonement was made for its sins; and the soul that so returns finds forgiveness in God, receives Divine son-ship and promise of eternity with God. In those verses the story of the Great Sacrifice that cannot be well told here by mortal man and which shall be the peak theme and the most memorable throughout eternity was begun and consummated. Here your Creator and mine double as Savior; God became Man, to return man to God.
That Jesus is God Who became Man is a key truth that runs from Genesis to Revelation in God’s only Book for man: The Holy Bible. This hymn: “Let’s Talk about Jesus of Galilee” (essentially a collection of Scriptures) by self, drives the message home:
1. Let’s talk about Jesus of Galilee:
The Image of the Invisible God!
He is the first-born of every creature.
All things were created by Him and for Him.
2. Let’s talk about Jesus of Galilee:
Pleased God that all His fullness indwells Him!
Having made peace through the Blood of His Cross,
By Him reconciled all things to Himself.
3. Let’s talk about Jesus of Galilee:
Before all things, in Him all things consist!
He is the Head of the Body, the Church;
All things were created by Him and for Him.
4. Let’s talk about Jesus of Galilee:
The beginning, the first born from the dead,
That in all things He might have preeminence!
All things were created by Him and for Him.
5. Let’s talk about Jesus of Galilee:
Created all things in Heaven and on Earth,
All things visible and invisible!
All things were created by Him and for Him.
6. Let’s talk about Jesus of Galilee:
Whether they be thrones, principalities;
Whether they be dominions or powers:
All things were created by Him and for Him!
That He became man to save man from sin and its master, the devil, is another key truth that runs again from Genesis to Revelation. And that to do that He must (and He did) bear our sins on Himself and consequently shed His Blood (i.e. die for them) is the sweetest story in all of creation and in all eternity.
That Jesus so love you and me (i.e. our souls) to the point of dying to satisfy God’s demand and condition for redeeming them is the truth all the sacrifices in the Old Testament of the Bible foreshadowed and anticipated. And of course, the acceptance this vicarious or substitution sacrifice by man and appropriating is not just only God’s expectation from man but a thing that makes all of Heaven rejoice.
This is so because when any man accepts Christ in truth and in spirit something that is startling even to God’s angels and confusing to Satan happens: There is un-quantifiable investment that God puts in that man. It goes like this: The Scriptures says of Jesus in Colossians 2: 9 that “…in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”; then in John 1: 16 we read that “and of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace”. This is the point: In John 1: 16 we, the believers, are partakers of the fullness (of the Godhead) that is His in Colossians 2: 9. Think about it!
And we must never fail to speak about the soothing connection between Christ dwelling in us by faith (by our faith), our knowing and receiving the love of Christ and being filled with God’s fullness. That takes us to Ephesians 3: 17-19 which read: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” – emphases are mine.
The point: Jesus became us so that we can become like Him. The Son of God became the Son of man so that sons of men could be sons of God. And that is to the point of receiving of His fullness (John. 1: 16) or being filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3: 19).
It is the simple faith in Christ’s vicarious sacrifice that confers this indescribably glorious experience on man. This is what thrills the angels of God that is partly why they rejoice over one sinner that repents. The impartation and glory associated with being a son of God is indescribable. Believers don’t know what they carry. Now they know in part, but when He comes to receive us into glory we shall know, as we ought to know.
Here, on this side of heaven, the brains and pens of mortal cannot tell it. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John. 3: 2). That points to the consummation of it all: Eternity with God, which we know is unceasing bliss untold.
Eternity with God is the reason for everything: God’s breath in man, the Holy Writ with us; God’s love for the world, Jesus sufferings on the Cross, the Holy Spirit in the Church and what have you. It’s all because of eternity, eternity with God! For eternity with God we are here. But man can choose eternity otherwise, despite all the effort on the part of God to bring man back to Him. Which eternity will yours be?
Because of eternity you are here, for that is where you are going to, and you sure will be there! But let yours be eternity with God. Yes: Eternity with God is the reason for everything. You can secure a good abode there today, in fact, now. “…Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” – 2 Corinthians 6: 2. That ‘now’ may well be your present breath because not even the next breath is guaranteed any man. We can all die anytime and after that the judgment. Supposing your present breath is your last breath (death–breath, we may call it) and your soul soars to that world unknown, where will it spend eternity?
If life hustles come to some abrupt end now, where will you be? Thank God; while breath you still have Jesus Christ is calling you to come to Him. Hear him: “come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest … and ye shall find rest unto your souls” – Matthew 11: 28, 29. What Jesus calls labor and heavy laden here is the same as being laden with iniquity for in Isaiah 1: 4 we read of “a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward”.
But grace has now suspended God’s anger and all that are gone away backward are being invited into rest; present rest, eternal rest! Going to God to confess our sins, asking for His forgiveness and receiving grace and strength to turn away from them and to live right in His sight is the imperative of the moment. How urgent and imperative this is? Only your present (and it could be your single, last) breath may well have some idea!
While that is so, it must be said that Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross is the greatest work in God’s eternal records. And the invitation Jesus gives on the account of this Work is the greatest and only important invitation while the earth remains. May all humans heed this call!
BUT THIS INVITATION REQUIRES A SIMPLE, CHILDLIKE RESPONSE: FAITH! Faith knows no doubt, knows no argument. Faith is alien to philosophy. Faith is what is required. By it we are justified in Christ (Romans 3: 28; 5: 1; Galatians 2: 16; 3: 24). By it we are made righteous in Christ. By it we become the sons of God. By it eternity with God is promised and gotten.
In fact, immediately we are justified in Christ by this simple act of faith and obedience (by going to Christ to say those words of faith which is already in your heart and mouth) our feet are IMMEDIATELY set on glorious path of eternity with God, with all illumination to guide and lead us to THE PERFECT DAY: Eternity with God! That is why Proverbs 4: 18 succinctly states that “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines MORE AND MORE UNTO THE PERFECT DAY” – emphasis is mine.
It is an indescribable package that comes as gift. In God’s economy indispensable and extremely expensive things come free – water, air for instance. Above them all is salvation of the soul! It comes free. Yes, salvation is a gift – and as with all gifts you can accept or reject it. It is a matter of choice. God can only counsel free moral beings and He counsels that we should choose the good. He desires that we should choose the good. He desires that we accept His gift.
We don’t labor to receive gifts. A gift is what somebody else labored for and gives out freely. The Labor (of love) of Christ on the Cross; to save our souls, is a theme that runs throughout eternity. All the labors of men since Adam and after now put together cannot save one single soul. Only the Labor of God can save, and that all souls! This Labor caused Him His Blood – all of it! When He said, “It is finished” and gave up the ghost, He procured your soul and mine. When He resurrected and ascended on high every man that would care was assured his personal resurrection unto life eternal and assured of eternal refuge in Him. It is all a gift. He is calling and inviting you to get it. Decide properly, NOW! Jesus paid it all, and we can get it all from God. FREE! There is no reason now why we should go to eternal damnation. If any man goes to that eternal place of fire and brimstone it is because he chose to go there. And refusal to believe in Jesus Christ and accept His great work of salvation for our souls is that choice men make to take them to that very sorry eternity with Satan.
As you read this, if you have not heartily believed in Jesus before, if you have not settled your sinful account with God before, if you have just only been playing church all the while, and if you have been deluded by those so-called religions (of any brand and type), the word to save your soul and guarantee eternity with God is right now in your mouth and in your heart: “But what saith it? THE WORD IS NIGH THEE, EVEN IN THY MOUTH, AND IN THY HEART: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in your heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED” – Romans 10: 8-11.
The ‘faith’ is in your heart, and the ‘word’ in your mouth. Say it! Draw it from the heart, give faith expression in your mouth; God is waiting and ready to save you for, again, verse 13 of the same Romans 10 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved”. Talk to God now! There is a life beyond today. There is a life beyond the next few hours. There is an endless life ahead waiting for all men, after now!
Many wise men have entered into it in bliss with the Almighty God. They threw their human wisdom overboard, became wise unto God. They refused satanic suggestions, procrastination, questions, and associates etc to prevent their mouths from giving expression to that word of faith in their hearts. They let the word out. They let loose, and God heard them and saved them. Untold numbers of prodigals have so returned and were accepted by the Almighty God.
There is word of faith in your heart; please release it today. Confess your sins heartily and earnestly ask God to forgive you. Let’s say it for the umpteenth time: The word of faith is in your mouth. Speak it now. God is waiting! This would open up an endless blessed world for you. And you would forever be glad about it and grateful for it. It all starts with your good decision now.
gho writes from Warri.
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