The Ultimate Test
by Daniel Owino Ogweno
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Here is the ultimate test. Let’s say God has sent an angel with the following message:
"In the entire world (among the living), there is only one person that has pleased Me. I AM ending the world today and he is the only person that would be allowed to enter My presence".
The angel then asks you, “Who do you think this person is?” You then begin to panic, wonder and ponder over who this person could be.
Quick in your list are the world-shakers and movers in the Gospel world, miracle workers, etc. You think about the Christians that are so committed; you think about some of those you personally know to be very humble and obedient; you think about those who are prayerful and full of virtue. Your list is building to 100 and you are pretty sure that there are a lot more Christians out there you are not acquainted with who might be doing even better than some of those you have listed. You wished the angel said a hundred thousand so that you could include all the people you know as good Christians and also give room for the inclusion of those you may not know personally.
But wait! The most important point here is not that you needed space to include more people. It is, however, that you needed only one space. As the list approaches 100 mark, you realise one serious blunder: your name has not featured. You completely find it unfair and insincere to include it even as the list continues to expand.
Despite this extremely narrow margin, who would jump with joy and say, “Praise the Lord, thank You Jesus, it is me!!”? Who would do this with all sincerity and honesty? This, however, is the attitude every serious Christian should have, but not without a scrutinised self-examination and true sincerity.
There are many people out there who sell their sincerity in the market of familiarity, encompassing. traditions and religion, not to mention comfort. They think they are sincere because they are so familiar with what seem to make sense to them and secure in what they believe. The Bible says: "… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13 NKJV).
Is our relationship with God something we guard with all passion and diligence? If anything moves close to hurting our relationship with God, how much do we consider it the most dangerous thing imaginable? In the scripture above, the implication that we need to collaborate with God is not hard to notice. Though it is God who works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure, our part is to take His workings seriously and act accordingly. God provides an inner compass which gives the direction for us to follow on the outside.
You must be willing and ready to follow His direction at whatever cost. If you have a teachable spirit; humility of character; willingness of disposition; obedience of response and thorough in the scrutiny of the heart’s content, you would forget any other person who even looks to be doing “better” than you and shout for joy at the announcement that one person is making it to heaven—you. Working out your own salvation is perhaps the only area you are allowed to be “selfish”. If nobody cares to please God; if nobody is going to heaven; if people are going to have a strong allegiance to religion more than they are to Christ, don’t care about democracy. And if somebody is not going to heaven, do not be that person!
The Scripture also says in 2 Peter 1:10, "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” (NKJV).
And, in 1 John 5:13, we read, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God" (NIV).
The scriptures above give the following process: After receiving Christ, one can diligently work out his own salvation which would then lead to a guarantee of one’s call and election and finally, one can be sure (know) that he has eternal life. Based on this, one can shout with joy that he is the one making it to the presence of God the Father even if others fail to do so.
It is important to remember that Christ Himself said, “For many are called but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14 NKJV). Being called does not guarantee being chosen. To be chosen, one has to work out his own salvation with diligence.
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