Obedience To Christ, And The Promise of Eternity

This morning while praying together, Jane thanked God for the death of Jesus. I asked her how it worked, what difference did His death make. She said the wrath of God due to her as a sinner was taken by Jesus.

I told her the promise of heaven – an eternity in heaven with Jesus, comes to us through the death of Jesus and our belief that He is the son of God who came for our salvation. We believe, and we go to heaven when we die. Jane knows this, but there was more going on this morning.

We talked about sin and our hearts and how God can give us a new heart (Paul Tripp New Morning Mercies for June 11). How does Christ’s death impact our sin today, and what’s in our hearts?

While Jesus was alive, He said if you love me, you will obey my commands (John 14:15). 

THIS IS THE BRIDGE! The bridge between our life today and eternity in heaven when we die. It is the bridge because those commands He refers to are the many things in the Bible that teach living a Spirit-filled Christian life and living that way today will connect us with eternity. 

How?

Obedience To Christ

According to John 14:21, obedience to Christ is how we show our love for Him. That is how we know, and He knows we accept Him as Lord of our life. To love Him wholeheartedly, we must develop a lifestyle of obedience.

We are not going to follow those commands, nor have the ability to, without the power of Christ in our lives. That power comes when we give our hearts to Jesus and choose to follow Him. That power comes to me through love. 

I love Jesus first because of His love for me. And I love him because He never gave up on me. And when I finally figured out how much He wanted me to follow Him, be with Him and break free of the grip Satan had on my life, especially with pornography and lust. 

So, now I DO love Him and want to do life His way, and obey His commands today, while I am alive on this earth.

Through that, He has given me a new heart. One that includes loving Jane like Christ loves His church (Ephesians 5:25). You can do this too!

Living In Obedience To Christ

In 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, we’re told our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are not to profane the temple. We are to take care of the “temple” that it will be usable for Kingdom service to do our part in the Great Commission to make disciples of all men and teach them to obey.

Obeying Despite Temptations

We can’t continue living our lives with willful sin: gluttony, pornography, drunkenness, arguing for the sake of being “right”, anger. 

Whatever it is for you because it brings comfort through the stress of life, even though you know it’s wrong, is willful sin. There are healthier ways to deal with that stress so that we can honor God and be fully functional Christ-followers. 

Our part in it is to “put the fork down.” When the temptation comes, and it will, our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit’s power, and our resolve to connect the promise of eternity in heaven with the commands of the Bible for today will enable us to DO OUR PART. 

We have a part in resisting temptation. Our few “loaves and fishes” (Mark 6:30-44) that we bring to the power of God is to PUT THE FORK DOWN. 

Don’t click on the ads for pornography. Don’t serve a soup bowl of ice cream. Don’t stop when you pass an adult bookstore. Don’t argue just for the sake of being “right.” Don’t drink until you’re drunk. 

Whatever your weakness, your part is to resist temptation.

Thinking Of Eternity

Know that the promise of heaven for eternity is inconsistent with slipping and sliding, and following my own made-up rules kind of lifestyle during my life on earth. 

Life is simply preparation for eternity. Where will you spend yours? 

Eternity is coming. Please don’t read that as a threat. It’s meant as a loving reminder of something most of the world never talks about. The world doesn’t care about you. Jesus does, and He wants you in heaven with him. 

Doing Our Part

If you truly love Jesus, you will obey His commands. 

God has done His part. He gave us grace! We no longer have to follow His Law 100% error-free. We have to follow Jesus. 

Jesus has done His part. He came, showed us how to live, suffered a horrible death on our behalf, and returned to heaven. He left us His Holy Spirit and wrote everything down (Bible), so we could “put it in our pocket.” Now the rest is up to us. No power from above is going to do this for you. You will never be “zapped” into obedience. God did not make us as robots–He gives us free will.

We have got to do our part.

 

The temptation is not going to stop. Satan makes sure of that. When we understand Jesus, His promises, His commands, eternity, and put it all together, we can put the fork down. Control self. We get a new heart!!

This may seem hard to you. Eternity in Hell will be so very much harder. 

Many only preach and teach Jesus for salvation and going to heaven when we die. People like to hear that part. How we live our life on earth is equally important but does not “sell” because our sinful human nature does not want to hear it. 

Please understand I have struggled with sin also, especially sexual sin. It doesn’t matter how Satan attacks you; what you need is how to fight back, and Jesus will beat him every time. You have to have a solid connection with Christ. Know Him as Savior and know Him as Lord. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” Fall in love with Jesus, NOT the things of this world. Secure your eternity in heaven.

When you choose to obey the Lord, he will bless you. This is because obedience always leads to blessing, and a sense of peace and joy that compares to nothing this world has to offer.

Set a goal to obey the Lord and watch him work in your life.