2009-02-11 - Keeping Your Prize
Romans 10:2 "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge."
Very few, if any, would argue that a happy-go-lucky, careless mindset is the path to Heaven. The way to Heaven is very different. In spiritual things, the way to Hell is neglect of those things that are most needful. While this is true, what is remarkable is how much many of us care about the things of this life, compared to the things of eternal life. We know that we should love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength, but the world seems to engross most of what we do and who we are. It matters little how much of the world's riches you acquire, if you are not rich towards God. If you live for this world, you are poor in the things that matter - and void of the only prosperity that has significance. The Christian has higher aspirations than this. We look to Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, and when we do, we show we have attained true knowledge.
How many begin the Christian life well, but finish disappointingly? We are warned in Colossians 2:18, "Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize." It is sound advice. If the world, or Satan using the world, can get you away from the simple confidence and trust in Christ - living on Christ day-to-day - you not only have a misplaced zeal, but lose your prize. We know that when there is a race to be run, the winner has to stay within the bounds of the course, to be declared the winner. One can run very fast, but if they do not stay within the proper bounds of the contest, they will be disqualified. It is the same with our Christian zeal. We can be very zealous. We can go very far in the things of faith. However, if those efforts to follow Christ are not according to knowledge, or out of accord with God's Word, they are done in vain. We can be very zealous concerning a certain doctrine, but if it be a false doctrine, it matters very little how earnest we are concerning it. It is still false, and still an abomination if it is false. We must acquire truth, and the only sure way to do this is to study and know God's Truth, which is revealed in His Word.
There are some who foolishly think that if we are very serious and earnest about the things of God, all will be accepted by Him. But we can be seriously wrong. We can have intense emotions concerning "a spiritual something," and yet have all wrong views or sentiments. Let us remember that if we earnestly head North, we will not reach the South. If you take poison, but do it very seriously, you will still die. It is not enough to be serious or earnest: Rather, we must be right! If anyone is ever so intense in their faith, and it is grounded in something other than Christ, the depth of that faith cannot save. It is misplaced. May we all be certain that our faith is solidly grounded in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is salvation in no other, and to follow another is to lose our prize.
Soli Deo Gloria,