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Salvation Is Not The End - It's The Beginning



“And do not turn aside, for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing." 1 Samuel 12:21 We're busy. Our attention is taken by spouses, children, jobs, school, hobbies, interests, and that leaves very little time for God. And because we're so busy, we don't stop to consider the fact that we're only passing through. When one is twenty years old, time seems like it's going to go on forever. But when one reaches old age, he becomes aware of the swift passage of time. You meet someone you knew when they were children, and all of a sudden they're grown up and you wonder, "How did that ever happen?" Because we keep ourselves so busy, we lose sight of what's important. We waste a lot of time on "empty things." On a yardstick, life here is 1/16th of an inch. The rest we will spend in eternity. All these things that kept us busy and consumed our attention will be gone, they will be behind us, our short journey here will be over. How greatly important is it then, to seek to know from God what our purpose is while we're here? “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.” Dwight L. Moody Our eternity is going to be determined by what we chose during our 1/16th inch here. If believers wasted their lives on entertainment, they will enter eternity empty handed and with regret. But there are crowns and rewards in heaven that are the result of what we chose here. We aren't told much about them but when you stop and think about it, if the Word of God says there will be crowns, then obviously they are something that will be of great value to us when we receive them. The wise man will seek out how to attain them. And when he reaches eternity, he will be SO glad he did. "Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 Note here that we're not speaking about salvation, we're speaking about what a person has done with his life. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins, and all who have received him and surrendered their lives to him will be saved. But that's not the end of the story, it's the beginning. What a person does with his salvation will determine the quality of life he will have in eternity. If one truly understood this, would he not make every effort to use his God-given gifts and talents wisely? A man who wants to have a career must first spend years of schooling in preparation for that career. His wage level afterwards will be vastly greater than one who only graduated from high school. And so it is in eternity. One can ignore his salvation and still be saved, but there will be a vast difference later in the position he will hold versus the position he COULD HAVE attained to had he spent his life seeking those things that are eternal. What are the things that are eternal? What should we pay close attention to? The most important thing a person can do after being saved is to go before the Lord and seek to know from him through fasting and prayer what the will of God for his life is. Every person has received unique gifts and talents. Every born-again person is a specific and unique part of the Body of Christ. No one else can play the part he's been called to. It behooves us therefore to find out from God what to do with our specifically and personally-assigned gifts and talents, and how to use them. In surrendering our lives to the Lord and walking in his will for our lives, we are ensuring our position and reward in eternity. Perhaps the greatest thing a man can aspire to is to hear the words upon entering eternity: "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the JOY of your lord." Matthew 25:21