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An Inescapable Conclusion

An Inescapable Conclusion

    Of all the many choices in life with which we are faced, there are very few that lead to an inescapable conclusion.  Most situations can be handled in various ways and have been addressed in these ways through the years.  God saw to it that Israel, His Old Testament people were told of their “whole duty” in life.  In Ecclesiastes 12:13 the Spirit had Solomon, king of Israel write: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. This is one Old Testament Commandment that is also applicable to those of us blessed to live in New Testament times.  Of course, all of God’s Directives to man must be “rightly divided” so they can be properly understood and followed. 

     The Spirit had the apostle Paul write to Timothy in 2Timothy 2:15, the same thing He had Solomon write, but here, He also told how we are to “know” what God wants us to do as we strive to be pleasing and acceptable to God.  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly  dividing the word of truthOne cannot know if they will not studyIf it applied to Timothy, it certainly applies to us.

     But you may be asking: “Why is keeping the Commandments of God” the whole duty of man?”   It is because man will be judged and either sentenced to eternity in a place of condemnation, or rewarded with eternity with God.    When Jesus came to earth, He did not come to judge man.    Jesus told the chief priests in John 12:47 His purpose for coming to earth was not to judge.   His purpose was to bring Salvation (the means for Salvation) to man.  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.   Jesus will become judge after He concludes His present function, which is to reign over the kingdom for which He gave His life on Calvary’s cross.  We also know that the kingdom exists now and is not some future entity which is to be expected.  

     The judgment is an inescapable conclusion if one reads and studies the Bible.  We do not know when this will occur, except to the degree the Bible tells us.  We know the “end” will come after certain things are finished.  In 1Corinthians 15:24-26 we see that Christ will “rule” and “reign” until the end.  Also, death of our physical bodies will no longer exist when this great judgment occurs.    Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.   As long as people live and die, the kingdom continues on and Christ rules. 

      This means another inescapable conclusion is that all will die.  Hebrews 9:27 makes this clear and nowhere is it stated in God’s Word that one is judged “when they die”.   This passage simply says that death precedes judgment.   And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  So, from this passage and the one above it, one must conclude that all will have died (or have been changed) per 1Corinthians 15:51 when the judgment will occur.  

      From these Bible facts, we can also conclude that while we are alive and have full access of our faculties is the time to make the needed changes in our lives.  One way to make the changes that are needed within us is to prioritize.   Jesus knew this and told those hearing Him preach the Sermon on the Mount that the “kingdom” (the church) which would soon come, and the righteousness of God would have to be first in their lives.   But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.    The “these things” of which the Lord spoke were the other necessities of life such as food, raiment, and shelter. 

      How do we prioritize the many things within our lives to ensure that we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first?     Well, it has to be through that which will judge us after life for all humanity is over.   It is a choice all must make.  We can receive His Word or we can reject it.    In John 12:48, Jesus again speaking of the chief priests of His day said:   He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.    And as we read John 12:49-50, the verses that follow, we can surely “conclude” that God’s Word was what Jesus spoke, and that if we want the desired outcome at the judgment, we must put the Word of God first in our lives. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.  It is an inescapable conclusion that only the Word of God, rightly divided and properly lived by leads to the eternal life we desire.
         What is it that is keeping you from doing the things found in the Word of God so you can “lay hold” on the hope of salvation?   Why can we not see that God’s Word is that which directs us?   The Spirit had the Psalmist write: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)    It is an inescapable conclusion that if we walk the wrong path, or walk the path of this life without the light of the gospel, we will reach a destination we do not wish to reach.   Think about it – Make the needed changes now. 

        Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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