Mooresville church of Christ

Teaching The Gospel in Mooresville, NC and Around the World...

News & Articles

How Hard Are You Working?

How Hard Are You Working?

       Work has been around since before man. In Genesis 2:2 we find the first biblical reference to work, as God completed creation, so work preceded man.   Man also knew work before his expulsion from the Garden of Eden. We know this from Genesis 2:15 as it was the God-given duty of man to “dress and keep” this Garden Paradise. Some sort of effort must have been needed to carry out this responsibility.  

       Something obviously changed regarding “work” after expulsion from the Garden. We must consider that what we now know as work, labor, toil, and exertion came as a direct result of punishment because of man’s sin in the Garden.   Genesis 3:19 tells us Adam would eat bread by the sweat of his brow from that time forward until he returned to the dust from which he was taken.   We see in Genesis 3:23 that Adam was ejected from the Garden and his physical punishment was to “till the ground” to produce food to eat. Such is the fate of all mankind.   This is called work.

       There is no doubt that man “works” today, and many work hard trying to get out of work. Many have exhausted much time trying to figure how to “get more” and “work less”.   From these efforts have come motivational slogans such as “Work Smarter – Not Harder”.   A coach once told his players: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Maya Angelou is credited to have said: “Nothing will work unless you do.” And Simon Sinek, the British-American author wrote: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.

     While all these, and many others are designed to get more out of people or to motivate them, most of these sayings are applied to the physical labor in which we participate to earn for the earthly benefit of ourselves and our families. But there are far more important things for which we must work. There is a real need to labor as we prepare for eternity.

     Jesus stated in John 4:34, in response to His disciples’ request about food for physical sustenance: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” His remark indicated there was labor involved in carrying out the Will of God for the Salvation of souls that would obey God’s Word. In John 9:4, the Christ also informed us there is a limited amount of time in which to accomplish what which needs to be done. The Lord’s Words: “the night cometh when no man can work” is clearly speaking of death.   That there is no work in the grave was also proclaimed in Ecclesiastes 9:10.   After we cross the threshold of death, there is no more work for us, as our lives on earth are over. Any work we do in preparation for eternity must be done in this life.

       Therefore, we need to address the question which forms the title of this article with our eternal destination in mind.   How Hard Are You Working? We do want to spend eternity with God, don’t we? Are we not willing to do as the Spirit had the apostle Paul tell the brethren in Philippians 2:12? He told them to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” This is the same reason 1Corinthians 15:58 instructs those brethren to be “stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”, and why they were reminded that their “labor” in the Lord was not in vain.  

       Some might ignorantly claim no work is required for one to have Salvation because we read in Ephesians 2:8 that one is saved through faith as a gift of God.   Others erroneously believe since Romans 6:23 states that God’s “gift” to man is eternal life, there is nothing required of man except to believe. May I ask if the “devils” are going to be saved?   James 2:19 clearly shows that the devils believe “there is one God” and even “tremble” as a result. One might say the devils have faith in God.   However, James 2:20 shows without doubt that faith absent of works is dead.   The devils, while believing, are not saved because they refused to do “works meet for repentance” such as the Spirit had Paul preach in Acts 26:20. Although Salvation through Christ is indeed a great gift from God, there are conditions that must be met to receive and to retain such a gift.  

       One of these conditions is obedience to the gospel. In Romans 1:16, Paul made it clear that the gospel of Christ is the “power of God unto salvation” to all who believe. To prove that “action: must accompany that faith, one need only to read Romans 16:25-26 to see that the gospel is “made known to all nations for the obedience of faith”. It takes work for one to be obedient and to remain faithful to the Lord. This is why, in Acts 2:40, after preaching the first gospel sermon in the New Testament age with the other eleven apostles, Peter said: “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.“ The people who “gladly received his Word were baptized”.

       Why would they do such a thing? 2Corinthians 5:9 tells us they labored so they “may be accepted of him”. Colossians 1:10 shows that “being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” is to walk worthy of the Lord and please Him.   Why not get to work today, learning what God would have you do in accordance with His Word, and then do it? If you claim to have obeyed, and that you do work, How Hard Are You Working? Are you working hard enough to be pleasing to God?   Are you willing to bet your soul’s eternity on it?   Think about it.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville


Upcoming Events

Share This Page