What Really Matters?
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name?' and then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practise lawlessness.' Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand; and the rain descended, the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it fell. And great was its fall." Matthew 7:13-27
Transient and Temporary
Most people expend most of their energy on things that do not last. Transient and temporary concerns consume the overwhelming amount of time, talents and treasure of most people.
What are you expending your energy on? People's fickle opinions? Petty party politics? Fashions and fads that fade away?
What are you investing your time, talents and treasure on? Are you concerned about the things that really matter? The things that will last for eternity?
In the Light of Eternity
What will last? What will count forever? What will matter in eternity?
God is eternal. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8). Yesterday, today and forever, Jesus is eternal.
The Word of God will endure forever. Our Lord Jesus declared: "My Word shall never pass away!" The Word of God is the solid rock. Those who build their lives on the Word of God will be steadfast in the storm. However, those that build their life on the sand of human effort, man made philosophies and false religions will find that it would be like building their house on sand. When the rains fall and the storm rages, when the flood rises and the wind blows, that which is built on the sand will crash. Many today are building their lives on secular humanism, existentialism and selfish materialism. This is as foolish as attempting to climb to Heaven on a rope of sand.
The Solid Rock
The Bible is the Word of God. We must know it, we must study it, believe it, apply it, live it, defend it, proclaim it. Jesus is the Way, we must follow Him. Jesus is the Truth. We must trust Him. Jesus is the Life, we must live for Him.
The Will of God
The Will of God will endure forever. Jesus warned us that not everyone who says to Him, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of His Father in Heaven. Whose will are you doing?
The Work of God
The work of God will endure forever. At the dawn of Creation the Lord commanded His people to care for His Creatures and be good stewards of Creation. The Creation Mandate matters and will count in eternity. The last command of Christ must be our first concern. His Great Commission must be our supreme ambition. We are to make disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things that He has commanded. We need to get back to the Bible for Reformation and Revival.
The Truth of History
Part of this includes fighting for the truth. Truth matters. History is his-story. Many enemies of Christ today are seeking to rewrite history from a secular humanist perspective, rearranging reality and distorting facts, to edit God out of history and to slander His people and His Church.
The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God will endure forever. Our Lord commands us: "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…" Matthew 6:33
The Creatures of God
God's creatures and God's people matter. Jesus Christ is building His Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Living in the Light of Eternal Judgement
We must live our lives in the light of eternity. "It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the Judgment." Hebrews 9:27
What will God say to you on that Day?
Do not be so concerned with what people say about you. You must be supremely concerned with what God will say to you on His Day of Judgement.
Your eternal destiny matters. Where will you spend eternity?
Learning From the Olympics
The Olympics are an example of people preparing for judgement. Dedicating many years of disciplined, hard training so as to gain a favourable verdict from the judges. The athletes train and prepare to compete for the prize, the gold medal, the trophy, a place on the podium. Just as athletes evidence discipline, dedication and determination, energy, focus, sacrifice, persistence and perseverance, so too we must be those who run the race of Faith.
"For physical training is of some value…" 1 Timothy 4:8
Run the Marathon Race of Faith
"Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified from the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
Your character counts. Your integrity is important. Your diligence to your duty determines your destiny. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Be a man, or woman, of your word. Do all that you have promised.
Family and Friends for Christ
What are you doing to bring your family and friends to Christ? Your conduct and your conversation should draw your friends to Christ. You are not a real friend if you don't care about your friend's eternal destiny. Be a real friend.
Make a Difference in Eternity
Make your life count for eternity! Invest your time, your talents, and your treasure in seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Make disciples, teach obedience. Invest your life in the Word of God, the will of God, the work of God, the people of God and the creatures of God. Fulfil the cultural Mandate, be a good steward of God's creation. Work to fulfil the Great Commission. Make His Great Commission your supreme ambition.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our Faith…" Hebrews 12:1-2
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa