A Divine Love Affair, Part Six

Description

We are here on earth not to become ready for Heaven, but to be witnesses for Christ by the way we live.

John 17:1-9

LESSON

What do you think God left us here for? Stop and think now. Why does God leave us here on this earth? I am presuming that you are a believer in Jesus Christ. If you are not yet a believer in Jesus Christ, this of course cannot be for you. I must in all fairness, in faithfulness to God, tell you, if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, that you are on your way to a Christless eternity, without hope, and without God. Call it hell, call it the lake of fire, call it what you will, it is separation from God, it is eternal doom, it is eternal wrath, it is eternal judgment. For God has but one will for you, that you should repent, and should come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

But if you are a believer in Christ, why do you think God leaves Christians here? You can't say He leaves us here to get us ready for heaven. I was just as ready for heaven when I had been saved two seconds, as when I was saved fifty years. My readiness for heaven is Jesus Christ. Why are we left here then?

You are left here as witnesses for Christ, by the way you live. If you walk into a room full of people that are not Christians, immediately they should think, "I can't tell any dirty stories while he's here; there's something about him that's just going to make it fall flat." You won't have to say anything. You don't have to go and say, "Oh, brethren, your language is not...." You see, the Christian is not like that at all. It's just the way you live, the way you are, the way you act, the way you speak, the tone of voice; it's the fact that they know you won't lie, won't chisel, won't cheat, that you won't enter into any little double-dealing, that you won't report gossip, that you're not a buzzard, that you won't be a scandalmonger. It's the very fact that people see you have a heart overflowing with the love of Jesus Christ.

Then why has He left us here? He has left us here, not to get us ready for heaven, but that we may be His witnesses. He said, "When I am through with you here, I am going to take you to heaven, and in proportion, in proportion to your surrender, I will reward you in heaven." You see, getting into heaven is Jesus Christ, but what you are in heaven depends entirely on how you have lived right where you are now.

"Isn't everybody going to be alike?" Oh, no! No, no, no, no! The Lord, in a parable, said that He will give to one to rule over one city, another over five cities, another over ten cities. This is a parable, but it shows gradations in the judgment of God. Now nobody is going to be jealous, and nobody is going to be proud.

We are all to be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we liken human beings to containers, here is a thousand-gallon container, and a five hundred, and a hundred, and a fifty, and a ten, and a five, and a two, and a one gallon, two quarts, and pints, and gills. God has made many more quarts and pints and gills than He has great containers. You come to St. Paul with his ten thousand gallons; then you come on down to Luther and Calvin, and you see these vast containers; and the Wesleys, and Moody of other ages and Billy Graham of our age; you come on down through various sizes of Christians, to the little humble person in the African bush that the world doesn't know anything about.

This person may be not only a quart, or a pint, but maybe a gill, and God says, "In heaven, I am not going to reward them on the basis of how big a splash they made in the earth. I am not run by Madison Avenue or Hollywood methods of doing things." God says, "I am going to reward them by a percentage basis," and a one gill totally yielded to God in heaven is going to be far greater even than a ten-thousand-gallon container partially yielded. Thus we must understand that everything is on the basis of our surrender. What fools men are to live for the world, and suck on the life of that which is on this earth. We are here for only a moment, and then forever, forever, we are to be there. What we are there depends on how we live now.

STUDY QUESTIONS

  • How can we make better use of our time to fulfill our duty here on earth?
  • Can we advance the gospel by ordinary means, like our job or hobbies?

REFLECTION

Take some times to consider how you might be able to expand your ministry in your average day to day.

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