Heaven Coach

How To Get To Heaven

What Are You Living For?

June 23, 2016 By: alanpg Category: How To Get to Heaven

What Are You Living For?

what to live for

Indeed, God’s view of happiness is quite different and Jesus expressed it in Matthew 5.3-12. God advises humankind that His ways are higher and there is a way that seems right, but it leads to death (eternal).

Proverbs 14.12

12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Life turns out not to be easy if you want to succeed. If you seek to fill your life with worldly happiness you may succeed in your short lifetime. Even during that time there is seldom peace, the true happiness that comes from knowing you are headed for a wonderful end. As Jesus spoke these words, there must have been disbelief as this seemed wrong. They were right, there is little apparent earthly happiness in these things. How different is the way of God and yet as we understand God it makes perfect sense in terms of fulfilling His purpose.

God;s answer for happiness

Your earthly happiness is really related to living in a way that will get you to eternal success. The way to live is further described by Jesus as not living life for yourself. SEEMS (Proverbs 14.12) like you should live your life for yourself – after all its your life.

Mark 8.35,36

35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 
36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

The concept that life is easy and you die and then (if there is a heaven) you expect heaven since you were at least average is terribly, eternally wrong. Jesus clarified this in a very direct manner in Matthew.

Matthew 7.13,14

13 “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. 
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The basis of acceptance is not some average, has no comparative aspect or any thing else. Your success will be the result of your relationship with Christ. It was in that relationship where your sins were forgiven and if you remained faithful you will succeed. It is as Jesus said narrow, difficult and few find eternal life.
It is typical to have the wrong idea about God, because how could you possibly understand God and spiritual matters unless He revealed them.
Now, with that background, we ask, “What are you living for?” Can you live for the unseen of 2 Corinthians 4.18. You can if you are living for truth, for heaven.

2 Corinthians 4.18

18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The Meaningless Life Seems To Be The Norm

I am overwhelmed in observing the lives of people and frequently wonder is there any purpose in their lives? Life without a solid purpose seems so meaningless, it is evident something is missing. As a result, despite many short term goals, people are wary to look too far into the future. There is very likely a link between drugs, alcohol, various lusts and a lack of true purpose. In fact, many of those short term goals that are not going well can result in pressure that needs some relief. However, there are some people who have carefully developed a more significant reason for living and if their other goals crumble, they do not.

Quite often the EFFORT to achieve some short term goal is to be admired as people can be very devoted, very dedicated to achieving something worthwhile. Much of humankind is very resilient and will change to make “the best of things” when their plan didn’t reach the desired goal. Life is so unpredictable and just when you think everything is going the right direction, something unexpected happens. Of course, for some there are defining moments like tragedies, people who disappoint, illness, death of loved ones, loss of funds – unanticipated financial problems, surprising new responsibilities, worrisome events that will or may affect them personally, and potentially so many unexpected/shocking events. These defining moments are not always bad, often they have the appearance of being very good, exciting, new opportunities and what appears to be good fortune. The way we look at life in either case may change, our goals may change. We get through life with a series of short term goals one after another that keep us going. In any case, the purposeless life seems problematic and many ill-conceived purposes or goals can just make things worse when they fail to be realized.
I observe that there are many people who don’t know what they are living for and just as many who don’t give it much thought (or even care). People simply react to life, to what happens around them and try to make the best of their situation. Then they die and indeed life must appear so meaningless, unless. Of course, unless there is more and that more was what was lived for.

The Value Of Knowing What You Are Living For

Is there value in knowing what you are living for? Might it be important to live for something that is constant regardless of what happens around you? So the question, “what are you living for” may be worthy of your consideration. As suggested, the question might be, what are you living for TODAY. The world has always been in turmoil, well more or less. Individuals, it is fair to say usually live in some degree and often to a large degree in unrest. The discontent is usually within your immediate life, but in this modern world many are affected by distant things even encompassing the entire world. Life for every person is challenging and the difficulties can overwhelm us and the only answer is to have something you are living for that is solid. Something that when things around you change that you still have your feet on the ground because you know, “What you are living for.”

Ask Yourself, what Are You Living For?

Some life philosophies, although widely accepted seem foolish when seriously considered. Philosophies whose cornerstone is to get all you can or focus on protecting all you have or fulfilling your every desire are common. There are many people that value living unselfishly. Often these people feel better about life than those who live self-centered, greedy and envious lives, but I observe these more noble persons still sense something is missing. They still cannot handle the serious and unexpected disturbances of life. All people live for something even if they claim they are not living for anything. In reality, they are simply choosing to live for nothing. It seems to be one of the more popular choices.
Many times, “I wonder what people are living for.” What are you living for?
The world overwhelms us and to be expected as it is all we know. It is what we see. Yet, our life contains little or no hope, certainly no lasting hope. Ahead is death and then for many, perhaps nothing. The person who is living for nothing may believe he/she will ultimately receive it, non-existence (if it is non-existence they will never know). Some have hope based on different beliefs that they will “carry-on” past death. Religions such as Christianity provide this hope, but even then there is doubt for most – they are not 100% sure. Even those that claim 100% certainty need to shut the door to any competent questioning of their beliefs. You see they are NOT really certain enough that they can defend their beliefs. The vast majority of people want to “be left alone” in what they CURRENTLY believe.

Consider At A high Level These Questions

Nonetheless, to simplify the question of “what am I living for” we might try to be more specific in getting to the answer for ourselves.
 What motivates you?
 What is the reason for you to continue on each day?
 What might be the reason for a person to hope life is ending soon for them?
 Why are some focused on helping others while others could care less for others and even harm others to benefit themselves?
 What drives you to improve yourself?
 Why does a person live unselfishly, looking to help in whatever way they can?
 What causes a person to live in hatred and envy and be fighting every day to fulfill evil things?

Anyone of these things might help you to answer this question for yourself and in fact you automatically think of these type of questions when you query yourself. The easiest is to think what motivates you to do this or that, like improve yourself or please someone or everyone?

Is Life Characterized By Difficulties, Uncertainty and Unhappiness?

It is easy to observe people wasting their lives, working so hard to attain something that in the end will be meaningless. Despite all appearances, people are usually unhappy, unfulfilled. They may be trying hard to reach some goal that even if achieved leaves them less fulfilled than they thought. There are usually good times and bad times and there is no fairness in the distribution of these things. Many have an abundance of good things in their life, while others seldom have a good moment – maybe never for some. For large numbers of people there is seldom enough food to nourish their body or for those around them. Regardless, rich or poor, good times or bad the only thing that matters in our short physical existence is something NOT PHYSICAL.
There is nothing quite like the awareness of death to keep us thinking, “is this all there is.” There is particular sadness when death strikes close to us and beyond that loss there is the realization of what ultimately awaits us. Most people try hard to put this final event “out of their mind.” Indeed, many do a pretty good job of avoiding thoughts of their death and that is not necessarily wise. I would suggest that having the correct perspective of death would be of exceedingly more value.
Life becomes drudgery, routine and trying to maintain the status-quo or nudging forward is all consuming. Some people are enthusiastic about life as there can be many exciting things – but even these bring concern, worry that they will not last. God’s children, that is, those “In Christ” know there is something beyond this life, which is far better and in living this life God tells them to focus on pleasant things.

Philippians 4.6-8

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Notice, God tells His children not to be anxious that is, since worry and such leads down a path that is not good, i.e. includes things like depression and despair and even worse actions can follow. After all, God’s children have a mission, which is THE most important mission. Also, they have a direct line to God in prayer – let your requests be known to God. A great deal of scripture is targeted to those “In Christ” and many mistakenly believe application is to all. The message of salvation is for all and then the privilege is for the obedient, but only as long as they remain faithful.

Valued Treasures Depend On What You Are Living For

Seeking life’s physical goals should not fill our every waking moment. We may think that doing all we can for our loved ones is a wonderful and unselfish goal and this is true, but your spiritual well being and consequently theirs needs to be a priority. Ultimately, living only for what we “see” is of no value and will result in failing life’s test. In a simple way God points out where your mind needs to be in terms of how you should view your future.

Matthew 6.19-21

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So, what are you living for? Obviously, people do satisfy themselves with the immediate goal to get all they can because life is short. Our existence is so much more than just the time spent in our physical bodies. Few really know the meaning of life. Everything in life would be so different including the way you live if you knew the truth about your existence. Otherwise, what are you living for? You are living for TEMPORARY THIS or TEMPORARY THAT.
God, the God of the bible does not want you laying up your treasures in the things of the world, and yet apparently this seems to be the focus of “everyone.” God is very clear, he wants you to be successful and of you are in the world – but the world is evil AND FOR ONE REASON. The world and the things of the world will be the things that will result in your failing simply because you love the world more than God. Jesus warned His apostles of the world in John 15 and throughout the scriptures there are warnings, advice in relation to your ultimate spiritual enemy.

Romans 12.2

2 And do not be conformed to this world

Pretty powerful and straightforward and difficult, a challenge for all. We try so hard to conform to the world and its peer pressure instead of thinking, instead of understanding, especially understanding God as He has reveled Himself.

1 Cor 6.19

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

We get all our excuses for living in opposition to the God of the bible from the wise people of science and religious institutions. We teach our children the wisdom of the world and the world is deteriorating morally, ethically and you can see how God views that wisdom.

2 Corinthians 7.10

10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Godly sorrow is the recognition of our sins and leads to repentance/obedience, whereas worldly sorrow consists of verbal claims of sorrow, but without repentance.

Colossians 2.8

8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 

God differentiates principles of the world compared to the word of God.

2 Timothy 4.10

10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world

Demas is a sad case as he had traveled with Paul and was a fellow laborer with Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, and Luke. God’s people, way to many of them go back into the world and it will happen to every person who does not dedicate themselves to live for Christ and the gospel. Thus 1 Peter 4.18 … “If the righteous one is scarcely saved” … life is serious business!

1 John 2.15-17

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

This is one thing you do not want to live for that is, the principles of the world. It is ultimately the principles of the world versus the principles of God. It should be apparent that they are not compatible if you want to be successful. Of course, we have no choice except to physically live in the world, but again we do not have to live by the principles of the world.

It will always come back to how badly do you want to go to heaven?
Those who desire truth have been provided a way to see beyond this life and a way for you to be 100% certain. Many never know and die without knowing, but just continue the walk through life until their surprising, fateful and certain moment.

“God’s Speak” Is Powerful and Simple

God has not given each person the answer to life in some inherent(inborn) way. He has provided all we “see” as a means of moving those with a “good” heart to seek God and truth. God has a way of saying things in a simple way and if we understood God we would know that there is no need to argue or disagree or philosophize, but just accept. Here is God providing the reason you should know He exists in a very matter of fact way.

Romans 1.20

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

We can question with a desire to know the truth and that would be expected. Life is short and you need answers now and the evidence from God’s word is overwhelming. Our attitude is very important to enable our understanding of the scriptures, to understanding God. Is your attitude one of seeking truth or one of looking for some problem, maybe something that confirms what you want to believe – How bad do you want heaven?
Do we want to show that the scriptures are NOT from God, but from man or do we want the truth? Those are quite different attitudes. God explains this when He reveals the SOURCE OF YOUR SALVATION and indicates those who will NOT understand the message and those who will see the message as His very power to save.

1 Corinthians 1.18,19

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

Who are the wise of the world? They are the proud, they trust themselves even in matters beyond human understanding. They will not humble themselves before God, they will not see the message of the cross as God’s power to save. We pray for wisdom that comes from God and in fact God encourages such, saying in James 1.5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Yet, the bible is consistent relative to the “wisdom of the wise” like in Isaiah 5.21, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” God points out the measuring stick for the wise of the world and it is how their wisdom compares to their standard, which is often themselves.

2 Corinthians 10.12

12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

The prudent, whom God will bring their understanding to nothing, are never done investigating, but relish their study and more study. When it comes to God, as you better understand God you will see that God’s word is not to be filtered – my words need to be filtered. The words of all men and women need to be filtered to determine if they are true. When God declares that He cannot lie, then there is no filtering required, indeed God cannot lie. When God indicates those who will not inherit the kingdom of God, that is exactly what He means and we disagree and take exception because we do not like God’s declaration. So, the easy and comfortable answer is to declare, “This God of the bible, cannot be God.” The net outcome for the prudent in search for understanding of the things beyond the “seen” is to have no meaningful understanding of spiritual things. This may seem wrong, since diligence is encouraged in the scriptures yet as mentioned, our attitude in that search is most important.

A Powerful Distinction

Jesus refers to the scripture in Isaiah 6.9, to teach a powerful distinction. He points out how a person with a “good” heart can understand the meaning of His teaching, but be totally missed by others. We might say “missed” by the proud and the prudent. Jesus was answering His disciples question in relation to the parable He had just delivered.

Mark 4.11,12

11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,
12 so that
‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.’”

So there is a great divide, an impenetrable wall self-created by the proud such that they do not see and perceive, do not hear and understand. Consequently, they do not repent (turn) so their sins can be forgiven. So what are you living for, the pride of life or for Christ and the gospel?
Here is what God wants for you:

2 Peter 3.8,9

8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

God wants you to succeed, but it must be His way because He is just, because He wants the best, because this was His purpose. God’s part was His love of His creation as demonstrated in the suffering and death of His Son. God’s EXPECTATION is that the love is returned in the only way God accepts that is, in obedience. God’s way is simple – “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” Living your life for yourself is not taking life seriously and thus you reject the opportunity God provided. Think in serious reflection of the things Jesus mentioned that bring true happiness in Matthew 5.3-12 near the top of this page. Can you see the seriousness of a life guided by such principles. Compare that to the people of the world, who do all it can to get what they want and you have the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. You have the temporary pleasures, silliness, inconsequential, trivial and yet damaging thoughts and actions of a selfish and proud person. In the eyes of God you are either serious about life or life is frivolous and you don’t know what you are living for or do you care.

The One God – Consider His Might – Consider He Thinks Of You

Time means nothing to God, He created it and is in no way is controlled by it (as we are). Yet, God gives us a lifetime, being patient with us and wanting us to come to repentance. It is interesting how God can say so much in just a few words as in Titus 1.2 and if people spoke as God requires, as the oracles of God (God breathed speech, i.e. the scriptures) there would be correct perception and understanding.

Titus 1.2

2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

Consider the power of God, the certainty of His words and the promise we have – the hope of eternal life. God, the creator of time as there was a “time” before time began. It is very difficult for humanity to understand “before time” as God limited us (the real us, our spirit) in a physical body, in a physical universe and a time domain. In this short verse, you can know a lot about God and about His purpose for you – can you see that? Can you see God’s power, the seriousness of what He says – can you perceive and understand?

Since God Has A Plan For You,
What Should You Be Living For?

God’s focus is always clear, and specific to His Son and and the reconciliation (Mark 4.12) – “their sins be forgiven them.” Jesus spoke and acted and yet they did not see (perceive) or hear that they might understand. The message of God is foolishness to the proud, to the prudent and they do not perceive or understand. Today, it is exactly the same because God’s design to achieve His purpose is perfect. His word is perfect in converting the soul of one who loves the truth, who is humble enough to hear and understand. Likewise it “falls on deaf ears” for others and God gets exactly what He seeks for eternity and always by their own choice. If we thought the creation was perfect in its very existence, God has been just as exacting, even more so in fulfilling His purpose – the very purpose for His creation being the souls of humankind. Frequently, it is mentioned life is about the soul and nothing else and in just these few words, life is summed up. Life is about the soul and therefore the answer to “what you should be living for.”

Jesus would reveal that He came to seek and save that which was lost – the souls of humankind. It would be a process where He would not be bringing peace, but a sword as in the idea of separating people for God. There is the sense of separating “good from evil” and a process where within families and friends the choices a person makes for God could in some cases separate loved ones from each other.
No matter what you are living for, it is not much unless it is for Christ and the gospel. If you think about it there are things you want to do and if accomplished there are just more things you want to do. There will always be tension, stress and even the most successful just become concerned about keeping what they have achieved. If you can avoid tragedy, illness, loss of loved ones then you are fortunate – but even so it is only temporary. We convince ourselves that this life is all there is and live every day with no concept of what life is all about or often do we even care.

The Reasons We Do What We Do

The hardest part of being lost will be knowing how easy with a desire for truth you could have found and obeyed your Creator. All of the excuses, all of the pride in what you believed and in those people who you respected were not “well thought out.” If you fail in life, the enemy will turn out to be YOU as you made poor choices. The choices are difficult because it is what you want versus what God wants. You are surrounded by a world of things pulling you away from God, even from accepting His existence. We always do things for a single reason and it is because, “WE WANT TO.” We do what we want, and to be successful, we need to do what God wants. That is why life is difficult and most will never know these simple things about life because they do not want to know.
God knows how people work so hard to get what they want. You can see in the scriptures how well God understands humankind. He knows how to help those who seek Him to understand and to be convinced of His truth, of His love, of the hope of eternal life. The very things that are written here are not of my wisdom, but what God has revealed in the scriptures – if I have rightly divided His word. My concern, my constant fear is that I rightly divide what God has provided in the scriptures, which He so carefully delivered.
If you only knew how badly we have been manipulated by the many things surrounding us – we might be very angry. Gaining an understanding of God as He has revealed Himself is a good place to start. As a result of the effective indoctrination and propaganda that surround us about life; we believe there is no need to learn about God. In other words such a study is a very low priority compared to the many things that we observe and are encouraged to believe are critically important.
Often there is a limited willingness to seek God and even then it is conditional. Such as:
Before I will listen or read anything about God, I have the following questions or statements and I must have answers that I can accept. The questions might be:
 How can God …….
 It does make sense to me that God would …………
 How can people follow God and go out and ………….
 One must need to be genius to understand ……….

Many people have a wall of defense against opening their minds to the possibility of God, of learning about God. In these days, it is something that is part of our culture. Our “training” from home, friends, school, and the media has influenced how we think. How can anyone overcome all this? It will be as simple as, “I want to overcome all the things that are keeping me from the truth.” Don’t question God before you even understand who He is and His purpose and your purpose. In the context of understanding God most if not all those difficult questions you have are easily answered. In fact, as you gain a good understanding of God, most if not all such questions become unimportant.

God Makes It Clear, WHAT We Should Live For

Jesus taught a lesson regarding the difficulty of achieving heaven and it had to do with giving up the things the world offers and doing what God asks of us. It is a consistent message throughout scripture.

Matthew 19.20-26

20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Jesus speaks first about the young man who had many possessions and then generalizes those who are rich (have many possessions) and the difficulty of entering heaven. The scriptures teach it is not the money that is the problem, but the love of money.
Jesus points out the difficulty by indicating it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Now, from this His disciples understand that would be impossible. Jesus responds by telling them with men this would be impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Shortly after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection the reconciliation back to God will begin on the day of Pentecost in the city of Jerusalem. Yet who will hear the message of reconciliation. Jesus would also say, not many wise will succeed. So we have the rich of the world and the most apparently intelligent of the world (wise in the way of the world) failing in life because of earthly possessions or the desire to have such and also because of a pride that often looks like arrogance cloaked in the wisdom of the world.
Jesus, in Mark 8 reveals to save one’s life one must lose their life and emphasizes the value of the soul.

Mark 8.35,36

35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

God brings clarity to what is really important and it is always the soul. There is always a choice and many pick to seek riches like the person in the parable of the rich fool. The lives of so many are about gaining personal treasures and then to “sit back” and eat, drink and be merry.

Luke 12.16-21

16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.
17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’
18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’
20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

We started by asking WHAT are you living for? Clearly God is saying you need to be living for the soul, living for Christ and the gospel, laying up your treasures in heaven and not sitting back in your comfort, but understanding your life is short and of unknown time. People want God to love them and I think by that they often mean to look past their wrongdoings. God does indeed love His creation, but He defines how He loves humankind and it is clearly in terms of the sacrifice of His Son. Therein is God’s forgiveness, and very specifically we learn from the scriptures the means to attain forgiveness. The focus of the scriptures is on your salvation and some of the phraseology includes:
 Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him
 Obey the gospel
 Arise and be baptized washing away your sins calling on the name of the Lord
 Obedience to the faith
 Obey the gospel of God
 Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins

There are literally dozens of different ways of saying the same thing in relation to salvation and always obedience is involved. Obedience was not there in the Garden of Eden, in Nadab and Abihu’s worship, in the intention of Ananias and Sapphira, and to this day in the many inventions in relation to salvation. As Paul said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” So the question would be what do we obey and the answer of course is, the truth. When the reconciliation was occurring the first time, they asked, “what must we do.” They were told and it is still the truth today. Look at conversions of the new testament and do the same thing and have the Lord add you to His body, the church.

Do Not Live For Religion – The Religions of Humankind

As you study the scriptures you see none of the religious practices of the religions of humankind. The mystery that God held in His mind has been revealed in the new covenant. The old covenant is referred to as a shadow of what was to come and with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The old law was nailed to the cross. The religions of humankind seldom have this understanding and include in their religions portions of the complicated and imperfect old law.
The law of Christ is simple in its process for coming into a relationship with God, through Christ. Its difficulty is in the decision a person must make to no longer live for themselves. There is absolutely nothing that looks like all the religions of humankind:
 No priests, no pastors and no human devised rules
 No physical items in representation of deity
 No elaborate buildings or even a requirement for a building – a place of convenience to meet would be an inference – not a rule or a requirement
 No organization larger than a local group of like-minded persons who are “In Christ”
 No authority other than the bible and no leadership other than local elders who serve and are not served
 No ceremonies other than a weekly remembrance on the first day of the week
 Worship that is in Spirit (Spiritual persons) and in truth (as directed by the scriptures)
 There is no mission for those “In Christ” except evangelism
 The mission of the local church is first evangelism and in support of that building up of the members in truth and as needed in helping with the physical needs of those “in Christ”

The religions of humankind including all the so-called Christian groups of Protestants, Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, and Catholicism are easily seen as full of inventions. These institutions require training for their leaders and future leaders and have schools devoted to that purpose. God, on the other hand has provided His word and it is all that is needed. There is one way to do things and it is God’s way. God simplifies the entirety of what you need by telling us there is:
 One God and Father of all
 One Lord
 One Spirit
 One Faith
 One Baptism
 One Hope – Of our calling
 One Body – The body of Christ – His church

There is only one direct way you can have your sins forgiven and that is in obedience to Christ in baptism. In baptism you obey His death, burial and resurrection and there and no other way you can receive forgiveness from God. Indeed, behind your obedience is your faith in God as Galatians indicates.

Galatians 3.26,27

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Religion Misleads Us in Determining What We Should Be Living For

Religion, or god, or this or that philosophy is one thing that a person might say “they are living for.” Yet what religion, what god, what philosophy? The very things we may be holding so dear, so important in our lives may be our greatest enemy and cost us our soul. If we are casual about our search for truth, we are likely open to accepting something that “sounds good.” There is truth and there is error and when the scriptures use the terminology “love of the truth” it means diligence, study, sincere effort and not just something you might do casually. Think about the thing or things you care the most about and your devotion to them and compare your effort in finding the truth. The religions of the world are well versed in convincing you regarding their efficacy, validity. You absolutely should not believe them, but understand what you believe. All of these religions except one is easily exposed as “invented” by humankind.
The truth lies in the bible, but few respect God’s word and create many doctrines alien to the scriptures – using the scriptures albeit distorted, twisted to their view. You live for one of these religions and are comforted by their teachings – but is it the truth?

There are several ways to expose error and one way is to look at the doctrines in view of the scriptures and point out the error. A book like, “What Is Life Is All About” does that in part, but also suggests that understanding God brings clarity for all kinds of questions. Look into the scriptures and accept what is said as the word of God and you do not have to concern yourself with all the other things. When God defines something such as salvation that eliminates all other teachings on salvation.

1 Thessalonians 2.13

13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

Paul, Silvanus and Timothy commended the Thessalonians and thanked God for how they received the teaching as the truth – the word of God. In another case the Bereans were commended for searching the scripture daily to see if these things were true. We see Timothy admonishing the saints to be diligent in rightly dividing the word of truth.

One of the most powerful understanding’s you can have about God is the simplicity of His plan. The religions of the world are typically very complex with all sorts of invented rules usually designed to maintain people in their control. There is considerable rule-making and by people who have little or no understanding of God. These teachers were themselves taught by those who knew nothing of spiritual things and so-on back to their origins. The ways of man in spiritual matters are so much in opposition to the scriptures that anyone who cares, loves the truth can clearly tell the difference. The religions of humankind amount to a world of inventions as men and women claim to speak for God.

The new covenant for the last age of humankind brought about an end to the mystery of God’s plan. The revelation ending the mystery is seldom understood by the religions of humankind and that particularly includes those religions who refer to themselves as Christian.

God Understands the Difficulty, Complexity and Confusion of Life and Provides Simplicity

There is so much to overcome to be successful in life. It seems few people know of the difficulty, the challenge of achieving heaven. There is no conflict in the simplicity of God’s truth in relation to your success, but the difficulty and challenge are real for each person. One way to bring clarity to this is in the statement below:
Life can be difficult in what you must give up, but simple in terms of what you must do.
In relation to “what you must give up” as for instance in Mark 8.35,36. God provides the following encouragement to those who are “In Christ.” Of course, those seeking God can see in the scriptures what God has planned for those who are obedient to the gospel.

Romans 8.18

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2 Corinthians 4.17

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

Revelation 21.4

4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed

Actually, the bible is full of encouragement and advice to help keep God’s children on the road to heaven. After all, these are those who have committed their lives to His Son. Sadly, even some of these will fall short and turn back to the world. Those “in Christ” must continue to live for God and Christ. There are thousands of answers to, “What Am I Living For” and most reflect some path to achieving worldly treasures, personal ambitions or in the best of cases very philanthropic aspirations. There is just one thing to live for that reflects a spiritual, eternal reason for living and it is living for Christ and the gospel. As Jesus indicated the path to eternal life is narrow, difficult and FEW find it.

If you do not live for God in your short lifetime do you somehow believe heaven may still be your home? Apparently many people do believe that and some would add, if there is a heaven. A fair question might be, whatever you are living for is it something of your choosing or have you been so influenced that you are not really independently making the decision for yourself? Nonetheless, you will be responsible for your life, for your life choices. If you are influenced by the truth that is a good influence because you sought the truth, found it and validated it and now that is what you are living for.

The question that was asked was “what are you living for.” Then it was suggested, what you should not live for and what you should be living for. There is a large assumption here and that is, that you care, you want to live for a good reason, for the right reason. In God’s infinite wisdom, His plan is devised to allow you to choose what you live for. There is nothing to live for in this world that will ever satisfy over your lifetime. The things initially mentioned at the top of this page were the inevitable things that affect your life and your plans and “what you are living for.” There is something, however, that is not of this world that you can live for, that despite the turmoil will be a constant source of certainty.

Last Age Purpose And Truth and Error

There is one life purpose that is needed by everyone and it is to live for Christ and the gospel in this last age. There are other purposes, which are considered by people to be their life purpose and they all represent great evil as they are in opposition to God. The devotees of these philosophies do have a life purpose that sustains them, but not to a good end. Any life purpose that does not provide you with an ending in heaven is evil. Religions have a corner on providing people with a purpose to dedicate their lives that is no more than the inventions of men and women. These people make converts and thus bring more evil into the world.
There is an enormously critical distinction that you need to make and it is that there is truth and there is error and ultimately no middle ground. There is one God and He has one purpose and you need to align with that one purpose and it will be the thing that guides your life. It will be the thing that sustains you through all the tough times as God says, “our light affliction” compared to a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. It is the God of the bible speaking and that one God is the God of truth. The affiliations that people have with the religions of the world do not provide heaven – they represent error. You have a whole world of religions to choose from including the religion of atheism and they all provide their convincing stories.
There are religions that horrify and bring terror to all in the name of their god. It is not the truth.
There are religions that bring peace and serenity and are void of criticism of others and focus on improving your personal goodness and charity. It is not the truth, albeit a facet of the truth.
There is a religion that offers great majesty and ceremonies that inspire with a hierarchy that makes rules for everything and in whom you ultimately trust. It is not the truth.
There is a religion that emphasizes the bible as the truth, but consists of many different groups that each offer different rules and ceremonies. It is not the truth.
There is a religion that honors God exactly as the scriptures direct and follows God’s directions in all things with no private interpretations. It is the truth.
I suppose there are religions for everything that humankind desires, after all that is why there are so many. If you have made the distinction that there is truth and there is error, then if you have a good heart you will seek truth.

Knowledge of God and Truth Makes Error Very Obvious

There must be some huge reason why people choose something other than the truth of the scriptures. After all, God’s word is infinitely more convincing and fits together perfectly in every way and indeed there is nothing else like it – it is complete in defining God’s purpose and what you need to do to achieve heaven.
Certainly there are many who have been effectively, professionally indoctrinated since childhood into belief systems that are not the truth. There are those who have little apparent indoctrination into a belief system and yet the world itself indoctrinates effectively into it’s philosophy. There are many who want heaven and study to see what is required, but often they do not like the things the bible says in relation to obedience, in relation to sin and specifically in relation to punishment. There are many who see the scriptures as the truth, but find some well-developed attractive doctrines that seem right as opposed to doctrine that is the truth. In this latter case many choose the teachings that make the most sense to them and are the least restrictive. The lover of truth who God seeks, accepts the teaching even when it can be personally devastating that is, will or may result in “losses” of what they want. The world of so-called Christianity provides a simple mental acceptance of God’s Son and an associated assurance of heaven despite how you live. In any case, such religious groups allow you to live both in the world and in a supposed spiritual realm. This “easy to accept version of truth” is not the truth and there are no versions of truth – only THE truth.
Indeed, life is difficult in what you must give up, but simple in terms of what you must do.
There is truth and there is error.

The truth is what you want to live for. Specifically, you do that by living for Christ and the gospel

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