“Curse God and died!”This is what Job’s wife said to him when she saw his insistence on believing in God even in the middle of terrible losses and extreme pain (Job 2:9). Today, we are watching, through the Internet, thousands and thousands of brothers and sisters losing their house, churches, and being slaughtered because of their faith.
How far should they go? How far should we go, living and proclaiming our faith? With all of the opposition that we are facing because of Christ, with all the philosophies and religions bombarding our minds and trying to conquer our hearts, this question is not too absurd.
With all the philosophies and religions in his world Paul made clear that his faith and beliefs stayed intact all the way to the end. Keeping his faith was one thing that he would take with him in his final journey. But what does keeping the faith involve? Let us see what the Scriptures has to tell us.
A – It Involves Obedience
Keeping the faith means that we will obey God and His Word and be faithful to Him. If we believe that there is a God and He is powerful, gracious and merciful, among other things, it would be wise for us to obey Him. Jesus saved us, paying a tremendous price for our redemption. We should in return be faithful and obedient to Him. This is what we learn in the book of Revelations: “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Revelation 14:12.”
B – It Involves Courage
To keep the faith now as was then, involves a lot of courage. To stand up for what you believe means that you are willing to risk your comfort, job, friends, etc. Paul was about to be executed because of his faith. I pray that God will spare me from those terrible situations, but I also pray that if that time comes He will strengthen my faith and make me a witness of His grace and power. This is what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1Corinthians 16:13.”
C – It Involves Faith and Good Conscience
If you do not keep your faith and good conscience you will not be able to survive in this world. Paul incentivizes Timothy not only to hold on to faith, but to hold on to faith and good conscience. This is what he wrote: “holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. 1Timothy 1:19.” Faith is that trust that we have inside of us that manifests outside in obedience, proclamation, and service. Bengel said that “Faithis like a very precious liquor;a good conscienceis the clean, pure glass that contains it.”
Maybe you are thinking you will take many things to heaven with you. Here we have a man who knew his time was coming. He could look back on his life and see what really matters in heaven: The Good Fight for God and the Gospel; The Race that God had for him; The Faith intact at the end of his life. Those are what really matter at the end.
Are you packing for heaven?
If not, this is the time to begin!
Have a blessed week,