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Paul preached to believers knowing that most of them would not make it to Heaven. That’s why he was so hard-hitting; he wanted to press home how perfect and priceless the reward of Heaven was, and how difficult it was to get there. His job was to motivate and energize the few lovers of truth who heard his words; and if, in the process, he alienated most of those he encountered, that was justifiable collateral damage. He wasn’t running a daycare or feel-good religious retreat. His mission, like that of all believers before and since him, was to get the information out about salvation so that people could make up their own minds about whether to say “yay” or “nay” to God.
That’s all it’s ever been about, folks – making an informed choice for or against God, and sustaining that choice to the end.
If getting to Heaven meant a hard life on Earth filled with persecution, poverty, pain, homelessness, suffering, tests and trials, so be it. Paul was clear that whatever the cost, it was worth it. When I read about Paul’s journeys and “adventures” (i.e., shipwrecks, imprisonments, death sentences, etc.) and how against all odds he just kept going with a smile on his face and a song in his heart, I can only shake my head in awe. Now THERE was a man who put his money where his mouth was. I can’t even fast for 24 hours without grumbling along with my stomach and sneaking a Snickers (praying that God’s looking the other way).
Paul took his cue from Jesus and the prophets. They likewise kept going against all odds, and they likewise pressed their followers hard to set their sights above (not below), to think as God thinks (not as man thinks), and to endure to the end. They were not hosting a popularity contest, and good thing, too, considering how unpopular most of them were and how unwelcome their message. They expected most people to walk away, but they persevered in their mission solely for the few who would not.
Nothing has changed in that regard. Jesus said: Wherever two are gathered in my name, there am I among them. He didn’t say you needed a quorum of 12 or 70 – just two. I think, in part, he said this because he knew that getting even two true believers in the same room at the same time would be a monumental task in itself, seeing that true believers are so few and far between. A megachurch filled with true believers every Sunday? Not bloody likely.
Over a million Hebrews were ‘sprung’ from Egypt during the Exodus. That was a supernatural event, orchestrated by God. Of those million+ souls who left Egypt that miraculous day, only two eventually made it to the Promised Land.
Two out of a million+.
That fact should give you pause.
God’s very specific about it in the scriptures, though I’m not surprised that no sermons are preached on it in the satanic churches that pass for “Christianity” these days. Wouldn’t want the congregation to start asking questions about whether or not they were actually going to make it to the Promised Land. After all, if you listen to mainstream Christianity, you’ll think that everyone gets to go to Heaven, as long as they have some kind of vaguely defined ‘belief’ in Jesus.
God wants us to know how hard it is to get into Heaven. As much as he wants us to know how much he loves us, he also wants us to know how very very very profoundly difficult – almost impossible – it is to get into Heaven. It’s hard to get into heaven because heaven is so amazing and wonderful, and because sin has no place there. Heaven is the greatest of rewards and the only one worth striving for. All of the Earth’s combined wealth and beauty is not even fit to form the dirt on the ground in Heaven, that’s how amazing and wonderful Heaven is. Many have been told that Heaven is their birthright, but Heaven is not anyone’s birthright: it’s a reward for services rendered by doing God’s will. If you’re not rendering those services by doing God’s will, then you won’t be rewarded. It’s that simple.
Just two of the original million+ Hebrews who left Egypt made it to the Promised Land. In case you missed it, that’s a metaphor, a guide, and a warning for us born-agains. The Hebrews were sprung from a geo-political prison; born-agains are sprung from demonic prisons, but both Hebrews and born-agains have God’s miraculous intervention to thank for their freedom. Born-agains are meant to see the Hebrews’ 2:1,000,000+ ratio and then understand that God means business when it comes to getting into the Promised Land. You can argue against this all you want and twist scripture to say otherwise, but the truth is: getting into Heaven is impossible without God’s help, and God only helps those who sincerely do his will.
If you’re reading this, it’s not too late to fully align your will with God’s and live your life accordingly. However, it will be too late some day. Now’s the time for you to do this. If doing God’s will isn’t the number one priority in your life, make it the number one priority now and keep it number one for the rest of your days. Live your life as Jesus lived his. It’s not brain surgery; just follow the commandments, treat ALL PEOPLE as you would want to be treated (no matter how nasty they are to you), and spread the Good Word. God will show you how and support you – mind, body and soul – every step of the way.
God’s entire purpose for creating the universe and putting us on Earth is to persuade us to come home to Heaven. That’s his plan. He doesn’t want to keep us out of Heaven, but he needs us to be sincere in our commitment to following Jesus and choosing his way. Lip servers and lukewarm fence-sitting Christians don’t get into heaven. People with unrepentant sin on their souls don’t get into heaven, and neither do those who actively, consciously and persistently choose what they know is not God’s will.
Be wary of those who’ve relabeled sin as “love”. This is the latest trick of the devil, and a temptation and test for true believers.
Jesus clearly showed us God’s way. Our job is to choose it, live it, and show it to others, just like Jesus did. Then maybe – MAYBE – we’ll get to go home.