estiny Newsletter   
Christian Destiny Christian Destiny
From Earth to Glory

The Bible promises that God’s loving Son will work effectively within every believer, bringing that believer from spiritual childhood into godly maturity.

This world, this secular culture in the midst of which we live, makes a mistake every single day of its troubled life. That mistake is in believing that this life which we call “our human existence” in this world is everything. As a consequence of believing this totally untrue proposition, the world and the people in it live lives of daily hopelessness and mounting desperation. This is increasingly true as people move from youth to age. In facing the advancing of the years, older citizens of this human culture, the ones who retain adequate perception, face the fact that they are on the final downhill run to the expiration of life. Whether they feel good or not, they can count. In this count, they subtract a day of life with each twenty-four-hour period. The despair comes when they remember that they will live but a finite number of days and then their lives in this world will be gone. The person who believes the philosophy that “this life is everything,” called humanism, moves inevitably from the hope of youth to the despair of advancing years. “Unyielding despair,” said one of them, “is the only foundation on which life can be built.”

Many Christians make something like this same mistake, but to a different degree from what the man of the world does. The mistake of many a Christian, especially in our time, is simply to place too much emphasis on this human life. He believes and concentrates on earthly things to the extent that he foolishly sacrifices the joys that come from being conscious of the reality of eternity. Christians who “mind earthly things” are not complimented in the Bible.

What then should our attitude be about the things of time and the things of eternity? The proper outlook concerning life is found in a wonderful promise given to us by the Apostle Paul. He speaks to each believer and says, “He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

This promise which God makes to every Christian can be an unfailing source of confidence for us which lasts through time and into eternity. From these words we can be instructed as to confident human living and the promise of heaven. It is readily suggested that this verse instructs us concerning the path that leads “all the way from earth to glory.”

This verse, first of all, tells us that now that we are saved, Christ has begun a good work in us. Most of us will never forget the moment in which we said that wonderful “Yes!” to Jesus Christ. At that instant, we received imputed righteousness, we were seated in the heavenlies with Christ, we were given eternal life and the promise that we would never perish. The instant a person believes in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, receiving Jesus as personal Savior, he is eternally saved from the penalty of sin. He will never go to hell, his reservation for heaven is arranged and certified by an omnipotent God. Christ has begun a good work in him.

We can, therefore, promise that any person, looking for answers in life and wondering about eternity, can become a child of God in an instant by believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We invite any reader at this very moment to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died for our sins on Calvary’s cross, and receive Him as personal Savior. Christ begins His good work at that moment and His first work is to save to the uttermost and bring to the heart of the seeker the assurance of salvation.

Considering the path from earth to glory, God promises us in this verse that Jesus Christ, who has begun a good work in us, will continue it. Yes, the Bible promises that God’s powerful and loving Son will work efficiently and effectively within every believer, bringing that believer from innocence to holiness, from spiritual childhood into godly maturity. So sure and certain is this work of Jesus Christ within us that the Scripture says that we, foreknown of God, are predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. This means that God will inexorably and inevitably bring us to Christian maturity, preparing us for rulership in heaven one day.

Each of us does well to cooperate with that divine program in us. In cooperating, we can be escalated with dispatch, elevated in a relatively short period of time to influence, leadership, capability as we live in this world. That’s where leadership comes from! It comes from people, men and women, who work at the same thing Christian maturity that God is at the same time working in them. The promise that we are workers together with God means a whole lot more than cutting the grass in the back of the church on Saturday mornings. It means that we are cooperating in the fashioning of our lives to move one day into our kingly responsibilities.

How encouraging, then, is the promise that God will persist in His working within us by day and by night, through all of the winters, springs, summers, and falls of our Christian lives. Each day and each hour, He will labor to fulfill the promise, “For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).

This verse of promise gives us an additional, marvelous source of encouragement. The working of God will continue in our lives until the day of Jesus Christ. Yes, it will continue all the way from earth to glory. What, then, is the day of Jesus Christ? It is the day when Jesus Christ steps clearly, visibly, unignorably into our lives. As we walk in this world, we walk by faith and not by sight. We labor as seeing Him who is invisible. Jesus Christ, while truly our Savior, is still the one “Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

There is coming, however, a time when faith will change to sight, when we will be with Him and He will be with us, He will be visible, touchable, real.

For each one of us as Christians, that day, the day of Jesus Christ, will begin in one of two ways. It will begin for many in the day that we are translated via physical death from earth to glory. When we move from this life, in an instant we are present with the Lord. The Apostle Paul said, I have the “desire to depart and to be with Christ,” and he said that such a move was “far better.” Then it would come to pass in our lives the promise that “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). How overwhelming, then, will be the discovery that our human lives were not only not everything, they were not even much by comparison to the glory that is now revealed in us.

The day of Christ, however, will begin for many in another way, in the Rapture of the Church. One day, Christ will descend from heaven and He will take His Church, His Bride from this world to be in glory with Him. From that moment on, we will be “with Him” and He will be with us. In that moment, we will be able to look back at this dark, gloomy world and realize that it was but the prelude to reality and not reality itself. In that day, when we know even as we are known, we will experience the final essence of salvation, deliverance from the very presence of sin.

How grand will be that day! How great will be our rejoicing, in that we have arrived at our ultimate destination, heaven itself.

While we rejoice in this hope, let us remember for a moment the infinite sorrow that will continue with the man, the woman, the youth of this world who does not know Christ. For the unbeliever, the passing, trivial joys of this world are the best that he will ever know. For, beyond life in this world, they will live in the infinite suffering of a lost eternity. That lost eternity for them will be filled with the deepest regret and the profound sorrow that comes from knowing that it could have been otherwise.

Before that day comes, we must work to bring men and women to the place of faith in Jesus Christ. Soon will the season of rescue be over, but while it is on, we have the opportunity of touching lost men and women with the message of the Gospel.

The path of blessing that will take us all from earth to glory is assured to us because we have come to know Christ. We need do no work in order to be saved. We are, however, the very workmanship of Jesus Christ, His masterpiece, representing Him in this world. By His power, He makes us strong, articulate, and capable, so that others, because we have lived, may come to know the Savior.

Yes, the path of salvation takes us all the way from earth to glory. Why not today labor to bring others to Christ so that they may join you on that path. One day the gates to eternity will be forever closed. As of now, however, they remain open so that you and I may yet in good faith extend to this world an earnest invitation to join us at the gates of heaven.

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