Eternal Choices For Your Soul

Whenever and wherever God speaks we definitely need to listen. God primarily speaks to us by His written Word, the Holy Bible, and there is a passage near "the back of the Book" that each of us need to pay close attention to.
Eternal Choices For Your Soul
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete)

Nestled toward the back of the Holy Bible are a number of epistles (letters). Just because they are near the end of the Holy Bible does not mean they are less important. In fact there is 1 John that many a godly minister has encouraged new converts to read after coming to Christ. Indeed, it is a rich primer on many of the basics of the true Christian walk.

But, as the apostle John points out in 1 John 2:12 to 14, the epistle the Holy Spirit directed him to write was not just for new Christians, but all levels of

true disciples. There are numerous precepts, consolations, and warnings for everyone, including the unsaved or for anyone naming the Name of Christ but prone to be worldly. These presentations bring a person to make decisions that affect their life not only now, but for all eternity.

And all of us go on for eternity, whether we want to or not. However, it is up to us what eternal state we will be in. Daily we must make some choices, and our repeated selections very well affect our place in eternity. 1 John 2:15 to 17 presents us with eternal choices for our soul, the spiritual place within us where our affections reside. Here is the passage in the New American Standard Bible:

“Do not love the world nor 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 and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

In this passage we see loving the world and the things of the world is contrasted with loving the Father. It clearly brings out distinctions between the things of the world and the things of God. Looking at the whole passage we can see there are five areas where we must make a choice. They are as follows.

I. The Commands Of God

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world.”

What comes to your mind when you hear about the “commands of God”? Hopefully there is not a feeling like “Who does God think He is?” After all, if we look at the context we will readily see this command comes from His heart of love. “The world” may be defined {1} as “the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ.” I would add to that definition those who are unsaved, along with all influences they might have upon the redeemed.

Writing to Christians, by the Holy Spirit through John tells us not to love the world nor any of its things. We must not be attached to them, and the command also indicates we must cut off any desire for them. By the Holy Spirit in the remainder of our passage he will give reasons why we must not love the world or its things. What we must here consider is that this is a command of God, which was brought out in the teachings of Christ. What will you do with this command? Keep in mind it is written in 1 John 2:5, “whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.”

II. Loyalty To God

“If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Love of the world and its things is now placed in bold contrast with the love of the Father. Both cannot coexist in one’s heart, in one’s soul. We see from this that we must love God. For many it is “easy" to love a forgiving, merciful God, but cannot accept a holy, jealous, One Who will have vengeance. Many think there is one God depicted in the Old Testament and another one in the New Testament. There is One God, Who is exactly the same in both.

Since we are admonished in the previous sentence that we should not love the things of the world it would follow then that we should love the things of God. The things of God are numerous but would include prayer, fellowship with Him, grace, His judgments and His Church. By “His Church" I mean the real, true Body of Christ comprised of those who have surrendered to Christ and are permitting Him to live through them. Indeed, His Church is comprised of all levels of imperfect people, but we must learn to love each other. However, that does not include tolerating sin, as other Holy Scripture points out.

III. Delights For Your Soul

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

The particular Greek word used here for “lust” means “desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust." A different word is used in places like 1 Peter 2:2 and often is translated as “desire." Getting even better is the word translated as desire used in Hebrews 11:16 where it means “to stretch one’s self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire something.” Given these facts we can see that “lust” mentioned in 1 John 2:16 does not convey anything good.

Many think of sex when it comes to the lust of the flesh, but there are a multitude of other areas that encourage the lust of the flesh. Food and relaxation are needful but our sinful flesh would want us to overdo things. Then there are things like drugs that we do not need.

When it comes to the lust of the eyes, many things might “catch our eye.” The world keeps offering new things in technology, fashion, pastimes, and more. If we do not listen to the Holy Spirit we might buy many things we do not need, or go through great lengths to get them at the expense of our fellowship with Christ. After a time we will find ourselves never satisfied, always wanting more. And you can be sure there are elements in our society that want us to go overboard with our lusts.

“Pride” for “pride of life” can mean “an insolent and empty assurance, which trusts in its own power and resources and shamefully despises and violates divine laws . . .”, and “an impious and empty presumption which trusts in the stability of earthy things.” A person that desires to control others is an example of someone given over to “the pride of life.” So is a person that enjoys bragging about themselves and their accomplishments. And, sad to say, there are many that, instead of preferring to be called “brother” or “sister,” enjoy titles like “Doctor” and “First Lady.” All one has to do is look around and see others flaunting titles like “prophet” and “apostle.”

There are many more examples that can be given for all three groups. The main point the Holy Spirit  brings out is that all that is in the world “is not from the Father, but


is from the world.” Now would it not be wise we choose things from our heavenly Father? After all, it is written in James 1:17, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” And be assured that things from Him will encourage us on to Eternal Life, and not damnation.

Much of what the world has to offer caters that which is sinful which encourages eternal damnation. They are imperfect. Many things furnished by the world are from Hell itself. Much is mixed with evil, hiding some of the infectious sinful problems. And what the world has is constantly changing.

IV. The Warning From God

"The world is passing away, and also its lusts; . . . "

God shows us His tremendous love for us in stating the world is passing away along with its lusts. There is a limit to the world system (and even the planet as it is now). God is in charge and has set the time when the world system will end. He does not want anyone to be snagged in it. He wants each of us to realize that the real wholesome eternal value is being in His Son so we might do His will.

It is evident at the time of the composing of this article that the world is rapidly degrading. Only a sovereign true revival from God can prevent the world from utter spiritual degradation. The choice should be clear that no one would want to be influenced in the slightest way with the things of this world.

V. The Reward Of Loving God

". . . but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

Based upon just that clause one might think they can earn their way into the heavenly Kingdom of God, but the balance of Holy Scripture will clearly show that is not the case, but we are saved by grace, through the life of Christ within us which we receive when we truly surrender to Him. When He dwells within, all the works He has done dwell within us. This is why it is written in 1 John 2:6, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

Before we continue, do not listen to the lie of the world that says His works included tolerating sin. The exact opposite is true. And He was not “easy” on the sinner as some would have us think. For example, as recorded in John 4 the woman at the well was definitely “put on the spot” when Christ told her to get her husband. When she said she was not married to a husband Christ immediately pointed out by the Spirit that was true yet she possessed five different husbands five different times for sex (and probably for money or goods in return). John 4:18 makes it clear she was not married to any of them at anytime.

We further read in 1 John 2:10, “The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” 1 John 1:5 tells us there is no darkness (evil) in God. It is not the will of God that we sin. If we do transgress that encourages others to sin. That is not the will of God either.

There are other passages in 1 John and elsewhere that clearly show a real Christian will do the will of God and not practice sin. They will not practice sin because they love God and they love their fellow brothers and sisters in Him. They want to see their fellow brothers and sisters strong in the Lord and continuously moving with and towards His Kingdom.

There are times, though, that we do miss the mark, we do not do the will of God. With the proper attitude, we may follow what it says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” thanking God that Christ “. . . Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”-- ! John 2:2.

About The Lead Picture

In preparing this article for Experts Column I thought it would be good to have a grave marker as the lead picture. Then it came to my mind to take a picture of a marker I had found buried on my neighbor’s property in the 1400 block of Cambridge, MD. The marker is located by the ground where I found it. I think God has a special reason as to why I found this marker and thought of using it for a lead picture. Maybe Aurora was a redeemed child of God and perhaps God will use this as a continuance of any evangelical work this person might have done. I do hope Aurora made it into the Kingdom of God and I hope you do too!

Notes:

{1} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by November 20, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M423 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 08-10-2016 62 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    God, who exists, is concerned about those who still do not exist in truth. We say that God saves human persons; and so we suppose that these are real persons and not undeveloped persons without liberty, or responsibility. Salvation is not the washing of souls but the restoration of the human person in all dimensions-individual, family and social.
    reply 0
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