Pressing Towards the Prize
You do not have to live very long in this world before it becomes clear that nothing lasts for ever: Dad and Mum, who you so loved, have ended up under the ground and are no more. Those clothes picked up on sale are in the hand-me-down box; at home the roof eventually leaks; the appliances and tools break down and need fixing as well as replacing and relationships we think will endure often fall apart; all seems futile. To most of us, nothing makes us feel more helpless than the thought of dying one day; this end of our earthly life confronts us with the issue of what lies beyond. The Bible says it is either eternal life in the Kingdom of God on earth or an eternal grave. The good news is: Jesus died and rose again. His resurrection guarantees that believers in Christ will rise out of the ground to live for ever (John 11:25-26). How?
First, the requirements for eternal life have been met by the life and the death on the cross of the sacrificial Lamb. Jesus was then resurrected. There is nothing we can do about this: the miracle has happened.
Second, the way to the Kingdom of God is not by works but by faith (Eph. 2:8-9), our response to the death of Christ, and God's loving offer of forgiveness, through our Lord Jesus (Acts 16:31).
Salvation is a free gift of grace that meets our every spiritual need. This means we can endure hardships here and now. We can live with broken and ruined bodies for a while; we can face loneliness, heartache and pain for a season. There is another life to come. If we have put our trust in Jesus, eternity will be nothing for us to worry about.
Bro. Alex Chami (Nkansi Rukwa, Tanzania )