All may win the Prize

The ordinary person hopes and dreams of becoming something, somebody and for the ordinary person there is great opportunity, things untapped that can be realised rather than watching someone else receive the prize. Right now you can start realising your greatest potential……In claiming eternal life the door will be opened to you to have all time you need to fulfill dreams, opportunities, hobbies, sports, explore histories, build buildings, to explore other unfallen worlds. What’s more you will be forever young. All that are limitations to us in this short life on earth is there for the taking….seize the prize of your high calling.

The image of an olympian getting the prize is familiar to most Christian as Paul uses this image to illustrate the race for eternal life. His comment is that all who train for the service of God can obtain the prize. Not only is life eternal offered to see the palace and kingdom of God and visit all the surrounding worlds and live finally in the earth made new but the way to happiness and self worth is also outlined.

When Jesus presented the gospel in John He presented a relationship that we should share with the Father and the Son that would be so close as to have the thoughts and feelings of Him who made us. The necessity of that close relationship is repeated again and again in such words as drink this blood and eat this flesh or being part of the vine as one of the branches.

When this relationship is realized then service or the response is automatic- yes it’s a work out that requires the mind and body to be brought into subjection and trained. John  14:20 At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.  Such results come through the indwelling Spirit and the Word that makes Jesus presence reality. A check of our position in the Christian walk is of whom do I love to contemplate and where do I spend my time?

Is there more to what Jesus and Paul have said, a gospel which people are not realising and experiencing or more than what they ever thought possible!

In copying the pattern- here comes the olympian idea we can achieve what Jesus achieved by overcoming sin. Not even in a thought did Jesus sin and so many will say impossible but if they want to see salvation and be raised by God to eternal life then many ought to start to believe in possibilities and understand the physical realities of the resurrection at the second coming of Jesus. The pattern is given to follow and He had a hereditary makeup  as we do and He has offered His Spirit, the very same power He had is available to all men and women in the race for life eternal. At the end of the day the question will be, have we laid self aside for Christ and allowed that to make us polite and respectful people both to God and man or have we been working on a false premise that says that faith is only believing in the merits of Christ without our participation. If we are listening to others and not listening carefully to Christ’s words, we may come to the judgment wanting. We are not alone but we have a work in cooperation with what God desires to achieve in us. 

Achieving the impossible!

If it were not possible for us to be commandment keepers, then why does He make the obedience to His commandmentthe proof that we love Him? Letter 16, 1892, pp. 2, 3. (To Brother and Sister Holland, November 10, 1892). {1MR 110.1} John 14:15,21,23

Here lies the real difference in a causal idea of the gospel which changes very little but perhaps turning up to church to realising there must be a practical, challenging transforming gospel that sees practical changes. 

The gospel was to restore men and women to have the characters that God first intended for them to have at creation.

Christ in you the hope of glory- the mystery of Godliness.  Those who believe on Christ and obey His commandments are not under bondage to God’s law; for to those who believe and obey, His law is not a law of bondage, but of liberty. Everyone who believes on Christ, everyone who relies on the keeping power of a risen Saviour that has suffered the penalty pronounced upon the transgressor, everyone who resists temptation and in the midst of evil copies the pattern given in the Christ life, will through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Everyone who by faith obeys God’s commandments will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression. {HP 146.5}

Not by looking to self but by looking away from self is such achieved. By a love relationship with God.

Job is an example of a perfect man. God see him as perfect for good reasons Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an up

right man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And Job says this of himself 9:20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: [if I say], I [am] perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. Notice if I call myself perfect it shall prove me perverse. 

Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

We are to strive to be part of the 144,000. Revelation particularly points to this special group of people who are alive on the earth at the second coming of Jesus, having rejected the coming of the false Messiah and remained faithful. There is a special focus on this group. They reflect perfectly the image of Christ. Everything has been stripped away from them and as they let go of the world they cling harder to Christ. 

To man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting life–he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit. It will require a struggle to break through the powers of darkness, and the Spirit works in him to accomplish this. But man is no passive being, to be saved in indolence. He is called upon to strain every muscle and exercise every faculty in the struggle for immortality, yet it is God that supplies the efficiency. No human being can be saved in indolence. The Lord bids us, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:24. “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13, 14.

Let me say to him who is struggling to overcome, God presents before you a strong hope, that you may lay hold on eternal life. Lose no opportunity of becoming a man. When you look at yourself, and realize the strength of temptation, you feel so weak in moral power that you say, “I cannot resist.” I tell you, you can resist, you must resist temptation. Although you may have been overcome, although moral debasement may have marked your course, it need not always be thus. Jesus is your helper. In his strength you can overcome the beguiling power of appetite. Summon will-power to your aid.  The will is the governing power in the nature of man. If the will is set right, all the rest of the being will come under its sway. The will is not the taste or the inclination, but it is the choice, the deciding power, the kingly power, which works in the children of men unto obedience to God or to disobedience. {CTBH 147} For the person who is at the starting gait it would seem that our thoughts and feeling betray us though we long for the good things that God has for us just as Paul describes in Romans 7. The feelings that tempt us are often formed habits and the neural circuits created in the brain do not just go away however if a person really, I say really wants something then there will be a change. However often we are hanging on to two world through music and media and trying to change our lifeat the same time and so such a situation will leave us in a miserable limbo. Thoughts and feelings will follow the decision made but just how quickly depends on how badly we want something and whether we have really made a complete change or is it just a modification?  There is a monkey on our back drawing us back to the old life that is our habitual thoughts. In replacing these thoughts with Godly thoughts and feeling we need to invite God’s abiding Spirit and feed on His Word. The thoughts need to be replaced, the old life cutaway that was bothering us and the feelings will follow. Again if its a modification then the change never really comes and we are fooling ourselves. If it is baggage that Satan has given us from childhood which is often the case then dealing with such things requires an intense struggle with the thoughts and feelings. There will be surrounding circumstances, family, an environment that we need to deal with. The Bible is full of illustrations of that struggle and situations that individuals faced for our learning. Not only will you be dealing with your own thoughts and feelings but Satan is throwing temptations your way. The end result of the right decision is feelings of peace and a love for God. Love is tested on these very grounds- of whom are my thoughts and affections? In the life of Saul and David we have Saul filled with the Spirit of God and yet a stubborn heart saw his destruction. In the life of David struggles but acknowledging his wrongs and learning from mistakes and falling upon God’s mercy.  

We need not retain one sinful propensity. . . . As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine Teacher, daily partaking of His nature, we cooperate with God in overcoming Satan’s temptations. {FLB 23.4}

An immortal crown, what can compare? 1 Corinthians  9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.