Above all, we need to remain humble and repentant, obedient till the end, and strip off any weight that slows us down.
With people biting each other and eating their own children, abortion skyrocketing, racism, homosexuality, and pedophilia becoming normal, we’d better know that Jesus is soon to return. So a self-examination is in order. Actually, it’s something that should be done daily.
I know this is an elementary topic, but it’s worth reviewing. Paul said “to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are of the faith” (2 Cor 13:5-6; Gal 6:3-4). In other words, we need to test ourselves, search ourselves and prove whether or not we still believe and follow Christ Jesus today.
Paul goes on to say “… except ye be reprobates.” We think of the world as the ones who are the reprobates (Romans 1:28 KJV) but those verses were written to us Christians! We must be on guard against “reprobation” and in doing so, we will review what Jesus said the conditions for salvation were.
Repentance means to have a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness and to change the mind and purpose in life towards God to follow and do his will (Mark 1:14-15). Any and all things we know are wrong must be turned from immediately!
Become like a child
We must be converted and become as a little child (Mat 18:3).
The characteristics of a little child are:
- Children are humble
- Children trust and believe what their parents tell them
- Children forgive easily
Many of us have already been born again and baptized in water, but what about being baptized in the Spirit and in fire?
- Repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38)
- Be born again of water and of Spirit (John 3:5)
- Be baptized in the Spirit and in fire (Luke 3:16)
Love Jesus above family and yourself!
25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. … 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. (Lk 14:25-27,33) Also: Mat 16:24.
In Mat 19:16-29 (the story of the rich young ruler) Jesus also tells us to sell or give up what we treasure most (including earthly aspirations), and follow Him and we will inherit everlasting life. He also says that he would return family and land 100 fold in this present life if we were to give up the former things for his sake (Luke 18:29-30).
Beware of the deception of money
Jesus warns not to fall victim to the love of money and become the servant of it (Matt 6:24). Jesus goes on to explain how we can get caught up in the cares of this world, being deceived thinking riches can help bring comfort and safety in a troubled world (Mat 13:22; Mat 13:1-23). Nevertheless, the Lord has promised to take care of us IF we seek his kingdom and his righteousness first (Mat 6:33).
Rid yourself of any hindrances
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell (Matt 5:29-30).
This includes, people (as mentioned above), things, aspirations, places, jobs… anything that would hinder your eternal life.
Hear, believe and do what Jesus says
John 3:14-18; John 5:24; 6:28-29; 6:47; 11:25-26
Remember: It’s going to be HARD
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Mat 7:13-14).
Point blank! Jesus said it’s difficult and few people find the road that leads to life. A lot of people, including Christians, are going to hell, but we can be successful if we lean on the Holy Spirit and endure to the end. See also: 1 Peter 4:18.
Endure to the end
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved (Mat 24:9-13).