Summary: This message deals with people giving up on life.
The Abundant Life
Recently a neighbor of ours decided to end his life. It is not known the reason why, and that is not the important thing here. What is important is that his quality of life was not good enough that he decided to go ahead and end it.
There are people who would say, “I would never allow myself to get to that point of despair.” To that person I would say, beware. 1Cor. 10:12 “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” This of course is speaking of our salvation, but is adequate to use in this context this morning.
Let’s look at and consider the following verses in 2 Peter 1-11 with particular attention to verses 10 and 11.
Vs.10 The primary concern of every believer should be to make sure of their calling and election of God… verse 10 says, “To give diligence to.” That means give a persistent and hard working effort lest you fall yourself back into sin. If you thought that was not possible, this verse proves that it is. It is when you don’t put that persistent effort into your faith, that you can become victims of Satan’s devices and you yourself will fall. The verse goes on to say that if you do these things you shall never fail.
Since we cannot look into God’s Book of Life, how do we know that we are chosen to life in Christ? The bible states:
• Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
• Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
So how then can we find out if we have been called to Christ by God’s Spirit? Are we chosen to salvation? According to 2 Cor. 13:5 we are supposed to do a close examination of ourselves. I challenge each of you here today, to make this a daily habit as much as it is to look in the mirror of the morning. I am asking you to look within yourself each and every day.
• “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” In other words, test yourself. We need to give ourselves a hard look every day.
Have we been called out of sin and the darkness of ceremony, tradition, and self-righteousness to the light of God in Christ Jesus?
2 Cor. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Ask yourself the question is Jesus your life, your all, your Lord? If you answer yes to that question you can know that you are chosen to life in Christ by your calling.
You can also know that you are chosen to life by the presence of the graces mentioned in verses 5-8 in your life. Does your life reflect the characteristics of God – faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity? If you are without the graces in your spiritual life, you have reason to doubt your election or salvation of God. Think hard about these things, your life depends upon it.
Verse 10 is telling us that if we:
• Seek first the Kingdom of God.
• If we are determined to win Christ and be found in him,
• If to be called of God and be found in him is our diligent concern,
• If to grow in the grace an knowledge of Jesus Christ is our primary focus,
• WE SHALL NEVER FALL.
However, if we are slack in these things a fall is certain, you can be certain of that. Do you want to fall from the mercy and grace of God?
I firmly believe and have experienced the reality of failure if you are not diligent concerning these things.
I have a desire to do what is right in life; I have a desire to be a part of God’s plan of salvation, but just having a desire without putting the effort in can leave you lacking in spiritual graces and in your relationship with God.
I am saying these things because we need to give diligence (persistent effort) into our faith if we expect to thrive while here on this earth and enjoy that abundant and glorious entrance into the Kingdom of God. If we remain diligent in these things our lives would be in so much more harmony with God and others that despair and depression could not rule the lives of so many.