Running the RaceBro. David Chancellor
5/9/1999 6:00 PM
"Are there few that be saved?" People are always worried about the number, but our concern should be "strive to enter in at the strait gate." We're not trying to be popular or strange, but to get to heaven. The number's not what is important (though we'd like to see everyone make it). Religion is predominate today. "Many" are religious. Many are interested in something. Our concern is entering in. It is a strait gate, and you won't be able to bring everything through the gate. Many times people get caught like a monkey in a trap by trying to take something through the gate that won't fit and then not letting go. Salvation is more than saying "I believe in Jesus." We must enter in at the strait gate. Strive implies that there is some effort involved. You can't bring all of the old life and enter in at the strait gate.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Everybody in a race runs. Are you just interested in making it to the finish line? or are you running to WIN? It's the winning that matters. Get your eye on more than just the run. Run to obtain - to achieve the goal you set out to get. You could be just "marking time." Strive to enter in.. Be temperate in all things. (Most marathon runners aren't couch potatoes.) There has to be some restraint, subjection, bringing of self in line to enter in. We don't want to be a castaway in the end. You can't enter in at the strait gate by coasting. Know why you're running. We're fighting for heaven. Keep the goal in mind.
2 Timothy 2:5
A man can run to win, but he will not be recognized as the winner if he cheats to win. You won't get to heaven your way. Play by the rules. We won't be crowned except we strive lawfully. Don't take shortcuts. The easiest way to win heaven is to go along by God's help. We can only get there GOD'S way. The rules are the doctrine we're admonished to carry. We need to find out what God commanded. If we don't keep his commandments we might run, but not obtain. What's the point of rules if you don't "play by them"? Read the rules. We want to make it to heaven and we have to go God's way. You have to run just like everyone else. Jesus came to give us the doctrines and teachings of God.
Paul knew he was saved, but he did not believe he could never fall. He didn't want to become indifferent to the need to strive to attain the prize. His salvation was complete, except in that he had not attained heaven yet. Christ stopped/apprehended Paul for a purpose - to reach heaven. He was still running for this purpose. We're looking for heaven. He didn't act like he was already there. Some rejoice in the start, but is that all your testimony? You should have news to tell of waymarks on the road (trials won and ground gained). Keep your eye on the finish line. There's no place for us to pull up a chair and sit before crossing the finish line. Press toward the mark. We don't want to lose sight of heaven. If you've set down to coast in any way, God will show you you're coasting. Don't kick back and relax yet; there's a prize to gain. "Whereto you have already attained" - go by what you know. Keep on keepin' on. Just keep going; the scenery may not be pretty, but it's the right road. There may be tough things, but remember the prize is ahead.
"Blessed is the man that endures... he shall receive the crown of life." Live by the same rule all through the temptation. He that endures to the end shall be saved. Be faithful all the way through. God recognizes those that endure. Be not weary in well-doing. Keep enduring. You CAN enter in. God will strengthen you to keep you through. He's faithful to help us endure and keep going.
1 Peter 5:1-4
All God's people need exhortation. We don't want to lose sight of the crown of life. Be a witness of the sufferings and a partaker of the glory too. Have victory in your battles. It's not ALL suffering, but there are things to suffer. There are still problems that exist, but there can be victory. Serve God and be willing to do whatever God would have you do, but don't lord it over others. Fanaticism is the tendency to lord it over others - demanding things of others. Don't have a demanding attitude. Our goal is how much we can demand of self. If we keep the faith and win, we'll receive a crown of glory. Put aside everything that will keep you from entering in. God provided the way, but we have to go his way to get the prize.