It is the Lord’s will that His children take the Christian life seriously. This doesn’t mean that we all quit our jobs in order to become missionaries or that we never tell a joke or laugh. It means that we put tremendous care into the quality of our walk with God. It means that we work diligently toward our goal. It means that we consider our walk with God of greater importance than anything else on the face of this earth.
"And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mar 8:34-36)
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." (Eph 5:15-16)
There was once an atheist who considered all of the Christians he knew crazy. To him, they weren’t crazy because they believed in God but because they claimed to believe in Him and didn’t take their Christian walk and their labor for eternity seriously. His point was this; if what they believe is true, then why do they live life as if it’s not true? He wrote a text which has remained to this day ironically inspiring to believers. It is called the “Challenge of an atheist.” Take a moment to read it and consider if everything said here should be true of our walk with God:
"Were I a religionist did I truly, firmly, consistently believe as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another life, religion should be to me everything. I would cast aside earthly thoughts and feelings as less than vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image when sleep sunk me into unconsciousness. I would labor for her cause alone. I wouldn't labor for the meat that perishes nor for treasures on earth but only for a crown of glory in the heavenly regions where treasures and happiness are alike beyond the reach of time and chance. I would take thought to the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained to heaven worth a lifetime of suffering. There should be neither worldly prudence nor calculating circumspection in my engrossing zeal. Earthly consequences should never stay my hand or seal my lips. I would speak to the imagination, awaken the feelings, stir up the passions, arouse the fancy. Earth: its joys and its griefs should never occupy a moment of my thoughts for these are but the affairs of a portion of eternity so small that no language can express it's comparatively infinite littleness. I should strive to look but on eternity and on the immortal souls around me soon to be everlastingly miserable or everlastingly happy. I would deem all who thought only of this world, merely seeking to increase temporal happiness, and laboring to obtain temporal goods; I would deem all such as purely madmen. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season. And my text should be "what should it profit a man if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul." – Unknown
It’s amazing that an unbeliever can write something that is so convicting and true. There’s so much wisdom in that statement! This atheist had a perspective that most Christians don’t – that an eternal life is of infinitely more value than a temporary life. It should be invested in and worked for much more than the temporary gain of this life. It’s too bad this man did not believe in God, although he did have some wisdom there. But this is exactly what Jesus said the world sometimes has that Christians lack:
"And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." (Luk 16:8)
Is there anything more serious than the eternal destiny of ourselves and the souls around us? Is there anything more serious than living for the eternal God who created us? Our Lord Jesus is the one who said it profits nothing to gain the world and lose his own soul. Why does the world invest for their future, but we Christians fail to invest for ours? Some of the most worldly men I know have the largest retirement savings accounts! They prepare for what they believe to be the rest of their time, but what we believers know to be eternity we are so careless with and spend little time laying up treasure in Heaven. We need to get serious.
"Do you not know that those running in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain. And everyone who strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Then those truly that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." (1Co 9:24-25)
“When are people finally going to get serious about being serious?”– Leonard Ravenhill
There are two things in life that are sure: one – God’s love for us, and two - that our life here will come to an end – whether we die or whether the Lord Jesus returns first. There is little profit to invest our care into the things of this world which are so temporary. Christ was serious enough to die for us, now we have to be serious enough to live for Him.
• Remember that the highest goal in life is not to have fun but to give glory to your Maker and Redeemer.
• Watch your time carefully. Your life here is a vapor. Make the most of it.
• Serve the Lord – in this way you’ll lay up treasure in Heaven, rather than on earth (Mat 6:20).
• Spend time in devotion to God and in fellowship with godly people who also take the Lord seriously.
• Think about death often and gain a perspective of eternity. If you were on your deathbed right now, what would you wish you had done with this life? Thousands and millions of years from now, what will you wish you had done with this life?
• Remember that Satan is striving to get you not to think about eternity and the judgment.
• Observe how seriously our Lord Jesus and the apostles spoke about life in the bible.
• Fear God. Take His word seriously. Obey it.
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." (Ecc 12:13-14)