What was the “biggest and longest” holiday you needed to pack for? We are going away for a few days this coming week. We have been gifted with Monday to Friday at Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge, situated in Robbers Pass, Pilgrim’s Rest, Mpumalanga. So, we have spent time today thinking about what to pack … clothing and shoes, binoculars, food for the time we’re there, Bible, reading books, toiletries, etc.
Then …. what has been your biggest move to date? For us I would think it was from Elardus Park to Villieria. Perhaps the reason being we did the move ourselves. It included all the furniture, curtains, clothing, cutlery, crockery, ornaments, double garage’s content, garden equipment, all my library and study, pot plants, lose wood, loads of paving bricks, etc.
Did we leave things behind that we could not pack? Yes … two huge square plant pots that were far too heavy to move. Were we sad to move? Yes and no! The “yes” was that the house was in a lovely condition and the “no” was we would be free of living within a complex.
Now, like it or not, everyone will have a final move. No … not to the old age home or to the mortuary … but into eternity! Yet sadly, most people do not give a thought to eternity. Life for them is all about today! I am prepared to say that we live in a day of literal ignorance about death and the life thereafter. Most of Europe today, from which we received our Reformed Faith, is creeping towards fourth generation paganism. Yes, Britain and Europe were Christian, but not anymore!
When you think of Christianity in its truest sense, there are no countries, not even in Africa, that could attempt to say they are Christianised. Yes there are pockets of good healthy evangelical Christianity in many countries, but no country could claim that status. If we think that Lot was terrible side stepping true religion and wandering away from the fold (Uncle Abraham’s protection), that is exactly where we are today.
Do you remember back to the 1960s and especially the 1970’s and into the early part of the 1980’s where gospel churches were packed? People were at church 30 minutes plus before the service to get a seat. Chairs were placed in the isle and foyer. Some would even use their halls for an overflow. What has happened, and why am I addressing this issue?
Taking the last part of the question first … I would say that the purpose of the church is to seek the lost, mature the saints and prepare people for eternity. This is not happening as it ought, and that is what is wrong with most of the church today! There are wonderful buildings and auditoriums. The seating is great and the music and electronics are out of this world. Professionals lead each ministry department … yet all too often the Holy Spirit of God is absent … though mistakenly, congregations often think He is there because of the professionalism, be it is music, singing, preaching, etc.
Secularism has crept into God’s Church setting the pathway for the church to lose her way. The spillover into society is that they see the church as irrelevant. Where the church was an important asset to society, today she is almost a nuisance that must be tolerated. If you think I’m being harsh … do some research and find out for yourself how society sees the church and what impact the church is having where it comes to a country’s morals, ethics and behaviour in general. Where I am not a Donald Trump fan, Christians in the USA are hurting because of the ideology of and the rejection of Christian morals and ethics of the Democrats.
So into this sad estate that we find ourselves, what are you packing for your final journey … the one into eternity? Before I deal with the main item to pack, let me say that when the church becomes passionate about heaven … when the church returns to expectancy … that Jesus could come at any moment, even as a thief in the night … perhaps then the church will regain her true purpose and become more meaningful in the societies she finds herself in.
Maybe then she will be radically different to the world and place evangelism high on her agenda. Now let me focus on what luggage to pack for the heavenward journey.
First, you need to be absolutely certain of your salvation. This is the starting point … if you like, this is the suitcase into which all the luggage will be packed.
Ac 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
See the extraordinary operation of the Triune God here … Salvation is in the name of Jesus Christ through the agency of the Holy Spirit because of the Father (the Lord our God). Have you ensured that your soul is secured through the Blood Sacrifice of God the Son? Second, you need to get the purpose of your salvation. God’s intention is for all saved souls to enjoy the New Heavens and the New Earth with Him.
2Pe 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
In Revelation, God expresses what 2 Peter says like this:
Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”
Third, you need to understand the only luggage you can travel with. God chose people for salvation through Jesus before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless.
Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
“Holy and Blameless” are the only luggage you can take with you. These two take a lifetime to perfect through the study and application of the Word by prayer, coupled to a determined desire to thank God in practical ways of intentional obedience and service. There are no short cuts and no luxuries permitted. Two words summarize the luggage permitted: “Intentional Christianity.” The effect of this will impact your society and your world causing people to stop and think about why you are different. This effect will also spill over into your church. Imagine a church truly alive with Jesus as Lord!
Dear God, revive Your Church and revive me spiritually to impact this world for Jesus and for eternity. Amen.