Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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(The following article was written by Tommy Davis, one of the members of the West Side congregation. I commend it to you. Stan)

Take a minute to answer this question, do you have dreams for the future? Do you want to be a doctor, make a scientific breakthrough or do you want to be a professional athlete? Some people dream of good health or being wealthy and living in a huge house. People in nearly every culture have dreams for the future. We hear about holding onto our dreams at events like graduations, and when we get married, we feel like a dream just came true. Most of us don’t dream of terrible events like death or destruction.

God has a dream for us too. When God created man, he longed to walk with man on earth and have relationships with us. For a while in the Garden of Eden, God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day — Genesis 3:8. I often wonder what those conversations were like! This soon came to an end when sin entered our lives, and now we are separated from God. No longer do men walk with God and talk to him face to face. We are imperfect and impure; not fit to be in the presence of God. The relationship was broken!

In response, God sent His Son into the world to live, die and be raised to life again so that the relationship of God and man could be restored. What a wonderful thought; the King of all and Creator of worlds wants me to be in His presence! When we take a minute to let that sink in and imagine for a moment what it would be like to walk with God and talk to Him, this is truly a humbling thing. God’s dream or plan for us all is to live with Him in heaven — not as the janitor but as heirs and joint-heirs with Christ! Romans 8:17. God wants to give us a bountiful home in His presence with no sickness or tears; no heartaches and no fears.

Unfortunately, most people either don’t share this dream or don’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to enjoy this heavenly gift. Do you share God’s dream for you? Are you willing to do what Christ demands in exchange for the greatest gift of all: eternal life with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the host of heavenly beings and all God’s servants that ever lived from Adam until now? The reward is certainly worth giving up all of life’s pleasures to obtain. Even better, we don’t have to give up all of life’s pleasures, just the sinful ones. If you lose your family, God gives you the church to be your new family. If you give up riches and fame, God will write your name in heaven and give you treasure untold in eternal life.

What do we have to lose? Just humble yourself before the Creator and believe with all your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, repent (or turn away from) of your sins, confess to others that you believe that Jesus is the Christ, be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and live a godly life bearing fruit for Christ.

That last one is where the trouble lies. Satan tempts us with earthly pleasures that takes us away from God and makes us unfit for the Kingdom of Christ. Job’s life should serve as an example for us even today. When you read about Job’s service to God, he was a righteous man. He was meticulous in his service to the King. He sinned of course, but that was out of character for him. Read Job 1:4-5 and verse 22. He avoided sin because that is what righteous people do. Do you avoid sin because you truly want to be more like Christ or do you go through the motions and walk with one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom of God? I have some bad news if you are trying to live in both worlds — Christ is not fire insurance. He requires our complete devotion. Read Christ’s words on this subject from Revelation 3:16, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” Does it sound like Jesus will accept a half-hearted effort on our part? Choose life and truly live for Christ, because that’s what a righteous person does.