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The Daily Word of Righteousness
When a Christian Dies, #23
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (I Timothy 6:12)
To be filled with the power of eternal, incorruptible resurrection life.
Eternal life is not merely endless existence. All the creatures of God have eternal existence.
Eternal life is the re-creating, regenerating virtue, knowledge, and force that proceed endlessly from the Personality and Presence of God.
There are degrees of eternal life:
. . . I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
The gate is narrow and the way restricted that lead to eternal life. Few people travel this road. There are a multitude of professing Christians but it appears few are proceeding toward incorruptible Divine Life.
Our Christian discipleship is to be a sowing to life. Eternal death and eternal life always are seeking to control us. There is eternal death in our mortal body. There is eternal life in our reborn inner nature. The Spirit of Christ who is in us is alive and is the Righteousness of God.
Every day we yield either to our death-filled body or to our life-filled reborn inner nature. One or the other is making the decisions that determine our thinking, our speaking, and our actions. We are sowing to death or we are sowing to life.
The Christian pilgrimage is the pursuit of eternal life. We must "lay hold on eternal life," as Paul exhorted Timothy, or eternal death will lay hold on us.
If we live according to the desires of our flesh we will die spiritually. If we, through the Holy Spirit, put to death the lusts of our flesh we will live in the Presence of God.
The reward for overcoming through Christ the lusts of our flesh is to be permitted to eat of the tree of life (Revelation 2:7). The reward for enduring faithfully unto death the "prison" into which we are cast is the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).
To eat of the tree of life is to receive immortality into our body—that which Adam and Eve were denied. To receive the crown of life is to be given the authority and power to rule the creation of God. The more life we are given the more power we have to enforce our will.
Righteousness is an issue of power. Most of us would bring ourselves and our environment into greater righteousness if we had the power to do so.
When Jesus appears we shall receive the consequences of our behavior on the earth. If we have pursued life, life will be given to us. If we have pursued death, death will be given to us.
Those who, through Christ's grace, gain victory over sin will be given immortality. They will enter life in the Kingdom of God. Those who suffer for the Gospel's sake will be made kings and priests of God. They will rule by the power of incorruptible life.
Those who are careless and do not gain victory over sin will be beaten with lashes. If they are saved it will be by prolonged burnings which will purify them from the filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Those whom God had placed in prison but who have "escaped" by breaking God's laws will find they have lost everything of value. They will appear before God's throne in their miserable self-love and self-seeking.
To be continued.