By: Gary L. Hutchens
God wants every one of us to be with Him in Heaven. He vividly demonstrated that by sending His Son to the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8). He is giving us time to repent (2 Pet. 3:9) and come to Him through Christ for forgiveness and salvation (Mk. 16:15-16).
What comes to your mind when you read the following scripture texts?:
“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’” (Lk. 9:62).
“Brethren,…one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phlp. 3:13-14).
“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,…” (Heb. 12:1-2).
“Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10).
All of these texts emphasize maintaining our focus on living a faithful Christian life with the ultimate reward being an eternal home in Heaven. Getting to Heaven is all that matters. If we don’t get to Heaven, our life in this world will have been a failure. No matter how much money we may make, how many things we may accumulate, what levels of professional success we may reach, how socially respected we may become, if we don’t get to Heaven we will have utterly failed in this life. Because, the only alternative to an eternal home in Heaven is eternal condemnation in Hell!
We have an enemy, an adversary, the devil. His goal is to keep us unfaithful to God and consequently out of Heaven. Peter describes him in graphic terms as “a roaring lion” walking about “seeking whom he may devour.” (2 Pet. 3:9). Satan is smart, cunning, crafty and skillful. He can spot any opening our life might present as an opportunity for him to influence us to lose our focus on God and Heaven.
Have you become so focused on the COVID pandemic that you’ve lost much of your focus on faithfulness to God and getting to Heaven? We’re being constantly bombarded with news of infections, hospitalizations, shortage of ICU beds and mounting death tolls due to this virus. We went through a period of mandated isolation. Schools were shut down. We were told to wear a mask and keep our distance from others in public.
All of this has had far-reaching emotional, psychological, social and spiritual consequences. Many people are very frightened, many others are very angry. Make no mistake, the devil is effectively using this COVID pandemic to weaken our focus on faithfulness and dedication to God and on getting to Heaven.
Has the devil been successful in using COVID to get your spiritual life out of focus?…
Gary L. Hutchens