Saturday Sermon: Going to heaven requires endurance, patience and persistence
June 10, 2011 at 1:10 a.m.
By Shan Jackson
Mankind's No. 1 priority in life must be to go to heaven - nothing else is as important. Such is what Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Our soul (man's eternal essence) is the most precious thing we have - there is nothing that can equal its value. Jesus also says in Matthew 16:26, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" One certainly does not profit in the tragic loss of his soul.
Now, it is easy in today's society to get caught up in the pursuit of things. To that our Lord says in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also." Our eternal savings account needs to be in heaven. Every day we need to remind ourselves that our number one priority is to go to heaven. The apostle Paul realized this, and wrote in Colossians 3:2, "Set your affection on things above (heaven), not on things on the earth." We should never forget to think about heaven. One man said it this way, "Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people." Jesus said it even more eloquently, "In my Father's house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3).
Heaven will be such a wonderful place, which is beyond our wildest dreams. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:9, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." There is no way that heaven can be described so we can understand how wonderful it will be.
One last thought ... A person will not accidentally go to heaven. Going to heaven is a lifelong challenge, as we read in Hebrews 12:1, "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Going to heaven requires endurance, patience and persistence. We must finish the race.
Shan Jackson is the pastor of Port Lavaca Church of Christ.