Before buying anything, we wish to know the cost and comparative value. Does the hope of eternal life cost? I would not deceive you by saying it does not. It does cost. See Matt. 19:16-22. Jesus said, "If any man come to me, and hate not (love less) his father, mother, and wife, and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26,27. The life of the Christian demands sacrifice. Rom. 12:1,2. There are worldly habits we must break and pleasures we must forgo to be faithful Christians. If we secure anything of value, we must pay the price. We gladly do so if the product is worth the cost.
The price we pay for being a Christian is "not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Rom. 8:18. In this trouble-filled world, one could never attain perfect and unlimited happiness even if he devoted his full time and energy toward that end. If we take up the cross of Christ and follow him, we can enjoy a happier life now. John 10:10. Also, the faithful will receive eternal life from Christ. Rev. 2:10. We will attain heavenly glory in the life to come. 1 Cor. 15:41-43. We often sacrifice some trinkets and forego temporary pleasure to save for something much more valuable and satisfying. Cannot we sacrifice some temporal benefits to gain eternal happiness?
We lay up treasures in heaven and attain the greatest possible happiness now by faithfully living as Christians. Our hope helps us overcome adversity and to be content regardless of our situation in life. The increase in suicide is evidence that there are many unhappy people. The great number of suicides among youth is alarming and shows that unrestricted pleasures and drugs will not assure happiness. This great tragedy can be averted by faith in Christ and living as He directs.
In purchasing a material product, we want to know how long it will last. In this short life, we can not possibly do enough to earn eternal life in heaven. The fruit of our labors will be multiplied one hundred fold because that which we cannot earn will be provided by the grace of God. Eph. 2:8-10. Salvation is purchased by the precious blood of Jesus. 1 Pet. 1:18,19. For a few years of faithfulness and sacrifice, we will be blessed with unending joy. Matt. 25:23.
The wise man said, "Buy the truth and sell it not." Prov. 23:23. We cannot lose. Even if there were no future reward, which I do not believe for a minute, we have not really lost anything. We shall have lived the fullest, most useful and happy life possible. No worldly person can find true happiness in the life he now lives. Faithful Christians enjoy the fullness of this life and, finally, eternal life. Matt. 25:46.
Knowing we have followed Christ faithfully gives us courage and hope even in the face of death. We can say, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:4. Stephen, the first recorded Christian martyr, said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God ... Lord, Jesus, receive my spirit." Acts 7:56-60. As he awaited death in a Roman prison, Paul wrote, "God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love ... Jesus ... has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel ... 1 know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." 2 Tim. 1:7, 10 & 12. See also 2 Tim. 4:6-8.
On the other hand, consider the dying words of unbelievers. In 1679, Hobbes said, "If I had the whole world to dispose of, I would give it to live one more day. I am about to take a leap into the dark." Churchill said, in 1764, "What a fool I have been!" In 1788, Voltaire said, "I am abandoned by God and man! I will give half of what I am worth if you will give me six months' life!" In reply, Dr. Frochin told him that his life could not be extended. Voltaire replied, "Then I shall go to hell ... O, Jesus Christ!" In 1882, Gambetta said, "I am lost, and there is no use to deny it." Ingersoll exclaimed, in 1899, "O, God, if there be a God; save my soul, if I have a soul." It is tragic to face death without hope.
"Bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Tim 4:8. Jesus said, "What is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matt. 16:26. The church in Smyrna was told, "Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: beho1d, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life." Rev. 2:10. Whatever the price, faithful Christians will have eternity to enjoy the blessings of God and to say, "It really was worth the cost." -111 Heather Ct., Scott Depot, WV 25560.
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