Will you still be living faithfully to God ten years from now? How about five years? How about this time next year? “Well, of course,” you say, “I’ll always be faithful! I would never leave God.” I’m glad you feel that way. But remember, there are many who have become unfaithful who, at one time, probably expressed that very same sentiment.
Why should a Christian remain faithful? It seems like a simple question. But I think it’s still a fair question to ask.
First, I should remain faithful to God so that Christ will not have died in vain. It was a great act of love on God’s part to give His son so that we may enjoy eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus’ submitting to His Father’s will and experiencing the death of the cross was the greatest act of love any man could do for another (John 15:13).
Yet if, after becoming a Christian, I later become unfaithful, Christ will have died in vain; at least from my perspective. Some would deny the clear and plain Bible teaching concerning the possibility of a Christian falling away and going back to a state of being lost in his/her sins. But not the apostle Paul! He understood the possibility of being a “castaway,” rejected or disqualified concerning the race he so strongly encouraged others to run (I Corinthians 9:24-27). Peter understood the possibility of, after being converted to Christ, falling back into the world and being lost (II Peter 2:20-22).
If I refuse to remain faithful to Christ and His church, His death will profit me nothing!
Second, I should remain faithful to God so I can have the very best life on this earth! In Mark 10:17-22 we read about Jesus’ conversation with the rich young ruler. When Jesus told him to sell what he had and give to the poor, the young man, unwilling to part with his possessions, went away sorrowful. Peter then responded, “Lord, we have left all, and have followed thee” (Mark 10:28). From Matthew’s account of this incident, we know Peter is asking, “Lord, we left all to follow thee. What shall we have?” (Matthew 19:27) Notice Jesus’ response. “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)
Shall I take Jesus’ words literally? Is Jesus really teaching that anyone who follows Him will own a hundred houses? Surely not! What then, is Jesus saying? Notice the last part of verse 30, “and in the world to come, eternal life.” The blessings Jesus promised to Peter, and us today, were distinct from the blessing we will eventually enjoy in heaven – eternal life! I believe the point Jesus is making to Peter is simply this: Whatever anyone may give up to become a Christian will pale in comparison to the blessings of being a Christian – even while living here on earth! Live this life with heaven as your goal. While here on earth, stay focused in heaven! But never forget that the best life anyone could ever live here on this earth is the life of a Christian!
Third, I should remain faithful because of my influence. Influence can be defined as “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behavior of someone or something.” Someone may say, “Not me. I’m not going to have an influence on anyone. I’ll just live my life and let everyone else live theirs!”
Solomon allowed his wives to have an evil influence on him, causing him to turn his heart away from the one true God and instead follow after false gods. I Kings 11:4.
In contrast, Timothy was influenced for the good by his mother and grandmother. Timothy knew the scriptures from the time he was a child. II Timothy 3:15. How did Timothy come to know the scriptures? No doubt he had been taught by his mother and grandmother. II Timothy 1:5. Our influence continues even after we are gone! Hebrews 11:4
Friends, it’s not possible to live without having an influence on others! Others, maybe your family, friends, or even coworkers, are watching you. They need you to remain faithful! They need your positive influence.
Fourth, I should remain faithful because there is a judgement to come. There is a day coming when I will be judged by Christ for the things I have done, whether they be good or bad. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” II Corinthians 5:10. Notice the word “must.” This is an absolute imperative. We cannot forego, or escape, the judgment. Notice the words “we must all.” No one will be exempt from being judged. Notice the words, “the judgment seat of Christ.” We will be judged by God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ is well suited to be our judge because He lived on this earth, faced the same temptations we face and knows what it is like to experience the difficulties of this life. Notice the words, “whether it be good or bad.” When judgment day comes, some will be able to hear the words, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.” They will be able to experience an eternity with God in heaven. Sadly, others will experience an eternity separated from God and all His people.
Why should you be faithful? It’s a fair question to ask.